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Deep Dive 13 Apr 2021 - 5 min read

CMO Couch, Part One: Suncorp’s Mim Haysom, Aus Post’s Amber Collins on their personal media diet, preferred brands, favourite products and CX - as consumers

By Sam Buckingham-Jones and Paul McIntyre

Suncorp's Mim Haysom (right): "I’m a bit embarrassed by the polar opposites of our answers. One’s a doctor, the other is an alcohol delivery service."

Ask Amber Collins or Mim Haysom to name the best new product or service that’s won them over as a customer or consumer - not a marketer - and it’s podcasts. Ask Mim Haysom about loyalty programs and she admits she’s “a marketer’s worst nightmare”. What do marketers choose and buy as consumers and why? Listen to the podcast and read here for the good oil.   

 

What you need to know:

  • Australia Post's Amber Collins and Suncorp's Mim Haysom talk about the brands and customer experiences they admire, use regularly as consumers 
  • Both CMOs are big fans of podcasts 
  • Aldi, McDonalds, Kmart, Mecca, Nike, Dan Murphys and Amazon are some of the brands feature  - even GPs get a mention for vastly improved experiences through Covid via telehealth.  
  • Both CMOs detail their typical weekly media diet.

“I am every marketer’s worst nightmare, I do everything I can do avoid loyalty programs and handing over my email address, it never influences my choice. It doesn’t resonate with me. I don’t feel I have the time to sift through it, work out what I’m entitled to”

Mim Haysom, CMO, Suncorp

Here's a bit of fun. Last year Mi3 co-produced a video series with LinkedIn and the The Behaviour Institute called - A Show Called Brandin. 

A popular segment in the series was The CMO Couch, where we asked blue chip consumer and B2B marketers not about their business and marketing, customer, tech, media and strategy – but the products, media and company experiences they rated personally as consumers and customers. 

It was meant to be light-hearted and a little insightful fun in the middle of a grinding pandemic – Melbourne was still in hard lockdown at the time.

The 10 CMOs that braved the CMO Couch delivered exactly that.   

In the first CMO Couch episode, which we’re also releasing on the Mi-3 Audio Edition podcast, Mim Haysom and Amber Collins reveal their preferred personal brands, the media they consume and what customer experiences they rate. 

Here’s the abridged Q&A but a tip – the podcast is better and includes a bonus rapid-fire quiz testing what brands first come to mind for these CMOs across space travel, trucks, artificial intelligence, hotel chains, cars and…marketing professors.

Enjoy.

 


What's your typical weekly media diet?


Amber: I’ve got a very simple routine: The Age, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, ABC broadcast and online, and podcasts. I’m not really a big television watcher myself. I sometimes watch a bit of Netflix, or the catchup ABC or SBS.

Mim: I’m podcasts. There’s a little podcast in the morning I love called The Briefing, a 20-minute podcast that gives me all the news headlines. The Australian Financial Review, always. I have a team that send me through all the headlines I need to know about. That works for me. I love the trade mags in media and marketing. They pop into your inbox, to stay on top of what’s happening creatively. I love a bit of Netflix. And I love The Bachelor, I love the cringe factor.


The top brands in your world as a consumer and why?


Mim: If I think about the definition of top brands, I think about what would I feel is a massive gap in my life. Uber, for sure. It’s my go-to when I need to get from A to B. I rely on it a lot. It’s consistent in the platform experience, and Uber Eats – I have two teenage boys – it gets a good run in my house. Netflix, that’s on the TV at home. And I’m a massive cheese eater, and I’ve recently discovered Cheese Therapy. They’re basically a distributor of artisan cheeses from all around the country. You can go online and taste all of these amazing cheeses. It comes on a Friday and is gone by Sunday night.

Amber: I go to the places I spend the most money: Kmart, Chemist Warehouse, Cotton On – I’ve got teenagers. Angostura Bitters, having a beautiful drink at the end of the day. Maldon Salt, having a bit of luxury is quite nice.

“For my top personal brands, I go to the places I spend the most money: Kmart, Chemist Warehouse, Cotton On – I’ve got teenagers.”

Amber Collins, Australia Post CMO


Do loyalty programs influence your behaviour?

Mim: I am every marketer’s worst nightmare, I do everything I can not to hand over my email address, it never influences my choice. I never cash in my points, I’m hopeless with it. It doesn’t resonate with me. I don’t feel I have the time to sit there and sift through it, work out what I’m entitled to. If it happens automatically, on a Qantas or Virgin Frequent Flyers card – fine, but I never do anything with it. It doesn’t influence me.

