Industry Profile: Domain top marketer Melina Cruickshank

By AdNews | 25 July 2017
Melina Cruickshank

Our Industry Profile takes a weekly 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.

We previously spoke with Ikon Communications programmatic director Sarah Melrose.

This week we speak to Domain chief editorial marketing officer Melina Cruickshank.

Duration in current role/time at the company:

Two years, 10 months

How would you describe what the company does?

Domain offers marketing solutions for residential, new development and commercial properties plus market news and advice for buyers, sellers, renters and investors.

What does your role involve?

I lead the national marketing and editorial divisions for Domain Group. I have brand, performance, trade and content marketers, journalists, economists, analysts and creatives all working together in one division called “Content and Audience’.

Within the last six months/year, what stands out as the company’s major milestone?

Moving into the incredible new Sydney headquarters late last year was a physical milestone that illustrated how far we have come in a few years. I’m proud of the brand shift and business transformation we’ve achieved.

Best thing about the industry you work in:

The combination of media, publishing and marketing. I enjoy the pace, the creativity and working with like-minded people who are used to constant change.

Previous companies you have worked at:

My first job out of university was with Rio Tinto in a remote, beautiful coastal town called Gove in the Northern Territory. I worked as a coordinator in the environmental division, monitoring the bauxite refinery impact. This was pristine, sacred land being assessed and worked on by leading scientists and engineers. An incredible four years before I moved to London.
I started as a online producer at an e-commerce startup which gave me the break into digital, then moved to a busy media agency producing online websites and marketing campaigns for large corporates. If anyone can do time agency side it’s really worth it. It gives you respect for hard work, long hours and an insight on how to treat people.

After almost five years it was back to Australia as product director for Domain when it was a tiny online arm of the print product. I then moved into the digital publishing division of Fairfax Media and was fortunate to be part of the pioneering Fairfax Digital team when Jack Matthews was at the helm. Building lifestyle brands - Essential Baby, Traveller, Daily Life, Executive Style and Good Food into an audience of over four million was brilliant. Championing early native advertising on these - in a traditional newsroom environment - was the key to understanding future content models.

When Fairfax split Domain into a separate division in 2014, I wanted to be part of the team to help Domain realise the potential it always had.

All of the people at Domain are incredibly passionate about this business. It's been a wild ride - definitely a challenging and rewarding role full of twists and turns.

See: Fairfax splits out financials for Domain, sparking selling rumours

Career-wise, where do you see yourself in three years time?

Having a seat at the table. Leading strong, talented teams. Commercialising large audiences and working with positive and creative people. I’m so impressed with the next generation coming through media and publishing.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?

Huge/slightly obsessed Eddie Vedder fan. For years. Can sing a mighty fine version of ‘Elderly Women Behind The Counter’ after a prosecco.

Top networking tip:

Do more of it. With three little boys, I’m Ok with saying ‘no’ at the moment. I might just be renowned for my ‘disappearing act’.

My favourite restaurant for a business lunch is:

Sokyo. Elegant, fresh and close to the office.

My favourite advert is:

I love, love, love the new Mercedes Benz global campaign ‘Grow Up!’

My must-have gadget is:

iPhone, iPAD.

My favourite media is:

Smh.com.au, theage.com.au. Stan. Netflix. Spotify.

My favourite TV show is:

Four Corners, 7:30 Report and any Australian drama.

Loved ‘Big Little Lies’ which I purchased via iTunes. And of course The Block which Domain is a major sponsor of.

I got into advertising because:

I like the pace, the culture, the characters. This industry attracts progressive types of people. I like building and leading smart, collaborative teams. You need luck, resilience and the capacity to work hard to succeed in this industry. I love what I do, very lucky. My young sons start cheering if they see a bus going by with Domain on it.

If I wasn't doing this for a living:

Grand Slam tennis player.

What's your poison:

Quality prosecco.

The last book I read:

‘True Story of the Kelly Gang’ by Peter Carey, to my sons. A challenge, yes.

My mantra / philosophy is:

“It's a long game.”

Define your job in one word:

Roller-coaster.

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