26 50

CMO50 2016 #26-50: Christopher Coyne, Crown Resorts

  • Name Christopher Coyne
  • Title Chief marketing officer
  • Company Crown Resorts
  • Commenced role February 2014
  • Reporting Line CEO
  • Member of the Executive Team Yes
  • Marketing Function 125 staff, 6 direct reports
  • Twitter @CoyneCMO
  • Industry Sector Tourism and hospitality
  • 2015 ranking 26-50
  • Related

    Brand Post

    Ongoing development and diversification of Crown’s marketing group is a source of pride for the casino and hotel operator’s chief marketing officer, Christopher Coyne.

    “Part of the development of the Crown marketing department over the last number of years has come from the commitment to defining clear strategy, shaping an appropriate team structure to deliver on the strategy, and from there, working over a period to have the right talents in roles,” he tells CMO.

    “New talent has been directly added from leading universities across Australia, from major companies and brands within Australia and internationally too, with recent new hires from the United Kingdom, Dubai, Sri Lanka, China, Malaysia and Slovenia.”

    Today, the group is stronger than it has been and well set to kick goals into the future, Crown says.

    “We've moved to a centralised, highly engaged and commercially oriented marketing function,” he says. “This transformation has seen the creation of cross-property specialist teams, providing a consolidated skill base and resource pool to react to both the proactive and reactive demands.

    “One such team is focused on modelling the behaviours and profile of our entire customer base to ensure a razor sharp focus on the areas that matter, wherever they may be in the business.”

    From the CMO50 submission

    Empowered business thinking

    Crown started the journey of improving the experience offered to customers on a mobile device back in October 2014, rapidly launching its first mobile app within six weeks. From there, it moved to replatform core websites to ensure they were mobile responsive, future-proofed with technology and highly engaging in content.

    Moving into 2016, Coyne has led a clear project outside of day-to-day marketing to re-evaluate where the group is with mobile. Key questions include: What opportunities are we missing? How can we leverage mobile technology to solve the issues our customers tell us about? How can we use mobile technology to delight customers with new brand experiences?

    The work is being led by Coyne in partnership with the digital marketing team, IT and senior stakeholders from the casino, hotels and restaurants business units.

    “The aim of the program is to identify opportunities for mobile initiatives at Crown and to deliver water-tight business cases to support them – combining customer insight, input from the operational business leaders, technology roadmaps and financial ROI modelling,” he says. “As head of the steering committee, I ensure the right stakeholders are engaged at all levels of the business; c-level through to operational managers. The education and inclusiveness of the project has been core to its success.”

    To date, proposals have been put forward for a suite of mobile apps for customers within Australian resorts, along with new online apps for staff globally. Many of the projects are still in their infancy, and as such, the commercial effectiveness is still to come, Coyne says. “However, the major improvement to date is a cultural shift – something far harder to achieve,” he says.

    “There’s a genuine mindset change within the executive at Crown; the way digital and mobile projects are viewed as an opportunity to modernise and keep Crown relevant is strong.”

    Fostering capability

    Crown marketing has a very clear six-box vision and strategy plan, and Coyne has shaped team structure, roles and responsibilities to deliver on this.

    Every person in the Crown marketing department has a structured 12-month goals and objectives plan, developed at the start of the financial year as part of their review and specific to each person.

    In the last 12 months, Coyne set up a senior leadership team consisting of himself and six of the group’s most senior staff. This group operate as formal and informal mentors for staff, supporting the development of other talents around the department. The senior leadership team also worked on the charter and values output recently launched.

    “This is a guide, created by our staff, for the ways we want to behave and have others behave around us,” Coyne explains. “It also outlines the style and energy we bring to our work. We have also strengthened our relationships with the likes of Facebook and Google to ensure there is a growing partnership offering opportunity for workshops and joint projects which our staff can be a part of, broadening their horizons and developing their skills.”

    Fostering agility

    Marketing agility, meanwhile, has been created by materially improving and integrating three core pillars: People, process and technology.

    From a people perspective, the primary change has been the move from a decentralised, fragmented marketing services department in F14 to the completion of a centralised, highly engaged commercially oriented marketing function in F16. This transformation has seen the creation of cross property specialist teams, providing a consolidated skill base and resource pool to react to both the proactive and reactive demands of the business.

    One such specialist team is focused on customer strategy, modelling the behaviours and profile of our entire customer base to ensure a razor sharp focus on the areas that matter, wherever they may be in the business.

    Process has seen Crown conduct a robust end-to-end review and mapping of activities, process and team integration points. This provides the foundation for the creation of a process blueprint for the department, and a clearly defined ‘new way of working’. This has designed to be agile, balancing proactive ‘business as usual’ tasks with the inherent ability to flex to shorter term reactive events.

    Processes were embedded within a three-month period and saw productivity increase 29 per cent in terms of communications volume from FY15 to FY16, as well as staff engagement increase and error rates fall.

    To react to our dynamic commercial environment, Coyne says the team needs the support of technology, both customer-facing and department supporting. F16 saw a complete digitisation of Crown’s customer-facing loyalty member signup approach, resulting in a 20 per cent increase in new joiners, digital detail acquisition moving from 60 per cent to 98 per cent, and the collection of information at sign up to drive tailored welcome and early life campaigns.

    The way campaigns are executed also changed, with the creation of an analytics and modelling environment linked to Salesforce Marketing Cloud to link analytics to offers to execution.


    The Crown Marketing team works consistently to find new and creative ways to connect with its customers, Coyne says. “We utilise targeting, a customer-centric approach to creative development and an integrated approach to channel selection,” he says.

    An example is the development of the ‘marketing brain’ and automated CRM approach. In the last year, the strategy team has developed a centralised customer database where all forms of customer and platform data are stored and can be used to drive marketing activity. This ‘marketing brain’ is linked into a new communications platform, to enable Crown to use customer data to drive outbound communications.

    “Our aim is to drive the right message, to the right customer, at the right time. We are at the start of a very exciting journey, and have all the foundations in place to drive an outstanding marketing solution that suits all of our customers,” Coyne says.

    “We hire the best creative minds and work with top agencies to ensure we are ahead of the game when it comes to customer communication. We approach all our development and execution with creative thinking, always looking for ways to improve and do things differently.”

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