Revealing the CMO50 list for 2017

We present the 50 most innovative and effective CMOs in Australia

Gambling, broadcasting and aviation have taken top three honours in this year’s third-annual CMO50 list.

The CMO50 annual list is aimed at recognising Australia’s 50 most innovative Chief Marketing Officers driving business impact within their organisation. This year’s program is brought to readers by our exclusive sponsor, Adobe.

Now in its third year, this annual list recognises those leading the marketing function who are demonstrating innovative, strategic thinking, driving business change and commercial success, showcasing modern marketing leadership, and enabling greater collaboration and better customer engagement as a result.

This year’s top spot was secured by Sportsbet chief commercial officer, Barni Evans, making his third appearance in the list managing a team of 185 staff. Evans highlighted three trends that have transformed marketing over the past three years: Personalisation, automation and social.

“On the personalisation side, we have a vision of creating a unique experience for every customer,” he told CMO, adding that as a pure-play online business, Sportsbet has the ability to tap into more than 260 million digital transactions per year. “We know who they are, and therefore what they like. If we’re smart, we should be able to provide them with what they’re interested in.”

Initiatives helping his team include elevating the analytics team to report to the CEO and introducing a specific personalisation team; investing in technology infrastructure to help automate tailored interactions; putting Sportsbet’s trading functions at the centre of the organisational workflow and harnessing social, Evans said.

Second on this year’s CMO50 list is ABC director of audiences, Leisa Bacon, who recently gained responsibility for the broadcaster’s wider audiences team consisting of service design and user experience, local and international audience strategy and digital prioritisation. Among her achievements are turning the ABC’s ‘War on Waste’ program into a socially impactful movement that has changed consumer attitudes.

In third position this year is Qantas CMO, Stephanie Tully, one of many in the CMO50 to have gravitated to marketing from a non-marketing professional background. With the increased commercial and data-driven bent, as well as growing remit of marketers today, Tully suggested “marketing is more exciting for it”.

The full list of CMO50 for 2017 is now available online: View the full profiles of all of our CMO here.

Across the top 10, marketing chiefs represented a range of industry sectors, from education to insurance, financial services, IT, entertainment and retail. Across the wider 50, there was also a mix of industry as well as size of marketing function, with the majority of entrants managing teams of 50 to 100 staff (29 per cent).

A significant takeaway from this year’s list was just how wide the marketer’s sphere of influence is becoming. Growing responsibility could be seen across digital product and strategy, customer experience, sales and innovation, and nominees this year painted marketers as collaborations, from customer service to HR, IT, sales, finance, digital, innovation and even legal.

Overall, the 2017 CMO50 received a record amount of entries, and 28 of those listed in the 2017 CMO50 are new entrants. Notably, 74 per cent report directly to the CEO, up from 56 per cent across our 2016 list. This year’s CMO50 list was defined by a 12-strong judging panel, details of which can be found here.

To celebrate, more than 80 of the cream of Australia’s leadership crop attended a gala CMO50 dinner in Sydney on 19 October to recognise the achievements of their peers as well as hear from this year’s top 10 marketing leaders.

First pictures from our CMO50 event are now up online.

And check out our who's who slideshow too

You can find the full list, along with detailed profiles of this year’s most innovative and effective CMOs, in our dedicated CMO50 portal.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu

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