8 Star Energy's first CMO outlines plans for global growth
- 11 January, 2021 07:35
Launching key new products into fresh territories, setting out and implementing an overarching brand strategy and building digital customer touchpoints are just some of the priorities 8 Star Energy’s first chief marketing officer has in her sights.
Diana Di Cecco was appointed to the clean energy company in late 2020 and has a dual reporting line to CEO, Clark McKeon, and company founder, Julian Sweeney. She brings with her more than 20 years’ experience in marketing and operations both as a marketing consultant and internal marketing chief, working across companies such as Goodyear and Dunlop Tyres, Nando’s, Specsavers, The Good Guys, Network Seven, McDonalds and Genuine Parts Company APAC.
8 Star Energy was founded in 2018 and provides renewable energy products for residential, commercial and industrial sectors in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the United Kingdom. The group is a licensee for several Energizer and Eveready renewable power and energy storage products and is working on a photovoltaic ecosystem proposition.
Di Cecco told CMO she was attracted to the future growth industry of renewables and clean energy and expressed excited about the opportunity to pursue the group’s purpose.
In fact, one her lessons for other marketers is to be mindful of businesses who ‘project’ and fail to walk the talk.
“They’re inefficient, they fuel internal politics and take all your good chi. Don’t waste time in organisations like that,” she advised.
The newly created CMO position is global and focuses on developing a structured and strategic approach to marketing. Di Cecco noted work is underway on 8 Star Energy’s overarching strategy and putting an implementation plan in place. The Group is planning to expand on its launch markets of Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the United Kingdom in the next 12 months.
“The team have been extremely busy preparing the business for its next steps and so we’re taking the opportunity to ensure our strategy is en pointe for each market,” Di Cecco explained. Work has also kicked off on developing integrated marketing communications for 8 Star Energy and its associated brands, most importantly to prepare for the launches of Eveready and Energizer products due for release in March and June, respectively.
Other items on Di Cecco’s priority list include launching 8 Star Energy’s website and social media platforms and developing market segmentation. The name of the game is building brand equity through acquisition and sustainable business growth, she said. In addition, the role sees Di Cecco a key member of the team managing the Eveready and Energizer licensee partnerships.
“There comes a time when you realise you need a special set of skills to get certain things done and so, we knew it was time to hire a CMO,” McKeon told CMO.
“We are thrilled to have Diana on-board. She was the right choice as there are wonderful synergies between her background and our business, not to mention her intense passion for the renewable energy space. We weren’t really sure what the executive market for top marketers looked like, but we were overwhelmed with the response to the ad. In fact, Diana was one of over 100.
“Diana was earmarked with high potential from her screening and continued with an energetic spirit that backed her professionalism throughout the interview process – she had a great story about choosing the right candidate and that they should have an ‘X-factor’, and that’s exactly what she had. It was a very tough decision but also one of the most important ones we will make in our business.”
Another learning that’ll shape Di Cecco’s approach to the 8 Star Energy posting is “collaborating whenever you can”. “A solution is always considerably improved when it has had more than one lens and a variety of inputs,” she said.
“Make sure you like or respect people you work with and for – they make up your ‘work family’ and you often spend more time with them than your actual family. Don’t be afraid to care, always remember their birthdays and don’t sweat the small stuff.”
While CMOs don’t need to be aficionados, they also need a genuine interest in the industry they’re working in, Di Cecco continued. “It will make every day 3 per cent more fun,” she said.
Lastly, Di Cecco highlighted the need to always be learning. She recently undertook a company director’s course and is in the process of completing a Master of Digital Law at Monash University.
“No industry is stagnant and marketing techniques, in particular, evolve constantly. Make it your business to be on the front foot and seek to acquire the skills you need to be at the top of your game,” she added.
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