We’re living in an age of unprecedented change. We experience with Oculus Rift, invest with Acorns, consume video through Hyper, tune into Pandora and navigate with Waze.
CMO’s ongoing series of marketing leadership profiles has been a key part of our editorial offering this year. Singularly, they present some great insights into different industry sectors and approaches; yet combined, these profiles highlight both the diversity of talent locally and globally, as well as the similar challenges faced by CMOs as marketing undergoes its biggest transformation ever.
Here, we round-up our top 10 CMO profiles for 2016.
When Steven Overman first joined Kodak two years ago as CMO, he went on a fact finding mission and consulted several industry mentors to ask them what they would do in his shoes. The response? Find Kodak’s next hero product.
“Kodak as a brand is almost part of human heritage, I’m the steward of its next chapter, so I asked them: What would you do in my shoes?” he tells CMO. “A legend in the advertising industry, who shall remain nameless, said he would identify a product that could be an icon of what Kodak stands for, that only Kodak can deliver, then develop, offer and learn from it.”
Like many of his Australian marketing leadership peers, Bupa’s marketing director, John Moore, is on a mission to up his brand’s customer experience game. And to do this, he believes a CMO must become the ultimate internal communicator.
“Most of my job is not talking externally, I have a team managing that and doing it well,” he tells CMO. “If you’re an experiential, service-led brand, at least 30-40 per cent of what you do in marketing is designed to talk to your people, as those are the ones ultimately delivering your experience.
“We as marketers are now spending a lot of time driving experience. The thing is, there’s no point getting consideration if it then turns to shit. You’ve wasted a truckload of money. That’s the key piece - focusing on the experience.”
Tatts Group CMO, Megan Magill, has a great working relationship with her CIO counterpart. It’s a circumstance she puts down partly to business conditions, partly to the transformation remit set by her CEO, Robbie Cooke, but mostly, to common interests.
These interests revolve around two key areas of transformation for the wagering, gaming and lotteries group: Customer engagement, and data utilisation.
“As a group, we’re going through a real period of change,” she says. “Mandy [Ross, Tatts Group CIO] came across to the business the same time as I did, and we were both looking at our respective areas and what needed to change, so we’re in a similar space and mindset.
“We also have some similar challenges – when we were identifying key things to work on first, these were areas where there’s a lot of crossover. How to open up opportunities thanks to the change coming through the group is important to both of us, for instance.”
There are plenty of shiny new digital and technology breakthroughs on offer to brands today looking for an edge, and Domino’s is using lots of them.
In just the last 12 months, the company has launched dozens of new technology fuelled offerings, stretching from a geo-location based customer tracking service, called On Time Cooking, to zero-click and SMS ordering and the world’s first commercial autonomous delivery vehicle, named DRU. These “disruptive digital initiatives” saw Domino’s chalk up a
record double-digit increase in network sales to $1.96 billion for the year to 3 July 2016, alongside a 43.6 per cent rise in net profits.
But its CMO, Allan Collins, says such innovations are only worthwhile to Domino’s if they help the organisation be a better food company and serve its customers. “It’s not tech for tech’s sake, it’s about how to make consumers’ lives easier,” he says.
“Of course there’s the behind-the-scenes stuff – such as how we increase the speed of data – but I’m more focused on the consumer side. It’s about what tension we are removing for the consumer. We all go through those negative moments when we’re interacting with a brand. They’re not that hard to identify, so for us, it’s about looking at those tensions and removing them using technology.”
Macquarie Banking and Financial Services Group chief digital officer, Luis Uguina, considers himself the “chief trouble making officer” of the c-suite. His ultimate responsibility, he says, is to challenge old ways of working and foster a culture that embraces customer experience in its core vision, agility as its mantra, and failure as a step towards success.
“In five years, perhaps my title won’t have ‘digital’ in the middle, because we’ll be doing things in a different way,” he says. “But you’re always going to need a role in the company that’s challenging the way you do things and the vision you have for delivering product.”
Nestle is celebrating 150 years as a global brand this year. It’s an anniversary that has the whole marketing team reflecting on the iconic food and beverage products, as well as advertising campaigns, that have resonated with consumers for so long. For Nestle’s Australian director, marketing and communications, Therese Kallie, it’s also been an opportunity to gauge how marketing as a function and discipline has changed.
“There was a time when we you had to be big – you could dominate the airways if you had enough money and an interesting idea,” she says. “Today, for us, it’s about staying relevant, finding those places to be relevant, and adding as much value as possible.”
Most Australian organisations are on a quest to become customer led, and Tabcorp is no different.
Recently appointed CMO, Claire Murphy, says the implications for marketing are no less dramatic. Since March, she has been overseeing a restructure of the marketing function from decentralised silos supported by a customer, data and analytics team, to a centralised and strategic function with a seat at the executive table and a vision to deliver value.
“As an organisation, this business has been very astute to recognise that the winner will be the organisation that focuses on customer,” she says. “In order to do that, we need to place the customer at the leadership table, advocate for customer and create marketing strategies with a base in customer insight. This is a business in transformation.”
Today’s customers expect brands to deliver more authentic marketing messages that connect and resonate with them, says Kellogg’s Australia marketing director, Tamara Howe.
In order to adapt to today’s changing consumer needs, while continuing its mission to surprise and delight, Howe says the masterbrand has been working hard to revamp marketing campaigns around several of its iconic cereal lines this year.
“I’ve been at Kellogg now for over 13 years and the thing that really excites me is the brand and the company’s belief in solving problems for consumers and shoppers,” she tells CMO. “I know it’s probably an old and overused expression, but breakfast is the most important meal of the day and we cater to the nutrition and
Two things ring true for Domain’s chief editorial and marketing officer, Melina Cruickshank, when it comes to being a modern marketing leader. The first is the capacity to work closely with product and technology functions.
“They are moving so quickly, you need to stick close to ensure you’re getting your messages out to consumers well enough,” she tells CMO.
The second is an ability to communicate with and inspire your team. “Because things are moving so fast, you need to bring them with you and make them believe,” Cruickshank says.
According to Guzman Y Gomez CMO, Anna Jones, marketers must strive to own two key areas of business strategy if they’re to truly succeed. The first is brand purpose and vision.
“Marketers are the ones thinking through not just what customers want, but the future of categories and where we can take brands,” the fast food chain’s marketing chief says. “The business and strategy need to come out of this purpose and view.”
She admits it’s not always an easy thing to do. “Often, businesses that have been running for years are too scared to take a stand in one direction or the other, or there are just too many points of view,” she continues. “But as a marketer, you have to fight for that, otherwise everything you do will be compromised because it’s not going to be clear to consumers who you are as a brand.”