CMO50

Announcing the 2018 CMO50

Recognising Australia's innovative and most effective marketing leaders

Brought to you by Adobe

CMO50 2018

  • 1

    Lisa Ronson

    Tourism Australia

    Chief marketing officer

    Learn more
  • 2

    Martine Jager

    Westpac

    Chief digital and marketing officer

    Learn more
  • 3

    Susan Massasso

    The a2 Milk Company

    Global chief marketing officer

    Learn more
  • 4

    Leisa Bacon

    ABC

    Director of audience and marketing

    Learn more
  • 5

    Nick Reynolds

    Lenovo

    Chief marketing officer, Asia-Pacific (promoted in June to global head of digital, Web and social)

    Learn more
  • 6

    Ric Navarro

    Norman Disney & Young

    Global director, marketing and communications

    Learn more
  • 7

    Brent Smart

    IAG

    Chief marketing officer

    Learn more
  • 8

    Steve Brennen

    Uber

    Director of marketing

    Learn more
  • 9

    Damian Young

    Chobani

    General manager, marketing

    Learn more
  • 10

    David McNeil

    Campbell Arnott's

    Vice president, marketing – APAC and global expansion

    Learn more
  • 11

    Richard Oppy

    Carlton & United Breweries (owned by ABInBev)

    Marketing director

    Learn more
  • 12

    Sweta Mehra

    ANZ

    CMO and head of research and analytics

    Learn more
  • 13

    Jonathan Kerr

    Auto & General (Budget Direct)

    Director, marketing and digital

    Learn more
  • 14

    Paul Connell

    Unilever

    Refreshments GM and marketing director

    Learn more
  • 15

    Mohit Bhargava

    Village Entertainment

    General manager, marketing and sales

    Learn more
  • 16

    Teresa Sperti

    World Vision Australia

    Chief marketing, data and product officer

    Learn more
  • 17

    Monique Macleod

    Commonwealth Bank of Australia

    Chief marketing officer

    Learn more
  • 18

    Tamara Howe

    Kellogg Australia

    Marketing director A/NZ

    Learn more
  • 19

    Anthony Lieu

    LegalVision

    Head of marketing

    Learn more
  • 20

    Cambell Holt

    Mercer

    Chief customer officer

    Learn more
  • 21

    Brent Hill

    South Australian Tourism Commission

    Executive director of marketing

    Learn more
  • 22

    Michael Laxton

    Fairfax Media

    Chief marketing officer

    Learn more
  • 23

    Alison Levins

    Mars Wrigley Confectionery Company

    Marketing director

    Learn more
  • 24

    Dean Chadwick

    Virgin Velocity

    Chief marketing officer

    Learn more
  • 25

    Yves Calmette

    World Wild Fund for Nature (WWF Australia)

    Chief marketing officer

    Learn more

26 - 50 (In alphabetical order)

  • Catherine Anderson

    Powershop Australia

    Chief customer officer

    Learn more
  • Jayne Andrews

    Carnival Cruise Line, Australia

    Director of marketing

    Learn more
  • Pip Arthur

    Microsoft Australia

    CMO and communications director

    Learn more
  • Mark Baartse

    Showpo

    Chief marketing officer

    Learn more
  • Pamela Cass

    VMware

    VP marketing, Asia-Pacific and Japan

    Learn more
  • Kieren Cooney

    REA Group

    Chief marketing and content officer

    Learn more
  • Renee Davidson

    RACQ

    General manager, marketing and digital

    Learn more
  • Melanie De Souza

    Visit Victoria

    General manager, digital, marketing services and strategy

    Learn more
  • Ryan Gracie

    Catch Group

    Chief marketing officer

    Learn more
  • Suzanne Harman

    Simplot Australia

    General manager, marketing

    Learn more
  • Tim Hodgson

    Invictus Games Sydney, 2018 (Australia International Military Games)

    Chief commercial and marketing officer

    Learn more
  • Everard Hunder

    Monash IVF Group

    ​General manager, marketing

    Learn more
  • Amanda Johnston-Pell

    IBM

    Chief marketing officer

    Learn more
  • Kate Massey

    JCurve

    Chief marketing officer

    Learn more
  • Adriane McDermott

    Seafolly

    Head of marketing

    Learn more
  • Alexander Meyer

    The Iconic

    Chief marketing officer

    Learn more
  • Nicole Papoutsis

    Genea

    Head of marketing and brand

    Learn more
  • Jane Power

    BUPA

    Chief marketing and customer officer

    Learn more
  • Ingrid Purcell

    ME Bank

    Chief experience officer

    Learn more
  • Neil Ridgway

    Rip Curl

    Chief brand and marketing officer

    Learn more
  • Rebecca Shears

    OFX

    Chief marketing officer

    Learn more
  • Renae Smith

    AIA Australia

    Chief marketing officer

    Learn more
  • Anand Surujpal

    Patties Foods

    General manager, marketing and innovation

    Learn more
  • Ben Wilks

    Volkswagen Group Australia

    General manager, marketing and product

    Learn more

Ones to Watch (In alphabetical order)

