CMO50

2020 list revealed!

Recognising Australia's innovative and most effective marketing leaders

Brought to you by Adobe

CMO50 2020

  • 1

    Leisa Bacon

    ABC

    Director of audiences

    Learn more
  • 2

    Alexander Meyer

    The Iconic

    Chief marketing officer

    Learn more
  • 3

    Melissa Hopkins

    Optus

    Chief marketing officer

    Learn more
  • 4

    Brent Smart

    IAG

    Chief marketing officer

    Learn more
  • 5

    Jeremy Nicholas

    Telstra

    Chief marketing officer

    Learn more
  • 6

    Sweta Mehra

    ANZ

    Chief marketing officer

    Learn more
  • 7

    Martine Jager

    Westpac Group

    Chief digital and marketing officer

    Learn more
  • 8

    Jonathan Kerr

    Auto & General (Budget Direct)

    Chief marketing and delivery officer

    Learn more
  • 9

    Joel Goodsir

    Inspirations Paint

    Head of marketing

    Learn more
  • 10

    Andrew Hicks

    Woolworths Group

    Chief marketing officer

    Learn more
  • 11

    Mim Haysom

    Suncorp Group

    EGM brand and marketing

    Learn more
  • 12

    Susan Massasso

    The a2 Milk Company

    Chief brand and growth officer

    Learn more
  • 13

    Michael Branagh

    Tourism and Events Queensland

    Executive director, global marketing

    Learn more
  • 14

    Lara Thom

    Guzman y Gomez

    Global chief marketing officer

    Learn more
  • 15

    Melina Cruickshank

    REA Group

    Chief audience and marketing officer

    Learn more
  • 16

    Matt Fletcher

    Fitness First Australia

    Head of marketing

    Learn more
  • 17

    Martin Brown

    Nestle Australia

    Director – eBusiness, strategy and marketing, Nestlé Oceania

    Learn more
  • 18

    Nikki Warburton

    Audi Australia

    Chief customer and marketing officer

    Learn more
  • 19

    Natalie Ashes

    GraysOnline

    Head of marketing and ecommerce

    Learn more
  • 20

    Josh Grace

    Samsung Australia

    Chief marketing officer

    Learn more
  • 21

    Monique Macleod

    Commonwealth Bank

    Chief marketing officer

    Learn more
  • 22

    Chris Taylor

    National Heart Foundation

    Chief marketing officer

    Learn more
  • 23

    Ryan Gracie

    Catch Group

    Chief marketing officer

    Learn more
  • 24

    Allan Collins

    Domino’s

    Chief marketing officer A/NZ

    Learn more
  • 25

    Brent Hill

    South Australia Tourism Commission

    Executive director of marketing

    Learn more

26 - 50 (In alphabetical order)

  • Vivianne Arnold

    Hudson Global Resources

    Chief marketing officer, Asia Pacific

    Learn more
  • Pip Arthur

    Microsoft

    Chief marketing officer and communications director

    Learn more
  • Caroline Bonpain

    De'Longhi

    Marketing director A/NZ

    Learn more
  • Josie Brown

    Tennis Australia

    Chief marketing and insights officer

    Learn more
  • Bianca Bryson

    International Justice Mission Australia

    Chief marketing and partnerships officer

    Learn more
  • Yves Calmette

    World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF)

    Chief marketing officer

    Learn more
  • Simon Cheng

    Menulog

    Chief marketing officer

    Learn more
  • Nikki Clarkson

    Southern Cross Austereo

    Chief marketing and communications officer

    Learn more
  • Susan Coghill

    Tourism Australia

    Chief marketing officer

    Learn more
  • Kellie Cordner

    Carsales

    Chief marketing officer

    Learn more
  • Emily Dowling

    Mars Pet Nutrition Australia

    Marketing director

    Learn more
  • Aisling Finch

    Google

    Director of marketing A/NZ

    Learn more
  • Anny Havercroft

    Verizon Media ANZ

    Director, brand innovation and marketing

    Learn more
  • Anthony Lieu

    LegalVision

    Head of marketing

    Learn more
  • Fabian Marrone

    Monash University

    Chief marketing officer

    Learn more
  • Daniel McDermott

    Mimecast

    Marketing director A/NZ

    Learn more
  • Nicole McInnes

    WW (formerly Weight Watchers)

    Marketing and commercial director A/NZ

    Learn more
  • Tony Quarmby

    Northern Territory
Tourism

    Executive general manager, marketing

    Learn more
  • Chaminda Ranasinghe

    RMIT University

    Chief marketing officer

    Learn more
  • Suzana Ristevski

    National Australia Bank

    Executive, group marketing

    Learn more
  • Natalie Sarich-Dayton

    Brownes Dairy

    Director sales and marketing

    Learn more
  • Mike Scott

    Sweat

    Chief brand and marketing officer

    Learn more
  • Stuart Tucker

    hipages

    Chief customer officer

    Learn more
  • Luke Waldren

    Tabcorp

    EGM marketing, customer and product

    Learn more
  • Darryn Wallace

    Lion Dairy & Drinks

    Marketing and innovation director

    Learn more

Ones to Watch (In alphabetical order)

