Change is the only constant.

It’s a theme that permeates through all sectors and for the superannuation industry, it’s certainly not just about regulatory change.

Super Funds and providers are in the midst of transforming their service models for their respective members and clients, which leads me to the session – “The Perils of Misreading Changing Customer Preferences” chaired by our very own, Brian Peters.

Yes, that’s one mouthful of a title, however what a fascinating talk by Tom Armstrong from the New York Times. They had a colossal challenge…changing their business model from print media to digital media. It seems easy from the onset – how hard could it be to create web pages full of content, throw in some ads (lots of ads actually) and voila job done… not exactly.

With news content for free, it was the ads that brought in the revenue and hence the problem that over time digital ads actually generated less revenue with volume and scale at speed leading to inferior customer experience – so how did they turn it around?

The new business model introduced paid subscription however the product “had to be worth paying for” and so the product changed immensely. The news stories essentially came to life with a combination of content and rich video and I have to say – I was digitally engaged.

It made me think of our industry and what we need to re-invent. There’s no doubt the Australian superannuation system is a success story, however, I’m drawn back to my opening line: change is the only constant. For me, it’s “whole-of-retirement” planning and living. That’s the challenge to nail.

Matt Giuliano

Managing Principal