  • George Hughes

    The Star Entertainment Group

    Chief marketing officer

    Learn more
  • Caroline Patrick

    Radio Rentals Group

    National GM, marketing and customer insights

    Learn more
  • Caroline Ruddick

    Latitude Financial

    General manager, marketing

    Learn more
  • Chris Taylor

    National Heart Foundation

    Chief marketing officer

    Learn more
1
Lisa Ronson Chief marketing officer Tourism Australia
2
Martine Jager Chief digital and marketing officer Westpac
3
Susan Massasso Global chief marketing officer The a2 Milk Company
4
Leisa Bacon Director of audience and marketing ABC
5
Nick Reynolds Chief marketing officer, Asia-Pacific (promoted in June to global head of digital, Web and social) Lenovo
6
Ric Navarro Global director, marketing and communications Norman Disney & Young
7
Brent Smart Chief marketing officer IAG
8
Steve Brennen Director of marketing Uber
9
Damian Young General manager, marketing Chobani
10
David McNeil Vice president, marketing – APAC and global expansion Campbell Arnott's
11
Richard Oppy Marketing director Carlton & United Breweries (owned by ABInBev)
12
Sweta Mehra CMO and head of research and analytics ANZ
13
Jonathan Kerr Director, marketing and digital Auto & General (Budget Direct)
14
Paul Connell Refreshments GM and marketing director Unilever
15
Mohit Bhargava General manager, marketing and sales Village Entertainment
16
Teresa Sperti Chief marketing, data and product officer World Vision Australia
17
Monique Macleod Chief marketing officer Commonwealth Bank of Australia
18
Tamara Howe Marketing director A/NZ Kellogg Australia
19
Anthony Lieu Head of marketing LegalVision
20
Cambell Holt Chief customer officer Mercer
21
Brent Hill Executive director of marketing South Australian Tourism Commission
22
Michael Laxton Chief marketing officer Fairfax Media
23
Alison Levins Marketing director Mars Wrigley Confectionery Company
24
Dean Chadwick Chief marketing officer Virgin Velocity
25
Yves Calmette Chief marketing officer World Wild Fund for Nature (WWF Australia)

26 - 50 (In alphabetical order)

Catherine AndersonChief customer officerPowershop Australia
Jayne AndrewsDirector of marketingCarnival Cruise Line, Australia
Pip ArthurCMO and communications directorMicrosoft Australia
Mark BaartseChief marketing officerShowpo
Pamela CassVP marketing, Asia-Pacific and JapanVMware
Kieren CooneyChief marketing and content officerREA Group
Renee DavidsonGeneral manager, marketing and digitalRACQ
Melanie De SouzaGeneral manager, digital, marketing services and strategyVisit Victoria
Ryan GracieChief marketing officerCatch Group
Suzanne HarmanGeneral manager, marketingSimplot Australia
Tim HodgsonChief commercial and marketing officerInvictus Games Sydney, 2018 (Australia International Military Games)
Everard Hunder​General manager, marketingMonash IVF Group
Amanda Johnston-PellChief marketing officerIBM
Kate MasseyChief marketing officerJCurve
Adriane McDermottHead of marketingSeafolly
Alexander MeyerChief marketing officerThe Iconic
Tasman PageMarketing directorMenulog
Nicole PapoutsisHead of marketing and brandGenea
Jane PowerChief marketing and customer officerBUPA
Ingrid PurcellChief experience officerME Bank
Neil RidgwayChief brand and marketing officerRip Curl
Rebecca ShearsChief marketing officerOFX
Renae SmithChief marketing officerAIA Australia
Anand SurujpalGeneral manager, marketing and innovationPatties Foods
Ben WilksGeneral manager, marketing and productVolkswagen Group Australia

Ones to watch (In alphabetical order)

George Hughes Chief marketing officer The Star Entertainment Group
Caroline Patrick National GM, marketing and customer insights Radio Rentals Group
Caroline Ruddick General manager, marketing Latitude Financial
Chris Taylor Chief marketing officer National Heart Foundation

A BRAVE NEW WORLD

Being bold isn’t the only thing modern CMOs must do – they’re also required to put that courage to the test, as this year’s CMO50 list highlights. NADIA CAMERON reports



If there’s one big lesson to take away from this year’s CMO50 list, it’s this: Marketers must have the courage of their convictions to survive in their jobs.

If there’s a second, it’s building solid foundations inside and outside the marketing function is absolutely vital for not only seeing those convictions through, but doing the job with aplomb.

It’s the fourth edition of CMO’s list of Australia’s most innovative and effective marketers. During that time, it’s become evident the marketing leader’s remit is the widest it’s ever been. Experimentation in the function hasn’t shown any signs of slowing, either. This year’s listees boast responsibility for everything from ecommerce and digital capability to customer experience functions, service, innovation, technology, diversity and inclusion, international business planning, and cross-functional ways of working.

