Herefords brings on former MLA marketing chief as CEO to spearhead five-year strategic plan

Former marketing and insights chief is tasked with building out a strategic marketing and member engagement plan and value proposition

Former Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) marketing chief, Lisa Sharp, has taken the CEO reins at Herefords Australia.

Sharp was most recently heading up marketing and insights for the MLA, where she spent five years and was credited as a critical contributor to MLA’s last two, five-year strategic plans. She also brings a wealth of marketing and communications experience across public, private and not-for-profit organisations including Novartis Consumer Health, PZ Cussons and SPC Ardmona.

Sharp is replacing Herefords Australia general manager, Andrew Donoghue, who recently resigned from the beef cattle industry organisation. Herefords Australia chair, Hon. Trish Worth AM, said it was Sharp’s combination of general management, red meat marketing experience, strategy planning and end-to-end perspective across the beef value chain that impressed the board.

“The appointment of Lisa Sharp acknowledges the importance of marketing and promotion to our members,” she stated. “With the herd rebuild underway, now is the time to promote the benefits of Herefords to commercial producers and others in the supply chain.  With several research projects also completed, now is the time to promote the productivity and profitability advantages of Herefords and communication activities that support adoption of research.”

Worth said the task ahead includes understanding what is valued by the various participants and applying this to Hereford’s programs in order to strengthen engagement with members, commercial producers and R&D service providers.  “This engagement is key to the achievement of our growth objectives,” she said.

Sharp will now lead development of Herefords Australia strategic plan and annual business plans.

Herefords confirmed it had developed the Herefords Australia Marketing Committee and would commence work to develop a strategic marketing plan earlier this month.

“The planning process will enable us to better understand triggers and barriers to the breed and critically assess what types of information producers want, need and value as they make breeding and buying decisions,” Sharp said upon confirmation of this news last week.

“The approach will also enable Herefords Australia to establish its marketing and communications priorities, set clear objectives and identify supporting activities.”

The initial stage of planning development is expected to take six months and will see Sharp conduct interviews with various stakeholders in order to better understand how stakeholders see the attributes and benefits of Herefords, how others perceive Herefords and gathering qualitative data on sources of information and influence. The interviews and desktop research will be followed up with a stakeholder workshop to confirm key insights and the implications for the Strategic Marketing Plan.

Several key goals are driving plan including encouraging greater producer awareness and consideration of Herefords to help drive preference and purchase. From there, a value proposition will be devised as well as clear insights into who to target and how.

Sharp officially commences her CEO role with Herefords Australia on 22 February 2021.

“We look forward to welcoming Lisa to Herefords Australia and in doing so, would like to take this opportunity to thank Andrew Donoghue for his service,” Worth added. “Under Andrew’s leadership, we saw successful completion of several important research projects, the launch of Hereford Live, and important changes to the Herefords Australia constitution and governance framework.”

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