Interview with Melody Townsend, General Manager, Product and Network Marketing

Melody is the General Manager of Product and Network Marketing at ME Bank; a bank that is 100% owned by 26 of Australia’s leading industry super funds. As a senior marketer, Melody has worked with local and global brands in automotive, freight and logistics, e-commerce and banking.

At ME Bank, Melody is responsible for marketing communications across all banking products and works with industry super funds on initiatives to help Australians get ahead.

At the CXO Leaders Summit, Melody is going to explore the topic of ‘the increasing importance of trust in marketing’ and how as marketers, we can take a leading role in building trust and purpose, to manage the long-term interests of customers.

What do you feel are the biggest challenges marketing leaders are currently faced with within their business?

Improving customer experience continues to be a key challenge facing marketers. For many of us, we’re part of internal teams delivering digital transformation, often over a 2-5 year timeframe. At the same time, customers’ expectations are developing at speed, meaning we need to reinforce value now, and at the same time, deliver future capability. Getting the resource mix right to deliver both objectives is a delicate balance.

As a marketing leader, what do you feel businesses continue to get wrong when it comes to their marketing strategy?

Every organisation sits on a wealth of data. Often though, the focus on translating data into insights is sub-par. Think about how many reports you receive in any given month, how many actually provide valuable insights that enrich decision making? As marketing leaders, we need to continually challenge our teams to extract relevant insights from analytics and customer research to enhance marketing strategy and improve ROI.

What are the latest trends and behaviours you predict will be surfacing on the market over the coming 12 months? 

It’s easy to become bamboozled by the amount of change on the horizon. Voice will be a huge area of growth and opportunity, which brands in Australia are only at early stages of exploiting. And marketers will continue to refine their approach to digital, with a growing emphasis on content marketing strategy (as distinct from social media strategy).

But tech and digital aside, we’re all human and we’re all consumers, so that means we want to believe in the corporate values and behaviours of the brands we interact with. I think organisations will spend a lot more time reviewing and improving internal practices to align with their corporate values in the year ahead.

 What is the best piece of advice or lesson you’ve learned in your career?

 Very early in my marketing career I was sitting in a meeting for a new product launch with several managers and agency folks. Being the most junior in the room, I was listening intently to the conversation amongst experienced marketers, when all of a sudden the advertising manager stopped the meeting to ask me if I understood what they were talking about (some discussion about an acronym I’d never heard of).

The lesson that day was, Ask Questions Always.

Whether I want to clarify my understanding, be curious or challenge a point of view, to this day I ask questions and take the view that doing so will encourage greater discussion and debate, to ultimately enhance the quality of decision making.

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http://ohsleaders.com.au/

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http://ohsleaders.com.au/

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