What’s also clear is just how much hard work, skill, adaptability and sheer resilience goes into finding and demonstrating success as a CMO today. Equally, judges applauded a growing distinction between strategic and commercial marketing leaders who wield substantial influence and power across their organisations, and traditional operators.

Former tier-one brand CMO and now consultant, David Morgan, was impressed by the demonstrable strategic leadership and thinking behind submissions presented to CMO50 judges this year.

There’s less campaign and more customer focus, for one, and questionnaires overflowed with compelling customer-focused initiatives and activities in the last 12 months.

“We’re also seeing more generals in our top 10 and they’re operating in a different way to how marketing has operated in the past,” Morgan said during the judges meeting.

Of particular note for Morgan was Tourism Australia’s Lisa Ronson, who arguably “bet the mortgage” executing the big ‘Dundee’ US campaign; and The a2 Milk Company’s Susan Massasso, who in five years has transformed the way marketing contributes as the business goes after global growth.

COMMERCIAL APTITUDE

Former Telstra and Virgin marketer, Inese Kingsmill, saw plenty of commendable examples of direct commercial responsibility and ownership across the CMO50, with marketers using data and results to secure a greater presence in the boardroom and at an executive level. She believed accountability was a big theme to come out from submissions, from the smallest to largest organisations represented.

It’s worth pointing out 93 per cent of this year’s list are members of their organisation’s executive leadership team, up from 84 per cent in 2017, and just shy of eight in 10 report directly to the CEO/MD.

“I was impressed with how many are directly reporting to the CEO. By doing so, you can make much more impact with closer proximity,” Kingsmill said.

Former CMO, board member and consultant, John Batistich, was equally struck with the shift CMOs are making into a voice of leadership, attributing this partly to greater consumer demand on organisations today. “The CMO is a big role in transformation,” he said.

What came out strongly for former Seven West Media sales director and fellow judge, Adam Elliott, was just how quickly things are moving. “That pace of change inspired me,” he said.

“CMOs are orchestrating major changes in their businesses. I can’t think of another time that’s happened in the last five or 10 years.”

Former Coca-Cola marketing director, Lisa Winn, cited a difference between marketing chiefs with vision versus those that lack strategic insight.

“There are lots of conversations around bringing in voice of the customer, and bringing capabilities in-house. There’s also increasing focus on ROI and shifting from articulating quantity to quality, which is harder,” she said. “CMOs are actively trying to measure their efforts. The ones standing out had figured what it is that’s important to measure for their business. That might be brand momentum, not NPS.

“The flip side is digitisation and being driven by short-term metrics. It was those combining results who stood out. There’s still a lot of confusion around what to measure.”

Professional board executive and former CMO, Georgie Williams, noted the focus on linking functions, initiatives, data and technology across the organisation, claiming CMOs are getting better at it every year.

“At the top end of town, it’s obvious strategic thinking is key, while at the bottom end of our industry, it’s more about advertising, not wider marketing. The top of the list are influencing the products, services and offers, and have a real seat at the table,” she said.

Brand purpose is an example, and a number of individuals pointed to work being undertaken to build their organisation’s credentials in a customer context. Zuni managing director, Mike Zeederberg, highlighted how much this was helping elevate the role of the CMO as well as marketing as a growth contributor. He also cited marketing’s strengthening role in product and innovation, and efforts to bring customer insight and thinking into what products should be.

Of course there were plenty of buzzwords in submissions this year, from agility to marketing and advertising tech talk, to design thinking and customer centricity. The best CMOs didn’t just put the martech stack in, invest in a channel or adopt a framework, they could articulate why they’d done it. Importantly, they demonstrated strong operating cadences as a result.

“What’s OK versus not OK to use is a question increasingly being raised too, and those leading the way are using good planning and strategy to decide this,” Williams said.

CMO TENURE

But while the CMO50 is arguably about inspiring success stories, the very real issue of CMO tenure needs to be addressed.

This year there are 29 new entrants on the list. It’s a number partly attributable to wider knowledge of and increasing appreciation for the job the CMO50 is doing to showcase the credibility and professional standing of marketing today.

But it’s also a reflection of how quickly CMOs are leaving their roles.

Of those who secured a placed in 2017, 22 have left the roles they were listed for. The good news is three gained internal promotions, earning either operation-level or global responsibility. Yet similarly, this year’s State of the CMO survey found average tenure of the CMO sitting at two years and 10 months. A number of other reports suggest tenure is shrinking globally.

Notably, the 2018 CMO50 list boasts a higher tenure on average – three years and seven months. Importantly, if you look at total tenure based on organisation rather than job function, the average across this year’s leaders sits well over five years.

As Batistich put it, it takes time to build plans, take others with you on the journey and deliver sustainable results. This year’s CMO50 clearly demonstrate how longevity pays much bigger dividends. It was this willingness to stick it out and eat what they cooked which judges this year were keen to reward.

As leaders of change, CMOs are in the hot seat for demonstrating adaptability and resiliency. This year’s listees have made huge strides building these attributes across their functions as well as their wider businesses. And it’s arguably by seeing change through the CMO50 have proven their mettle the most.