Innovation and big data take centre stage during CMO panel

Chief marketing and brand officers from key Australian brand discuss how they're approaching innovation and big data during the AANA's Connect event

Innovation and big data are dominant drivers in how today’s marketers interact with customers and require a business-wide focus and long-term commitment, according to several representatives from Australia’s biggest brands.

Coping with key industry issues like big data, innovation, content generation and leadership took centre stage during a panel at this year’s Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) Connect event. The session was led by the general manager of relationship agency TrinityP3, Nathan Hodges, and featured four brand chiefs from Lion, Subaru, Westpac and Ferrero Australia.

Lion brand director of premium and international brands, Ben Slocombe, said the alcohol producer is committed to innovation and recently moved away from a project-based innovation team in order to embrace innovation as part of its culture. The company has identified eight key innovation platforms that are both expandable and repeatable across the business, stretching from recruiting new adults into the business, to making sure older groups of customers don’t exit specific product categories. Lion has eight employees aligned to these platforms.

“These [innovation platforms] are based on the category drivers we have qualified and give us the ability to innovate continually,” Slocombe said.

At Ferrero Australia, marketing director Yannick Durand, said it is fostering innovation across the whole team through its 70/20/10 business model, where 10 per cent of resource is allocated to innovating.

One innovation to come out of that was an online store for its Ferrero Rocher brand, which would enable it to tap into consumers not captured in its regular retail environments.

“Innovation is not something that is a fad; innovation stays,” Durand continued. “The 70 per cent of our model, which is more traditional marketing, is also moving very fast thanks to content demand and the increase in channels.”

At Subaru, innovation is often tied to meeting challenges and hardships as a smaller player in the automotive sector, its general manager of marketing, Andrew Caie, explained. One new way the company is thinking outside the square is by establishing a relationship with Cycling Australia, where it produces new communication channels and provides support to help grow the sport. At the same time, these initiatives give Subaru a platform to reach more potential customers it couldn’t do against bigger brands in traditional advertising media.

For Westpac’s head of digital marketing, Bryan Meredith, innovation is led by customer interaction. “It’s about fulfilling our customers’ expectations and leading them to where we want to go,” he said.

There are plenty of challenges to innovation too, including costs and time to market, balance and short-term thinking, panellists said.

“You have to prioritise enough time to see the results,” Bannick added. “Clearer measurement will also help the business to change.”

On the big data front, Westpac is building a range of initiatives based on increasing volumes of customer data and insight, and Meredith was excited by the opportunities it presented to better interact with customers. However he stressed the importance of looking at how you’ll act on any results from the data first.

“You need to understand what you are going to do with the customer when you get there,” he told the AANA audience. “Often, businesses are in danger of spending a lot of time on a big data solution that does little for you.”

Durand agreed big data analytics offered brands more ability to become more relevant to customers. “The more we have, the more important it is to know which questions to ask and to tap into the intuition of the business,” he said. “We could spend our whole budgets on data… but it’s about aligning this to the right questions to drive the brand.

“Making sense of and telling stories with the data is critical.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia or take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia.

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Getting your business ready for the Entrepreneurial Consumer

We all know the digital revolution has completely transformed the way consumers are interacting with brands, and that a lot of businesses are finding it hard to catch up. One way to closing this brand gap is to understand consumer behaviour and build a brand experience that meets these new needs.

Pip Stocks

CEO and founder, BrandHook

Brand management starts with management

As the world continues to grow and evolve, it’s more important than ever to build a strong brand that articulates your message clearly and consistently, stands out against the noise, and develops relevance with the people that matter. This makes managing your brand a key component to gaining cut-through and ultimately business success.

Dan Ratner

managing director, Uberbrand

Disrupting marketing as we know it

Call it digital disruption or the fourth industrial revolution, our rapidly evolving environment is affecting consumer perceptions, purchase behaviours and the way they consume information and products.

Jean-Luc Ambrosi

Author, marketer

Very interesting article which touches on the importance of a feedback loop fuelled by customer and market insights. Ideally this scenari...

Andrew Reid

Building customer insights in the data and digital age

Read more

Very very good piece- very novel and innovative and very possibly- effective - way to look at one's communication headlines!

Patrick Dsouza

Should your disclaimer become your headline? - Brand science - CMO Australia

Read more

Excellent post Rob, Mobile app users are growing day by day. Everyday lots of apps are launched in the market but not every app retains t...

Marcus Miller

Why app engagement must be personalised - Mobile strategy - CMO Australia

Read more

very informative blog. I really like the information given in this blog.http://gng.com.au/

Gajanand Choudhary

The evolving role of the CMO - The CMO view - CMO Australia

Read more

It is true That’s the new read following up Deloitte Digital's Digital disruption - Short Fuse, blowup analysis series, that appearance t...

miller645645@mail.ru

Digital disruption about to impact health, education sectors

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in