CMO’s top 18 stories for 2018

We present the most read articles across the CMO site for 2018, a list that covers transformation, consumer trust, brand safety and more

The digitisation and transformation of marketing, power of the personal, building and retaining customer trust, and striving for online retail relevancy are just some of the big themes to dominate the news this year.

CMO has put together a list of the top 18 marketing stories across our platform for 2018, a story selection that highlights the technology, trends and turnaround that drove marketers to new heights over the past year and pave the way for even more shake-up in 2019.

8 digital marketing predictions for 2018

The age of customer centricity has clearly arrived, as our annual list of digital marketing predictions for 2018 made plain. Topping the list of trends was brands realising mobile’s role in delivering next-generation customer experience, with smartphones becoming the role of ‘central conductor’ across broader digital experiences, followed by the need to re-establish consumer trust.

The emergence of artificial intelligence and machine learning as well as the inevitable trough of tech disillusionment were also among our comprehensive list.

Binet: Digital has skewed marketers too far into sales-driven advertising

B2C marketers have skewed too far towards activation-based advertising in the face of digital and should reset the balance firmly towards brand building if they want to build growth.

That’s the belief of Adam & Eve DDB head of effectiveness, Les Binet, one of the gurus of advertising effectiveness, who has spent many years producing thoughtful research on the subject partnership with Peter Field, a fellow UK-based marketing expert. His latest findings and more are covered in this report.

Alibaba: New Retail model goes beyond e-commerce

Alibaba has a vision for the future of retail where there is no distinction between online and offline shopping, and the customer experience is enhanced by augmented reality, artificial intelligence (AI) and facial recognition.

To get there, Alibaba is pioneering its ‘New Retail’ model and striving to go beyond e-commerce, instead building an ecosystem of digital services that can be tapped into by consumers, sellers, service providers and content providers. We detail the retailer’s plans here.

Announcing the CMO50 for 2018

It was Tourism Australia’s CMO, Lisa Ronson, who took out top honours in the 2018 CMO50 list of Australia’s most innovative and effective marketers. Ronson’s journey with the tourism body is a true CMO evolution story, and one that reflects the importance of marketing chiefs building solid foundations inside and outside the marketing function to do their job with aplomb.

The CMO50 annual list recognises Australia’s most innovative and effective chief marketing officers driving impact within their organisation. The program is sponsored by Adobe. Now in its fourth year, the list reflects those 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.

Why SAP Hybris’ new president thinks the company can take on Salesforce

In this exclusive Australian interview, the enterprise vendor's global president talks about winning the CX technology war, the blurring marketing, sales and service lines, and how he is positioning SAP to address the holistic customer experience management needs of the modern enterprise, from digital portal to operational back-end.

How cryptocurrency is set to change the customer loyalty program model

Cryptocurrency is the biggest game-changer to hit customer loyalty programs since the introduction of frequent flyer points more than 30 years ago.

That at least is the view of LoyaltyX CEO and customer loyalty expert, Philip Shelper, who has just completed a trial in partnership with the University of NSW that saw students and staff earning cryptocurrency instead of points in return for day-to-day purchases with merchants across the campus. The pilot was just the first of many instances of blockchain coming into the marketing, CX and advertising space – expect plenty more in 2019.

Branded CEO: The power of the personal

Utilising the personal brand of your CEO is a strategy that can pay off handsomely for an organisation. Just look at Boost Juice’s Janine Allis, or Aussie’s John Symonds.

But equally, it’s one that is also fraught with dangers for both the brand and the individual. We look at the potential and the pitfalls.

How Lego infuses social media marketing with play

Lego is a brand synonymous with play. So it is perhaps not surprising to hear senior global director at Lego Group, Lars Silberbauer, uses similar language when referring to his own job.

Silberbauer manages initiatives for Lego Group across all third-party social media platforms, in a role he has built up from scratch since joining seven years ago. “We want to be always testing out whatever new creative tools that Instagram or the others are coming up with,” he tells CMO. “We want to learn from it, we want to try it out, we want to play around with it like we were kids who just got new toys.”

Kmart turnaround chief to exit Wesfarmers, Target

Wesfarmers star Department Stores Division leader, Guy Russo, announced his retirement from his position as CEO overseeing both Kmart and Target. The news came as the company announced its FY2018 annual report.

Russo has been the instrumental figure orchestrating the successful turnaround of the Kmart business over the last 10 years, work that then saw him appointed managing director of Target after the group united both brands in a Department Stores Division in February 2016.

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

Brand trust as an ‘insurance policy’ against future issues is not a new concept. Most organisations know trust bestowed by the consumer can not only make or break a business, it can also ensure you survive a problem in the future.

But few achieve brand trust adequately, preferring to pay lip service rather than delve into what it really means: Authentically caring about customers and their needs. We look at what it takes to build modern consumer trust.

