26 50

CMO50 2016 #26-50: Simon Marton

  • Name Simon Marton
  • Title Chief marketing officer
  • Company Treasury Wine Estates
  • Commenced role November 2013
  • Reporting Line CEO
  • Member of the Executive Team Yes
  • Marketing Function 120 staff, 8 direct reports
  • Industry Sector Wine making
  • 2015 ranking 26-50
  • Related

    Brand Post

    Data-led customer insights have become a cornerstone of modern marketing. At Australian-based wine production giant, Treasury Wine Estates, the use of data in go-to-market efforts is exemplified in work done over the past year to launch the 19 Crimes brand in the US.

    19 Crimes is a new Australian wine brand targeted at the millennial male with a smooth, easy drinking red wine and non-traditional brand concept, TWE’s CMO, Simon Marton, explains. Building this brand franchise, and its fast growth, are the digital campaigns implemented to drive engagement.

    In partnership with JWT/Mirum, TWE used insights derived from social and digital campaigns to directly target consumers with content and partnerships.

    “These have built saliency and been a catalyst for expanded distribution in the US, and led to interest in 19 Crimes from other markets,” he says.

    From the CMO50 submission

    Innovative marketing

    Penfolds is one of the world’s most coveted wine brands, so launch events are important campaigns in the calendar. A huge decision was made in 2015 to move the highly anticipated global release of The Penfolds Collection 2015, led by flagship product, Grange, to Shanghai. This was the first time in history the global launch took place outside of Australia.

    Marton says it was an important strategic move, supported by significant investment across public relations, digital marketing and social media throughout China.

    The showcase event included a collaboration with the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, Australian conductor, David Hirschfelder and actor, Russell Crowe, and resulted in a creative masterpiece that captured and engaged the imagination of influencers in Shanghai and beyond, he says, adding the results of the launch from a brand, social and commercial perspective were phenomenal and reflected in TWE’s half-year results.

    Another major program launch led by Marton in the past year was for Magill Cellar 3 Barrel. For the first time in Penfolds’ 172-year history, a rare wine barrel release was created for discerning wine connoisseurs and private collectors to purchase and monitor their own barrel housed in Cellar 3, Magill, South Australia.

    The Magill Cellar 3 program reflects the heritage and craftsmanship of Penfolds winemaking, Marton says. The program has unlocked unprecedented access to an otherwise concealed world, where Penfolds lovers are afforded access to behind-the- scenes winemaking, tastings and culture, building advocacy and loyalty.

    Customer-led approach

    In Australia, TWE is working towards a ‘Category Captain’ position in wine in conjunction with major retail and on-premise partners, Marton says.

    “Wine is traditionally seen as a production led category with little acceptance of FMCG principles or category-led thinking,” he says. “Our business had shifted focus in the past two years to invest in fewer, bigger and better marketing campaigns against brands that we see as priorities for driving growth for our business, and wine lovers are at the heart of this approach.”

    Additionally, joint business planning with key customers ensures the team is focused on strategies that will drive growth for customers as well as the TWE business.

    Data- and technology-led approach

    An example of digital in action, meanwhile, can be found in the global launch of Wynnsday, a now industry recognised benchmark live online tasting. To celebrate and educate consumers around the Wynns 2015 Collection wines, a tasting was conducted in Melbourne via a panel consisting of the Wynns winemaking team and globally renowned critic, James Halliday.

    The tasting attracted viewers from right across the world including Australia, Hong Kong, US, Italy, Germany, France and the UK and Ireland, with an average view time of 55 minutes. In total, almost 40,000 people were reached via the live broadcast and Facebook highlights reel.

    “Not only do we now have rich video content that can be drawn upon, but also a concept that can be adapted globally each year to reach new audiences that may not be involved in our more ‘traditional’ Wynnsday events,” Marton says.

    Fostering capability

    This year, Marton has led the team to develop a marketing capability program. Created by TWE’s best and brightest talent, with support from agency partners, the bespoke program is about delivering powerful global wine brand activities at scale.

    Most importantly, Marton says TWE now has a tool that brings consumer and shopper thinking together with strategy. And the results to date? Better thinking, better planning, better briefs, better work, less waste and most importantly better, more efficient results.

    All of this comes off the back of Marton’s decision to initiate a move to a global marketing agency partner model in 2015.

    “The truly global nature of this relationship means that as a business we can move swiftly to ‘lift and shift’ ideas across the globe, resulting in more streamlined, consistent communications,” he says, noting the seamless rollout of global launches for Wolf Blass, Lindemans and Penfolds to date.


    One of the ways Marton ensures creative ideas and executions are put through their paces is through a fortnightly ‘Global Hot House’. This sees senior TWE stakeholders and its agency partner, JWT, reviewing the quality of creative development from beginning to end.

    Marton says it’s also developed an internal ‘reality check’ program, designed to keep creative accountable to internal and external benchmarks.

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