Telstra's Kingsmill flags fresh change at AANA

The first woman to chair Australia’s peak advertising body, the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA), has pledged to “freshen up” and broaden the industry body’s agenda.

Telstra’s corporate marketing director, Inese Kingsmill, was officially appointed AANA chair at its recent annual general meeting. She was previously serving as acting chair after former News Limited marketing boss Joe Talcott stood down from his AANA role after leaving the media company.

Lion’s national marketing director, Matt Tapper, has been appointed deputy chair. Kingsmill told AdNews the AANA board was looking to position the industry group more broadly to help marketers deal with rapid technology change and navigate the increasingly close ties with corporate IT departments and chief information officers.

“We are in that moment of time where the pace of change is so incredibly rapid. As marketers, while everything is shifting around us, we are all trying todeal with the change in relation to technology and big data and all the rest of it,” she said.

“Self-regulation remains at the core of the AANA but yes, we do want to freshen things up without doubt.” Kingsmill said the AANA had just finished a qualitative round of research with senior marketers to gauge what issues were top of mind.

“One of the surprising common themes coming through is the need for us to equip marketers and help senior marketers stay not only abreast of the huge change agenda that they are all trying to lead their teams through but to be a guiding force,” she said.

“Not necessarily to have all the answers but to be able to create forums and spaces where that dialogue can happen and as an industry we can work through them together. So strategically that is where we are headed – a lot more partnering with senior marketing people and helping them deal with the rapid rate of change. A big part of that is the proliferation of data – probably referred to as big data – and what that means for us, how much of that is real and how much of it is something we can actually do something with. The other thing is talent, particularly talent with respect to digital marketing capabilities.”

Kingsmill said the AANA also wanted to take a bigger role in developing the importance of marketing with chief executives.

“The other thing emerging is there is this inconsistency coming in respect to what chief executives are expecting and asking of their marketing leadership,” she said. “So we want to create more of a dialogue with chief executives as well to understand more deeply what they are looking for and indeed open their eyes to what they should be looking for.”

On the appointment of a new AANA chief executive, Kingsmill said there was no rush and that acting chief executive Alina Bain was doing “a cracker of a job”. “She has really got the office in good shape and has developed a good strategic plan we are comfortable with,” she said. “Alina is holding the fort. We want to make sure we’ve got the right person in the role so we’re not rushing into anything.”

This article first appeared in the 30 November 2012 edition of AdNews, in print and on iPad. Click here to subscribe for more news, features and opinion.

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