How Sport Australia plans to build out a new national sporting agenda

The launch of the Australian Government’s Sport 2030 plan, new-look national sporting body, Sport Australia, and fresh marketing and community creative platform, 'Move It', are all part of an ambitious agenda to make Australia the most active sporting nation in the world.

We talk to the marketing team and CMO, Louise Eyres, about the new nation-wide campaign and how it will encourage more Australians to become physically active.

Medibank to give back $20m to customers and launch new loyalty program

In yet another article reflective the importance of building customer trust and value,  Medibank announces it will give $20 million back to customers as part of a one-off loyalty bonus coinciding with the launch of its new Priority program for long-standing members.

How Sportsgirl is striving to retain relevance with modern female consumers

It’s 70 years since Sportsgirl opened its doors in Australia. And in all that time, its core demographic – the 16-24 year-old transitioning from girlhood to womanhood – has remained constant, national marketing manager, Kate Rees, says.

Of course, what has changed is the ways and means by which the fashion retailer communicates with its target customer base, understands her, and meets her evolving needs. Here’s a look at what Sportsgirl is doing to keep up.

Social media, out-of-home, drone delivery: Behind Guzman Y Gomez's marketing strategy

Guzman Y Gomez’s agile approach to marketing and its strong growth trajectory has seen the brand chalk up a significant social media wins, trial Google drones food delivery and now invest in its biggest out-of-home campaign ever.

The fast food brand’s CMO, Lara Thom, tells CMO the execution of its award-winning campaign, #bringcalhome, stemmed from the brand’s clear purpose and voice, as well as a robust social media-led approach to customer engagement. It’s now earnt the brand Best Marketing Campaign at the recent QSR Media Awards.

How GlamCorner used digital marketing to go from startup to multi-million dollar business

The relatively small step of undertaking programmatic, data-driven, content-curated email marketing delivery has made a big difference to fashion rental company, GlamCorner.

According to co-founder and CEO, Dean Jones, making an investment in email automation to provide a better and more personalised customer experience saw the channel’s contribution to revenue lift from 3 per cent last year to 8 per cent this year. Read about that and more digital marketing innovation here.

CMO interview: How Schneider Electric’s global marketing chief is tackling industrial-scale transformation and IoT

Schneider Electric global CMO, Chris Leong, doesn’t think there are two CMOs that hold the same role across organisations, or even within the same company over a given period of time.

“Your company goes through different missions at any particular point in time. I believe I’m writing different chapters in my role. Even if I have a five-year transformation order, I would populate things differently and move the yard stick at different speeds,” she says. “This is important because we don’t live in a Schneider bubble, we live in a world where we have competitors, investors, customers, partners, the media.”

Amazon Prime Day fizzles yet retailer expects membership growth

In its first Prime Day sale to include Australia, the online retail behemoth experienced 'technical glitches', as well as some disappointed Australian consumers, sparking the twitter hashtag, #PrimeDayFail.

Yet despite the initial hiccups, Amazon was still hoping for record Prime Day sales and sign-ups to Prime memberships.

The big lessons for marketers in the wake of Facebook/Cambridge Analytica data leak

News that more than 50 million Facebook user profiles were leaked to controversial political data analytics provider, Cambridge Analytica, should serve as a hefty warning to marketers on the importance of transparency with consumers about how their information is used, and more stringent governance practices around access, and usage.

That was the word from the industry street after Facebook coming under heavy fire for one of the biggest data leaks in the social media giant’s history. The group banned controversial data analytics provider, Cambridge Analytica, and its parent company, Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL) from the platform and launched an investigation into both after the massive data breach, but the implications for Facebook – and the industry – have grown so much bigger.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook:, or check us out on   

Join the newsletter!


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

More Videos

More Brand Posts

Blog Posts

Marketing prowess versus the enigma of the metaverse

Flash back to the classic film, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Television-obsessed Mike insists on becoming the first person to be ‘sent by Wonkavision’, dematerialising on one end, pixel by pixel, and materialising in another space. His cinematic dreams are realised thanks to rash decisions as he is shrunken down to fit the digital universe, followed by a trip to the taffy puller to return to normal size.

Liz Miller

VP, Constellation Research

Why Excellent Leadership Begins with Vertical Growth

Why is it there is no shortage of leadership development materials, yet outstanding leadership is so rare? Despite having access to so many leadership principles, tools, systems and processes, why is it so hard to develop and improve as a leader?

Michael Bunting

Author, leadership expert

More than money talks in sports sponsorship

As a nation united by sport, brands are beginning to learn money alone won’t talk without aligned values and action. If recent events with major leagues and their players have shown us anything, it’s the next generation of athletes are standing by what they believe in – and they won’t let their values be superseded by money.

Simone Waugh

Managing Director, Publicis Queensland

Sign in