Amber: I’m very much into loyalty programs. Because I spent a lot of time at Coles with Fly Buys, the team were able to quickly analyse the ecosystem of the loyalty programs. Once you get set up, you get stuff, you get points for doing what you were going to do anyway. You cash them in, and everyone goes on a family holiday. I’m in them.


Most improved customer experience from a company lately?


Mim: In lockdown, Dan Murphys online delivery coming in two hours. They’re very consistent. Like most parents in lockdown, a saviour in lockdown.

Amber: The GPs and the doctors, it’s completely changed the way we interact with them, no more sitting in dodgy waiting rooms with dog-eared magazines for ages. They call when you schedule, it’s all over, instant billing. It’s revolutionised that entire category. They won’t go back to the way they were.

Mim: I’m a bit embarrassed by the polar opposites of our answers. One’s a doctor, the other is an alcohol delivery service.

What’s your best new product or service?


Amber: I love podcasts, I love Audible. In terms of share of my time, it’s taken up a whole new part I used to use reading or doing less interesting things.

Mim: I’ve got the same answer: podcasts. It’s fundamentally changed the way I consume content, and it’s made it so much more accessible for me. We all lead busy lives, but you can be listening while cleaning, driving – or eating cheese and drinking wine. Maybe one other one is Life360, which lets me track my teenage children and know exactly where they are. They might call it stalking, I call it modern parenting.

“Anyone who is thinking about improving their product, how to make it easier for people to buy their product, will do better than others who are naval gazing about logos and things. Get on it and improve what customers care about – the product, the experience and how easy it is to access.”

Amber Collins, Australia Post CMO


Do you love any brand?


Amber: I think I only love one brand, which is John Lewis in the UK. When I go into that store, I think I could meditate, I feel so happy and blissed out by the way they operate and their service. I don’t love many others.

Mim: Love is a massive call. One brand I probably ‘brand love’ is a local fashion retailer called Husk, they do fashion, jewellery and homewares. They have these beautiful stores that are this great sensory experience, and you can stay in there for hours. You leave feeling really spoiled. Interestingly, we’ve both pointed out the in-store experience even though things are gravitating online.

Amber: I think customers want to shop in different ways at different times. People are shopping for entertainment now. It used to be entertainment in stores, now its entertainment online. But people will still want to go to stores – it’s making sure you’re there when they want to be there.


The most creative brand you admire?


Amber: McDonalds, I think they do an exceptional job. If you had asked young people 20 years ago, you would have thought they would’ve faded away with health trends. But they keep on the pace, they’re completely sustainable, they maintain their relevance. I think their advertising is sensational. They’re the brand I most admire when it comes to broad reach brands.

Mim: I love the work that Aldi’s doing, they’re always on brand they’ve got this great irreverence and humour, and they execute it brilliantly and consistently. It’s really cutting through in a generic category. I think they’re doing a great job.


What is the best brand that will deliver sustainable growth?


Mim: You mentioned Jeff Bezos, I think he’s nailing it with Amazon. As a platform business, they just get customer-centricity brilliantly. They innovate relentlessly. He’s always talking about the customer, and I just think as a company they live and breathe that and innovate around it. Their innovation is unsurpassed. Space travel is in there.

Amber: I don’t want to make any crystal balls predictions, I agree with Mim. Anyone who is thinking about improving their product, how to make it easier for people to buy their product, will do better than others who are naval gazing about logos and things. Get on it and improve what customers care about – the product, the experience and how easy it is to access.


What are the brands and companies you admire professionally?


Mim: Nike always does brilliant work. They’re always culturally relevant, they do great creative work, they’ve got brand advocacy and brand loyalty across generations, which is something that’s pretty amazing. Nike is a brand I really admire and I think is doing great work.

Amber: I go to Aldi. I think they’re doing a great job. Amazon as well – so commercial, so customer focused, so competitive. And McDonalds again, killing it as far as I’m concerned.

 

 

What’s the best new business product or service?

Amber: It is a hard one, the only one I can think of is the fantastic backgrounds you can have on Microsoft Teams. No-one can see your rumpled sheets or pyjamas screwed up in the corner. That’s one of the biggest developments for me professionally in the past year.

Mim: What about Xero, which does the accounting platforms for small businesses? They’ve really innovated the way small businesses do all of their accounting

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