  • Julia Edwards-Smith

    McMillan Shakespeare Group

    Group executive, marketing and digital

    Learn more
  • Renee Garner

    amaysim

    Chief marketing officer

    Learn more
  • Jason Olive

    Movember Australia

    Marketing director

    Learn more
  • Victoria Primrose

    Aurora Expeditions

    Global head of marketing

    Learn more
1
Leisa Bacon Director of audiences ABC
2
Alexander Meyer Chief marketing officer The Iconic
3
Melissa Hopkins Chief marketing officer Optus
4
Brent Smart Chief marketing officer IAG
5
Jeremy Nicholas Chief marketing officer Telstra
6
Sweta Mehra Chief marketing officer ANZ
7
Martine Jager Chief digital and marketing officer Westpac Group
8
Jonathan Kerr Chief marketing and delivery officer Auto & General (Budget Direct)
9
Joel Goodsir Head of marketing Inspirations Paint
10
Andrew Hicks Chief marketing officer Woolworths Group
11
Mim Haysom EGM brand and marketing Suncorp Group
12
Susan Massasso Chief brand and growth officer The a2 Milk Company
13
Michael Branagh Executive director, global marketing Tourism and Events Queensland
14
Lara Thom Global chief marketing officer Guzman y Gomez
15
Melina Cruickshank Chief audience and marketing officer REA Group
16
Matt Fletcher Head of marketing Fitness First Australia
17
Martin Brown Director – eBusiness, strategy and marketing, Nestlé Oceania Nestle Australia
18
Nikki Warburton Chief customer and marketing officer Audi Australia
19
Natalie Ashes Head of marketing and ecommerce GraysOnline
20
Josh Grace Chief marketing officer Samsung Australia
21
Monique Macleod Chief marketing officer Commonwealth Bank
22
Chris Taylor Chief marketing officer National Heart Foundation
23
Ryan Gracie Chief marketing officer Catch Group
24
Allan Collins Chief marketing officer A/NZ Domino’s
25
Brent Hill Executive director of marketing South Australia Tourism Commission

26 - 50 (In alphabetical order)

Vivianne ArnoldChief marketing officer, Asia PacificHudson Global Resources
Pip ArthurChief marketing officer and communications directorMicrosoft
Caroline BonpainMarketing director A/NZDe'Longhi
Josie BrownChief marketing and insights officerTennis Australia
Bianca BrysonChief marketing and partnerships officerInternational Justice Mission Australia
Yves CalmetteChief marketing officerWorld Wide Fund For Nature (WWF)
Simon ChengChief marketing officerMenulog
Nikki ClarksonChief marketing and communications officerSouthern Cross Austereo
Susan CoghillChief marketing officerTourism Australia
Kellie CordnerChief marketing officerCarsales
Emily DowlingMarketing directorMars Pet Nutrition Australia
Aisling FinchDirector of marketing A/NZGoogle
Anny HavercroftDirector, brand innovation and marketingVerizon Media ANZ
Anthony LieuHead of marketingLegalVision
Fabian MarroneChief marketing officerMonash University
Daniel McDermottMarketing director A/NZMimecast
Nicole McInnesMarketing and commercial director A/NZWW (formerly Weight Watchers)
Tony QuarmbyExecutive general manager, marketingNorthern Territory
Tourism
Chaminda RanasingheChief marketing officerRMIT University
Suzana RistevskiExecutive, group marketingNational Australia Bank
Natalie Sarich-DaytonDirector sales and marketingBrownes Dairy
Mike ScottChief brand and marketing officerSweat
Stuart TuckerChief customer officerhipages
Luke WaldrenEGM marketing, customer and productTabcorp
Darryn WallaceMarketing and innovation directorLion Dairy & Drinks

Ones to watch (In alphabetical order)

Julia Edwards-Smith Group executive, marketing and digital McMillan Shakespeare Group
Renee Garner Chief marketing officer amaysim
Jason Olive Marketing director Movember Australia
Victoria Primrose Global head of marketing Aurora Expeditions

The very essence of marketing

The battle lines between creative, brand-led marketing and CX, data-driven marketing have been drawn for some time and were in the spotlight during this year’s CMO50 judging. Nadia Cameron reports



There was a serious, earnest tone to the bulk of the CMO50 submissions this year. That’s not surprising given the crises we’ve had to navigate in this unfathomable of years – from devastating bushfires to a global COVID-19 pandemic and the health, economic and societal tsunamis created in its wake.

But also lying at the heart of the CMO50 this year was one of the most important questions our profession is still working to answer: Just what exactly does modern marketing even mean?

The industry has been debating the battle between creative, reach-driven, brand-led marketing on the one hand and data and technology fuelled, customer engagement-oriented, performance-driven marketing on the other, for quite some time now. If this year’s CMO50 submissions are any indication, that battle is still raging.

