‘This isn’t just going to happen by itself’: Where will the ‘magic’ come from as major CMOs move on?

As the Australian media and marketing industry endures a rapidly changing landscape, some of the country’s biggest marketing names have moved on from their respective companies in the last week alone.

It started when Seven West media confirmed that chief marketing officer Mel Hopkins was named as one of the big-name redundancies last week, followed by the news on Friday that Southern Cross Austereo CMO Nikki Clarkson had also left, after over a decade at the network.

Then, just this week, McDonald’s Australia marketing director Samantha McLeod announced she was leaving the fast-food chain after just ten months in the role.

On a new episode of the Mumbrellacast, editor Neil Griffiths and publisher Adam Lang discussed the movements, which come as media giants – SWM and Nine Entertainment – undergo major staff shake-ups due to the difficult advertising landscape.

Mel Hopkins

“That experience just doesn’t ‘magic up’ exactly, and come from the existing people,” Lang said.

“How do you keep on that trail of brand growth, keep investing in brand growth? Even when you lose this capability, even when the advertising market is challenged, you’ve still got to get your brand growing.”

Griffiths noted that these latest CMO changes include some of the most “reputable” people in the industry and it will be up to these major brands to recreate the marketing magic.

Nikki Clarkson

“You take these very senior thinkers and workers out of the equation and go, ‘Okay, well, how do we reform that?’ This isn’t just going to happen by itself,” Lang added.

“The board and executives need to execute that plan that is going to make sure the brands can continue to grow.

“So, when the brand marketing conversation happens with Southern Cross Austereo’s brand assets or program assets, who are they talking to to execute the creative?

Samantha McLeod

“And the media plan, the communications and public relations plan – how does that all come out? These teams need to reform in a way that’s going to be at least as good as what they were doing before.”

Listen to the full podcast here.


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