How ANZ Institutional banking built its digital marketing capabilities with online education

14 Apr 2020 by Andrew Birmingham

To maintain its strong market position and to build greater engagement with its clients, ANZ bank realised it needed to build the digital marketing capabilities in its team.

According to Trisca Scott-Brannigan, head of marketing, institutional, ANZ, “We wanted to achieve this through an in-house training program that would see all team members progress at the same rate, building stronger team engagement at the same time.”

To do this, the bank adapted the ADMA Digital Marketing course (LINK: to suit it needs, which involved ensuring the content and case studies were applicable to business-to-business marketing, and also ensuring the content was relevant in a financial services environment.”

The bank’s approach during the last year might be instructive for many marketers, not just in terms of building capabilities, but how to do so in an era of social distancing.

The ANZ Institutional Bank serves large institutional customers across the globe and has achieved significant market recognition as the leading institutional bank in Australia and New Zealand.

It is the leading bank for Relationship Quality in Asia according to the Relationship Strength Index in the Peter Lee Associates Large Corporate & Institutional Relationship Banking surveys, Australia 2014-18 and New Zealand 2010-18. It was also rated first in Overall Relationship Quality in the Greenwich Associates Asian Large Corporate Banking studies, 2017-19.

The ANZ Institutional team is primarily made up of senior B2B marketing generalists and event managers who specialise in a particular product or geographical knowledge, and it is distributed across five different locations: Sydney, Melbourne, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore, says Scott-Branagan.

She said, “Due to the physical location of the team, and with a continual focus on cost minimisation that would prohibit flying the team to one location, the bank needed a provider who could deliver a comprehensive virtual in-house classroom training experience.

“It was important for me that the team advanced their knowledge together as opposed to at an individual’s pace. This enabled the team to work together in applying their learnings in real-time on marketing programs they were already working on, and it enabled consistency in the language we used to describe what we were creating in these marketing programs.”

Scott- Branagan shared what learnings the bank took away from their experience including what worked well and what they would do differently next time.

She said, “As with any in-house training course, the number one priority is to ensure the content is tailored and relevant to your team’s needs. Prior to each module, we worked closely with the trainers to ensure content was relevant for us, so there could be quick adaptation.”

Working virtually across geographies and cultures means it’s even more important to ensure everyone is engaged and has a voice, she said. “This requires the balance of teaching new concepts, time for questions, time for workshopping ideas, and then time to further extend your knowledge outside of class.”

These learnings were brought further to life by putting everyone into a cross-geographical team and giving each team a real-life marketing program they then needed to design differently through applying the new techniques they had learned through the course.

“This enabled people who don’t usually work together, a chance to get to know each other better and form stronger working relationships. I was so proud of how they quickly showcased their new founded knowledge in such a collaborative way.” she said.

According to Scott-Branagan, “We also knew it wasn’t going to be practical to take the whole team out of their work to complete a one-week course together. So instead we ran half-day sessions across a number of months.

“This was also helpful in adapting new ideas as we learned them, and was also a great way to keep the team focused on thinking differently about how they designed and delivered their marketing programs.”

Scott-Branagan advises that it is important to think about the “user experience” which includes practical questions like, ‘can everyone in each location see, hear, understand what’s happening?’

She explained, “Having an online tool that the team is familiar with navigating is really helpful to overcome any UX issues. It’s also important that the tool streams content to each individual's computer, and ensures everyone has a video camera so the trainer can see everyone, and we can see each other.”

Luckily the team was already familiar with interacting this way through previous meetings.

“For those teams that don’t typically run virtual meetings, I recommend running a standard team meeting first using the tool, so everyone becomes familiar and comfortable with the tool,” she adds.

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