Telstra appoints Jeremy Nicholas as its new CMO, less than two years after dropping the role

Telstra has brought back the role of chief marketing officer, promoting chief brand officer Jeremy Nicholas into the position.

The decision comes less than two years after the telco announced it would no longer have a CMO, instead choosing to decentralise the position after the exit of Joe Pollard.

Jeremy Nichols

Nicholas has stepped into the CMO role, but his responsibilities won’t change much he says

Nicholas told Mumbrella the CEO, Andy Penn, had decided now was the right time to bring the position back and make the marketing more accountable across the business.

“This is something the CEO really wanted to do to give some clarity internally and externally and also to make sure we’re wrapping all our marketing together into the one centralised place. It also allows us to be clear in our accountability as well,” he said.

“We’ve well progressed through the T22 change and we’re building on all the good things we’ve been doing with the brand. This allows us to really consolidate behind that so we can keep going with that progress.

Nicholas told Mumbrella there won’t be much change between his current role and his new one, with his responsibilities already covering the same remit. Instead, the new position is about ‘consolidation’.

Nicholas promises he won’t be making any changes in the department, or in the agency roster, calling them a ‘great team’.

“We’re really, really happy with our agency partners, we’ve got a great team there. We work closely, particularly with The Monkeys, with CHEP and OMD – they’re the key partners of ours and have been for a long time. There’s no change. I’ve been here 3 and a half years and I’ve been doing a lot of the tasks in this role already and I’m really happy with where we’re at and the trajectory we’re on.”

Specifically, Nicholas will be focused on throwing marketing support behind the telco’s business priorities, continuing to support the pillars in the T22 plan – including improvements to customer service and becoming more agile in the way the business works – and building on the ‘momentum in 5G and Telstra’s network superiority’.

“Customer experience has been a huge focus for what we’re doing in terms of the product and service models and what we do for customers. It’s about really improving the experience people have with Telstra and the job of marketing over that time has been to make sure we’re doing that and amplifying those changes in what we say and how we say it,” Nicholas said.

The recent approval for the merger between TPG and Vodafone, which was blocked by the ACCC but approved by a federal court, won’t change Telstra’s plans in the short term, with the business always seeking to build and grow its presence, said Nicholas.

“We’ve always got plans to grow our share, both mobile and home and in consumer and small business, but also for our enterprise customers as well. We have a strategy in place, whichever way the court decision went we knew what our plan was going to be and there’s been no change from that at all. It’s a very very competitive market as it is, we’re expecting it to be as competitive as ever.”


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