Yet there’s also growing consensus the very best CMOs will find a way to do both, and that one can’t ultimately exist without the other.

It’s the sixth year of the CMO50, an annual program recognising the work done by Australia’s most effective and innovative marketing leaders. In this year of the unprecedented global COVID-19 pandemic, being effective and innovative took on very different meanings depending on the category and products and services you happen to be marketing.

As to COVID responses, several consistent approaches shone through. For one, smart marketers took the opportunity to snap up cheaper media such as TV to push brand messaging, asking for and securing additional media budget in order to take advantage of growing numbers of consumers turning on the TV in their locked down homes.

Google search data and social platforms were also clearly popular ways to keep a frequent pulse on what consumers were seeking. Others relied on quick pulse surveys, market research offerings and if they were set up for it, first-party data such as voice of customer or online usage patterns.

It was also clearly a time for brand building and fostering a strong sense of engagement with existing customers. Initially, this approach largely meant crisis communications and messages of support, safety and trust and turning off overt sales messaging. If you happened to be working for a business that didn’t already have digital engagement or commerce channels down pat, it was a time for rapid digital product, service or functional capability delivery. For those with the foundations in place, rapid acceleration ensued as consumers and businesses digitised at breakneck speed.

But as the crisis progressed, more marketers recognised they were better off differentiating through the very brand purposes they’ve been working so hard to build buy-in around. A good chunk of this year’s CMO50 shared programs of work pursuing brand purpose frameworks, development and collaboration over the past year.

Then there was the elevation of emotional IQ. Almost all CMO50 nominees talked about the resiliency and adaptability demonstrated by teams throughout the crisis. The great leaders invested

significant time and effort into caring for the holistic wellbeing of their teams. Everything from walking challenges and virtual trivia to standups, town halls, one-to-one check-ins and Wellness Wednesdays was on the list.

But outside of the adaptability, resilience and ability for marketing teams to see the COVID environment as a glass half-full was the much bigger question for judges this year: Just how are we judging the modern CMO?

Non-executive director, former CMO and CMO50 judge, John Batistich, pointed to the diverse role scope represented through submissions this year, and an increase in marketers demonstrating complete product control.

“It’s very noticeable who has control and is influencing product in their organisations,” he commented in response to their impact. Batistich also pointed to heightened focus on purpose than in previous years – a side effect of the COVID crisis and bushfires but clearly something CMOs have had their hearts set on developing well before the pandemic hit. It’s work buying them influence across the organisation.

Batistich, along with several other judges including former Coca-Cola marketing chief and marketing strategist, Lisa Winn, noted continued elevation and maturity of digital and technology skills. There remains a gap between those who are investing and operating digital programs at a tactical level versus those who’ve strategically employed these tools for marketing success, Winn said.

“We saw more examples of strong digital and measurement, brand, insights and big idea thinking coming together more. That level of maturity was good to see,” she said.

Judges also agreed CMO50 contenders showed true resiliency in the face of COVID, levelling up to the challenges and work that needed to be done with a sense of optimism. “You could sense some wanted to embrace this change and saw it as an opportunity to take things in a new direction,” Winn said. “It’s good to see that positive approach to the challenges coming through.”

Yet the very essence of the CMO role was ultimately challenging for judges to arrive at this year. Experienced marketing leader and founder of Macmorgan, David Morgan, described a clear delineation between “those of a CX with martech skills and performance metrics bent, versus those driven by brand development”.

“Then there’s those few who are bringing both these sides together,” Morgan said. “There was definitely more emphasis on the CX and personalisation programs of work this year, and then the brand focused work. Many still see these two things as separate.”

That leads us to the burning question: What do we call marketing now? And which of these should be in the remit, versus in someone else’s? “Is it all about brand management, and therefore not critical to commerce; or CX, and learning to be more commerce oriented?” Morgan asked.

While the answer is both, we haven’t yet arrived at an ideal balance of the two. If this year’s list is anything to go by though, we’re getting closer.

Meanwhile, judges noted less prevalence this year of ‘big bold bets’. Instead, submissions were dominated by examples of connectivity, commerce and gaining consensus first and foremost.

There’s also an ongoing quest to earn a place at the executive leadership table. For some judges, CMOs still have a way to go before they connect the dots on their work and driving commercial

impact. Many are still shaped by sales over profit outcomes, former CMO and non-executive director, Michele Teague commented.

Former marketing and partner for 100 Percent Partners, Michele Phillips, agreed truly earning that seat requires greater effort linking to commercials that matter to the board, such as shareholder returns. “We want to see more of that from CMOs to ensure they play a vital role on the ELT and in driving business focus,” she said.

KPMG adviser and adjunct professor of marketing at the University of Sydney, Andrew Baxter, also pointed to the divide between sophisticated users of data versus those still doing customer journey mapping for the first time. In all of this, he advised marketers to be wary of the “balance of human and digital” as they work to mature in both areas.

“But we are seeing that sense of leadership coming through. It felt there was a more holistic mentality of leaning in to running the company and enacting change on the employee and culture, which is edifying,” Baxter added.