Industry Profile: MKTG general manager strategy and marketing Blair Crouch

12 March 2019
Blair Crouch

Our Industry Profile takes a look at some of the professionals working across the advertising, ad tech, marketing and media sector in Australia. It aims to shed light on the varying roles and companies across the buzzing industry.

This week we speak to MKTG general manager strategy and marketing Blair Crouch.

Time in current role:
One month. 

How would you describe what the company does?
MKTG is a global lifestyle marketing agency – comprised of pioneers and practitioners of sport, entertainment and retail marketing, sponsorship, live events and social media marketing. Everything we do is unpinned by data, analytics and technology. We have 1,400 people across 30 offices who love bringing brands to life every day.

What do you do day-to-day?
I get to work with amazing people and clients.

Within the strategy and marketing teams we have passionate innovators, strategists, creatives, designers and animators to ensure when a client presents us with a challenge we start with data and end with a measurable solution.

Define your job in one word:
Inspiring.

I got into marketing because:
I was first attracted to sports marketing because it’s the ultimate form of storytelling. There’s a passion that people have for their favourite sports team or athlete that doesn’t exist in many other environments, so to be able to work with brands and rights holders to create new stories was too good an opportunity to miss. 

What’s the biggest challenge you face in your role?
I see two immediate challenges to overcome in order for us to be more successful. Firstly, MKTG is a very diverse business and whilst we are well known in both Melbourne and Sydney for particular client work my challenge is to broaden the awareness of our overall services. We are capable of far more than even I knew, despite working alongside MKTG in two of my previous roles. The second challenge is to build our capabilities in strategic consulting services for brands and rights holders within the sport & entertainment industry.

What’s the biggest industry-wide challenge you’d like to see tackled?
Measuring the impact of traditional ‘sponsorships’ is a challenge faced by the biggest brands in the country, so from a sports industry perspective this is one to tackle.

Previous industry related companies you have worked at:
I was at the AFL in marketing and commercial roles during a time of significant change. Gill McLachlan replaced Andrew Demetriou as CEO, AFL Media was introduced, AFL W went from an idea to a fully-fledged competition and some of the biggest commercial deals in Australian sport were either secured or renewed. Prior to this I spent time at Gemba where I was part of the team who consulted to blue chip brands like Toyota, NAB & Bupa and have also spent time in marketing roles at CUB and HSV/Holden. Most recently I led the Marketing & Commercial functions at Moonee Valley over two incredible seasons where Winx won her third and fourth consecutive Cox Plates.

Notable ads you have worked on:
I’ve been involved with Toyota’s ‘Legendary Moments’ and several AFL’s Finals campaigns, plus was part of the team who delivered the fun campaign around ‘Barry Dawson – The Cougar’ when I was at CUB.

Who has been a great mentor to you and why?
I don’t know if these people would consider themselves as mentors, but I have been fortunate throughout my career to be exposed to some amazing operators who I have learnt a great deal from. John Crennan and Dean Grimster during my time at HSV/Holden, co-founders of Gemba Ben Crowe and Rob Mills, Gill McLachlan and Richard Simkiss at the AFL, Margaret Zita from Qantas and CEO and founder of BEAR Sam Leetham are people whose knowledge, expertise, creativity and work ethic have had a positive impact on me.

Words of advice for someone wanting a job like yours?
Make yourself known to key people at relevant organisations, they won’t offer a job if they don’t know you exist. Use the power of LinkedIn to your advantage. In my third year at university I wrote a letter to 10 CEO’s of organisations to make it known I wanted to work for them. This was in the days before Seek and LinkedIn but the approach worked and it led to my first corporate job.

If I wasn't doing this for a living, I'd be:
A travel blogger – what a job, being paid to get on a plane and go somewhere fun. 

My mantra is:
Get up early and tackle every day head on

My favourite ad is:
Sony Bravia TV. 250,000 multi coloured bouncy balls were released down the streets of San Francisco and was set to Jose Gonzales ‘Heartbeats’. I love the vision, the song and its reinforcement of ‘colour like no other’. 

Music and TV streaming habits. What do you subscribe to?
Soundcloud and Apple for music, Netflix and Foxtel at this stage but I’d like to trial Kayo as the bulk of things I watch via Fox are sport related. 

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?
I love mid-century architecture and design and would move to Palm Springs tomorrow if I could. 

In five years' time I'll be:
The wrong side of 45…but a respected an integral part of the MKTG family. And still tackling every day head on!

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