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Marketing Mavericks was a supplement in the latest mag, featuring some of Australia’s most daring and bold marketers. Today, we’re bringing you Telstra’s CMO, Jeremy Nicholas.
Former ad-man turned marketing maverick, Jeremy started his career agency-side and was once in the driving seat of BMF as its CEO. However, when a marketing role came knocking, it was an offer he couldn’t turn down. Spending some time at Visa in the US as head of global and VP of global product marketing, he has since returned to his home in Australia, taking on the role of chief brand officer at Telstra.
My switch from agency to brand side came from recognising I was at a stage in my life where I needed change, but not just any change, I wanted a big shift. Visa called me out of the blue to head up its global product marketing arm and I jumped at the chance. And then when I was contacted about the job at Telstra, I knew I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to come home to Australia, while also staying in the field of technology.
What makes me a marketing maverick? I focus on trying to do the best work I can do and trying to grow the company. It’s interesting to me that’s the view from the outside. It’s not something you set out to do. I think one of the key things you try to do in marketing is make a difference and stand out. If that’s perceived as being a maverick, then so be it!
When people ask if marketing is harder these days, I say the fundamental principles haven’t changed. What’s changed is how you execute it, how you communicate that with a diversity of media channels and the ability to personalise things. I actually think it’s much more fun nowadays.
My favourite campaign I’ve worked on at Telstra would be “You don’t need Australia’s best network… until you do”. Historically, Telstra has done a lot of rational ads around network messaging (our network is three times faster and such) but we’ve now actually invested a lot into the emotional benefit that the network brings. And using that line, I think that campaign over time has been able to show a really broad church of Australian society and what connects us all.
Best party trick?
Bad dancing and being the last one left to leave.
One thing your colleagues do that irritates you?
Probably the excessive use of jargon, which strips away the actual meaning of what we’re trying to say!
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