Winners don’t wait for chances, they take them

When it comes to our industry, we all want to connect and keep up-to-speed with the latest. As part of this, we’d like to introduce you to some of your fellow inspiring Marketers doing big things.

We recently caught up with the 2019 Special Award winners to find out what they are up to.

FABIAN MARRONE, Chief Marketing Officer, Monash University

2019 Chief Marketing Officer of  the Year

Where are you now? 

I’m still the CMO at Monash. Due to some recent changes I now also look after campus experience and major events and student communications. This means that now all audience communications sit within my portfolio.

We’re continuing to push the boundaries in personalisation and automation with some major releases across our channels scheduled for mid-year.

We’re also working on a major global thought leadership project that we think is category breaking.

How has winning the award impacted you?

The award validated the trajectory we are on. A career highlight, the award gave me a real confidence boost and a reference point when making difficult decisions to have faith in my personal capability and strength of our team and their skills.

You submitted a blog at the time; 2 years on do you have a response or any additional thoughts to add to this?

It’s always interesting reading something from the past. We have propelled in the areas of CX, fast tracked our transformation project and in the meantime dealt with COVID. In fact the alignment of our brand to our core values and impact was further validated by our COVID response. The University has put the community at the heart of every decision in its response to the global fight against COVID – committing research capability and adapting its education and support for its students. As a testament to this dedication from the Monash community the trust in our brand and clarity of operational alignment to strategic direction has only increased over this period.

AKSHAY SARDANA, Associate Director, Acquisition Marketing, Optus

Future Leader of the Year 2019

Where are you now? (this could be company, position, projects etc)

My journey at Optus started just over 3 years ago and I have had the opportunity to continuously grow within the organisation. I am fortunate to be part of a high performing team and have leaders & mentors who continue to encourage and support me. While my background is predominantly in digital, over the years, I have expanded my skillset across all aspects of marketing, which has helped me become a well-rounded marketer. I recently got promoted to Associate Director and now have the pleasure of leading the Consumer Acquisition Marketing team at Optus – responsible for end-to-end acquisition strategy to drive demand generation and market share growth across Consumer product lines and segments.

How has winning the award impacted you?

Winning the 2019 Future Leader of the Year award has given me immense personal confidence and motivation to continue influencing and helping others around me. It has opened up new opportunities for me internally within the organization as well as externally – and has added to my credibility not just as a marketer but also as a leader.

You submitted a blog at the time; 2 years on do you have a response or any additional thoughts to add to this?

There was a huge spotlight on leadership in 2020 as the world navigated through the pandemic and continues to do so. It’s been quite interesting to see how leaders around the world, not just from a marketing and technology perspective, but also how global government leaders have responded to the ‘new normal’. The importance of decisiveness & rapid-decision making while instilling calmness, composure and transparency has been the key. Last year also taught us that we cannot take team culture and mental wellbeing for granted. It has reinforced the need to put people before economic success. As things continue to stabilise through 2021, empathy and flexibility will remain key ingredients for successful leadership.

The due date for the 2021 AMI Marketing Excellence Award submissions is drawing nearer. How are you going with yours?

Nevertheless, it’s worth it as being recognised for marketing excellence leads to great opportunities for both you and your business. Striving for excellence today will bring even greater success tomorrow. This is why we’re encouraging you to consider applying for our Campaign and Special Awards categories.

To learn more about them, visit our website here.

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