SiteMinder is likely the biggest Australian tech company you’ve never heard of. But the $1.1bn hotel booking system unicorn is headed for an IPO – and that will soon change. CMO Mark Renshaw says another attitude adjustment is required when it comes to B2B marketing. He thinks it can teach FMCG old dogs the tricks they need to crack direct-to-consumer. The former Leo Burnett Chief Digital Officer says in-housing is where it’s at – and that media and marketing guns get a far “deeper” business education brand-side. He's bucking the holdco consolidation trend and working with specialists where needed. Meanwhile, Renshaw thinks ANZ’s top talent need no longer head oversees to pick up experience with global giants; the local tech scene provides greater opportunity than taking orders from distant ExCos.
The brainchild of a former stockbroker and Booktopia’s CTO, Australian fintech Superhero has ripped up the start-up playbook and powered to massive millennial and Gen Z growth off the back of out of home and TV - during Covid. When most brands fled the out of home sector last year, Superhero rolled the dice, piled in and launched. It worked. “To create big impact and really reach scale, brand awareness and credibility, fast... digital just is not going to get you there,” says marketing lead Rachel Hopping. With CommSec and the big four banks worried, she and Hardhat’s Dan Monheit talk through the retail investment and superannuation management platform’s next major push. With 12 million-plus Australians to target, the plan is to go large – with an IPO in the offing.
Christian Juhl, Global CEO of the world's biggest ad buying group, says brands want metrics that mean something, and sustainability is top of the agenda. He says quality or 'Q-CPMs' that factor in decarbonisation and sustainability of the media in which ads appear is the next frontier, and will recommend brands do not spend ad budgets with publishers and platforms that fail to align with corporate sustainability goals. Meanwhile, Juhl says transforming GroupM to be "more like a software company" doesn't mean axing staff to match platforms' headcount to revenue ratios, and outlines what incoming ANZ CEO must tackle first in a bid to retake top spot.
The IAB today officially announced Nielsen was out after more than a decade and Ipsos is in as the digital audience currency provider. The Australian market has sidelined its penchant and associated troubles for trailblazing in global digital audience measurement, hoping instead to avoid hard lessons and borrow early learnings from the UK where the Ipsos-owned "Iris" hyrbid audience panel has been operating since the start of this year. The UK's first tip: publisher audiences are likely to drop in the changeover. The new system also sees the local digital industry take first mover advantage in emerging media measurement, readying for a global push by major advertisers to develop a potentially ground-breaking cross media measurement currency. But it may take some time.
Optus VP of Product Development for TV and Content, Clive Dickens, says there are three ways to make a living from content – and display advertising isn't one of them. But subscriptions are the future, and Optus is aiming to take a slice of the tech giants' lunch with an aggregation play. He thinks telcos and media companies are facing the same disruption, but sees light at the end of the tunnel for TV - and points out Singtel, Optus' parent, has 10 per cent of the world's population on its books, with more paying customers than Facebook or Google. So it should be able to weather the storm.
After 20 years offshore leading marketing at Mars, Wrigley and Coke, Anubha Sahasrabuddhe, Consumer & Brand Director at Lion, is back in Australia. While some brands and sectors have metamorphosised into marketing leaders during that time, others have gone backwards, Lion, in some cases, included. She says the 70s wants its stereotypes back and aims to unchain beer to do good – and make good ads. She's channeling New Zealand to recapture Australia's mojo and land with the untapped multicultural masses... and may just take Lion beyond beer.
Consultants have warned of a backlash against the likes of Adobe and Salesforce after over-complex martech integrations have disappointed. But digital agencies execs suggest the onus is on agencies themselves to make the big stacks work – brands need to take a longer term view and not ditch their investments prematurely.
Ampol is back from the dead and should deliver the brand case study of the decade - for better or worse. The iconic, retro-cool Australian brand lay dormant for 26 years but in April kicked off one of the biggest brand revivals in 20 years as it races to beat US giant Chevron after a bust-up over the Australian rights to Caltex it held until last year. Ampol is banking once again on Australian roots over foreign brands for a competitive advantage – in 1936 Ampol was created to counter price gouging from off-shore oil companies. But there's millions of younger customers for which Ampol is mere vapour. Four months in and the Australian thing is working, say Chief Brand Officer Jenny O'Regan, Saatchi & Saatchi’s Anthony Gregorio and Mike Spirkovski and iProspect’s Jason Smith. Here's the latest for an Australian fuel company in the race of its life – literally – against global giants.
As brands, publishers and the digital supply chain grapple with first party data and ways to transact customer and audience data without compromising data, privacy and incoming regulation that will govern both, there is a real risk of repeating the same mistakes. At worst, some 'black box' data and ID solutions risk regulatory non-compliance and pollution of entire data pools, warns Nick Jordan, founder of New York-based data streaming platform Narrative I/O. The former Adobe and Yahoo exec thinks the current crop of alternatives probably won't cut it, but brands and publishers must make a choice – provided they fully understand their data strategy may ultimately be an entirely new business. But he's not convinced that Google will sunset cookies altogether, nor that Apple is entirely altruistic.
Marketing used to be the biggest driver of sales. Today, consumer behaviour is increasingly influenced by trust – which is corporate affairs’ turf. Meanwhile, as environmental and social governance (ESG) becomes a top corporate agenda item, Australian firms are realising just how far behind the world they have fallen. They need smart corporate affairs and comms talent to guide them through major change – problem is, expertise is thin on the ground and Australia's closed borders are exacerbating the crunch. All this as the power shifts from employer to employee: workers want purpose, meaning and flexibility before they will even think about taking the growing number of jobs on offer. Executive search specialist Anna Whitlam, Commtract’s Vanessa Liell and Australian Pork’s Andrew ‘Billy’ Baxter say firms that do not quickly adapt “will just miss out…. And we are already seeing that.”
Sweta Mehra has wasted little time since swapping P&G for ANZ. In four years, the CMO has overhauled marketing, creating a 'federated' approach with units responsible for business results and winning budget-defending executive allies. Now she’s pushing harder into personalisation, building a new market mix modelling approach, driving deep cost efficiencies through in-housing and championing a major upskilling programme, all while rewiring the tech stack to unlock nine digit revenue gains. Now she’s looking for more – can she make customers “fall in love” with ANZ?
Femvertising has failed and marketing is still sexist, the British authors of a new book, Brandsplaining, tell Mi3. Former advertising execs Jane Cunningham and Philippa Roberts say while the overt sexism of the Mad Men era is gone, a new sneaky sexism under the guise of Femvertising and Fempowerment has landed. Cunningham and Roberts explain Brandsplaining and how brands like Dove, Always and Nike have challenged stereotypes and championed women but are still telling women who they should be, not listening to what they actually want. Here's what women want - from brands.