CMO50 Awards: Why It’s Not Enough To Seem, Leaders Need To Be

by Suzanne Steele

posted on 10-18-2018

The experience makers behind Australia’s leading brands are navigating one of the most mature markets in the Asia Pacific region. They face fierce competition from local and international players that are transforming their digital strategies and customer experiences at unseen rates. And all this at a time when consumer expectations are sky high.

To make a brand stand out with consumers today, organisations need to deliver something truly special that surpasses their expectations.

Adobe has again sponsored the annual CMO50 Awards, an event that recognises the best in the business when it comes to marketing innovation and success. To have a seat at this table, CMO’s need insights, commitment, and a desire to truly transform. Those awarded in the CMO50 list in 2018 are the champions of innovation, exploring new technology and new thinking to reinvent themselves for their customers year after year.

Lisa Ronson, Tourism Australia’s Chief Marketing Officer, is one of these champions and took first place on the CMO50 list in 2018. Lisa led Tourism Australia on a journey to their first ever Super Bowl advertisement to target lucrative US audiences. Initiating campaigns at the Super Bowl is a bold attempt for any brand, especially when it comes at a cost of $36 million. But Lisa was able to use a data driven strategy to sell ‘Dundee’ to her executive board and push her team to create an experience that left a lasting impression with audiences.

The campaign results speak for themselves: the most viewed, searched and shared Super Bowl ad of 2018, with $846 million in incremental tourism expenditure added to the Australian economy. Find out more on the production, delivery and success of this campaign from Tourism Australia’s keynote at Adobe Symposium.

Martine Jager, Chief Digital and Marketing Officer at Westpac, is another example of someone that pushed boundaries within their business to discover outstanding results. Steering Australia’s oldest bank through its 200th year, Martine wanted to build Westpac’s reputation and started at the brand’s roots. Celebrate, appreciate, and innovate was the mantra behind Westpac’s largest ever number of marketing-led initiatives, including:

Each initiative drove thousands of individuals and businesses to open new Westpac accounts. But for this marketer, two of the most outstanding results were improved employee satisfaction scores and a 45% increase in positive customer sentiment towards the Westpac brand. For any player in the financial services industry today, results that reflect community building and trust are highly prized – and explain why Martine took an impressive second place in this year’s CMO50 list.

Leadership in marketing demands collaboration across business teams and keeping a clear view as your marketing functions diversify – two skills that Leisa Bacon has also shown in spades. As ABC’s Director of Audience and Marketing, Leisa has built a leadership program for management and unified the ABC brand across the company’s multiple outlets on TV, radio and online.

From ABC’s website and various podcast series to key televised programs, Leisa is ensuring ABC’s values of trust and quality content are shining through – and it’s working. The ABC is now moving almost 50% of audiences across different parts of its digital ecosystem.

What we’ve learnt is that experience makers today must organise their business around the right technologies and the right talent. CMOs need to embrace a more agile structure where teams can self-govern, self-innovate, and fail freely, hitting the “reset” button as much as they like, as long as they’re learning. We’ve also learnt that to drive innovation from the inside out, marketing leaders need to enhance their emotional intelligence while understanding, interpreting, and acting on the nuances tied to high performance.

Adobe is fortunate enough to partner with many of the leaders profiled in the 2018 CMO50 list. We appreciate their accomplishments but also the inspiration, creative thinking, and bold, innovative ideas they constantly bring to the table. And we are empowering these leaders to create, evolve and, now, deliver high-class experiences to their customers. Customers who, clearly, can’t get enough.

Topics: News, Digital Transformation, Career Advice