The Star's first CMO creates all-new marketing team

The Star Entertainment Group overhauls its marketing structure and recruits four senior marketing specialists as part of its unified brand and growth strategy

George Hughes
George Hughes

The Star Entertainment Group’s first CMO has recruited four senior marketing specialists and promoted one longstanding staffer as part of a new-look, unified marketing team focused on driving brand growth nationally.

The fresh-faced marketing function is under the direction of George Hughes, who was appointed CMO seven months ago as part of a strategic investment into building a cohesive and coordinate brand and marketing approach for the group’s three owned and operated properties: The Star Sydney, The Star Gold Coast and Treasury Brisbane.

Hughes told CMO the decision to bring on a chief marketing officer was the first step in recognising the need for a single brand strategy and approach that could realise the organisation’s lifestyle and entertainment ambitions.

Over the next five years, he noted The Star could invest as much as $5 billion into further developing its tourism and entertainments destinations across South East Queensland and Sydney. This made it vital a new marketing structure be put in place that can respond accordingly, elevate the customer, and position the combination of venues and offerings in a way that’s engaging and relevant.

Previously, the emphasis has been on generalist state-based focus and capability. The new-look team see us bringing together specialist, functional expertise and talent both existing within the team as well, as well as that available outside the business across a variety of sectors, Hughes said.

New recruits include Melanie Luque, who joins as general manager of digital marketing. She was previously the marketing director for the 12WBT program created by fitness guru and celebrity, Michelle Bridges.  

Qantas veteran and head of brand and marketing programs, Anthony Cohen, has also come on-board as general manager of brand, sponsorships and PR, after 16 years with the airline carrier.

Marnie Darren, meanwhile, joins in the newly created role of managing partner, creative agency, after 20 years in the advertising and marketing industry. This includes a stint with TBWA in New York working on brands such as H&M Global, Hearts On Fire, Michelin and Pernod Ricard.  

Another external hire is Nick Turner, who has assumed the general manager of commercial marketing (NSW) post after a stint as general manager of consumer marketing and sales at News Corporation. He also has held several senior roles in the FMCG sector at companies such as Nestle and Reckitt Benckiser.

Finally, existing employee, Shalon Lawler, has been appointed general manager of commercial marketing (Queensland) and has worked for The Star for 15 years across planning, managing and executing marketing campaigns.

“These new recruits offer deep functional expertise and strong leadership and the ability to work in matrix environments as well as knowledge of how to work in a 24/7 business,” Hughes said. “It’s about building the future of the business.”

The other key thing about the marketing team is the diversity of thought, expertise and background they provide, Hughes said. It also reflects the combination of internal talent acquisition as well as head hunting used to build out a team that he believed “could get the best out of each other”.

Importantly, all demonstrated clear commercial acumen, Hughes said – something he believed was too often missing from the attributes of modern marketing managers in Australia.

“The second thing is their customer insights approach, which can then be translated through their functional expertise,” he added.

Such a sizeable commitment to marketing takes considerable executive buy-in. Hughes said his appointment as The Star’s first CMO was arguably the first indicator of the group’s willingness to invest in marketing capability. What also helped is having a commercially minded former CFO and now CEO who identified the need to invest for growth, he said.

“We’re fortunate we have an experienced commercial leader who saw the need for this investment, but is also the first to say he’s not a marketer and who looks to bring in expertise,” Hughes said. “To get this this point, we’ve had an ongoing dialogue to first create the strategy, identify, talk about the challenges and then invest to overcome them.”

Check out other Australian businesses reshaping their marketing functions:

 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     

 

 

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

Conversations over a cuppa with CMO: Microsoft's Pip Arthur

​In this latest episode of our conversations over a cuppa with CMO, we catch up with the delightful Pip Arthur, Microsoft Australia's chief marketing officer and communications director, to talk about thinking differently, delivering on B2B connection in the crisis, brand purpose and marketing transformation.

More Videos

Great content and well explained. Everything you need to know about Digital Design, this article has got you covered. You may also check ...

Ryota Miyagi

Why the art of human-centred design has become a vital CX tool

Read more

Interested in virtual events? If you are looking for an amazing virtual booth, this is definitely worth checking https://virtualbooth.ad...

Cecille Pabon

Report: Covid effect sees digital events on the rise long-term

Read more

Thank you so much for sharing such an informative article. It’s really impressive.Click Here & Create Status and share with family

Sanwataram

Predictions: 14 digital marketing predictions for 2021

Read more

Nice!https://www.live-radio-onli...

OmiljeniRadio RadioStanice Uzi

Google+ and Blogger cozy up with new comment system

Read more

Awesome and well written article. The examples and elements are good and valuable for all brand identity designs. Speaking of awesome, ch...

Ryota Miyagi

Why customer trust is more vital to brand survival than it's ever been

Read more

Blog Posts

A Brand for social justice

In 2020, brands did something they’d never done before: They spoke up about race.

Dipanjan Chatterjee and Xiaofeng Wang

VP and principal analyst and senior analyst, Forrester

Determining our Humanity

‘Business as unusual’ is a term my organisation has adopted to describe the professional aftermath of COVID-19 and the rest of the tragic events this year. Social distancing, perspex screens at counters and masks in all manner of situations have introduced us to a world we were never familiar with. But, as we keep being reminded, this is the new normal. This is the world we created. Yet we also have the opportunity to create something else.

Katja Forbes

Managing director of Designit, Australia and New Zealand

Should your business go back to the future?

In times of uncertainty, people gravitate towards the familiar. How can businesses capitalise on this to overcome the recessionary conditions brought on by COVID? Craig Flanders explains.

Craig Flanders

CEO, Spinach

Sign in