Foxtel has a “death watch list,” companies it has identified that are heading for extinction.
Speaking on a panel at ADMA Global Forum yesterday Andy Lark, CMO of Foxtel, revealed the pay tv channel had conducted its own analysis of leadership roles and company performance across Australian businesses.
Andy Lark, CMO Foxtel
According to Lark, Australia’s highest performing listed companies and highest valued start-ups all have a CMO. While the worst performing businesses in Australia — the ones on the “death watch list” — have all gone sustained periods without a CMO or typically have a CMO tenure of less than 12 months.
Lark, who’s resume includes stints with start-ups like Xero and Simple as well as more traditional businesses like CommBank and now Foxtel, argued the disruptive impact of technologies is often overestimated and high profile business failures are the result of poor leadership.
“The effects of disruption are vastly overstated relative to time and affect. It takes 10 to 15 years for any technology to make its way to the mainstream and it takes another 10 to 15 years for business models to evolve, so the runways and horizons are wide,” Lark said.
A cynic might argue Foxtel, as an incumbent in the age of digital streaming, is in a precarious position given the rise of disruptive businesses like Netflix. However Lark played down the threat the streaming giant poses to Foxtel.
“Netflix sells in a different segment of the market to what Foxtel sells to. We sell to premium home-based subscribers, who typically want a lean back experience and a shared family or household experience. Netflix doesn’t,” he said.
“No! You shouldn’t do that. Be true to who you are and what your product is and what your product is about. The hardest thing you have to do as a marketer is understand the customer you do not serve.”
“CMOs can really drive growth in an organisation and one of the criticisms of marketers is we run too fast at things,” Ronson said.
“What are we doing with AI? What are we doing with VR? AR? I think we get too distracted.”
“Focus on the customer, use the data to understand who your customer is, what their barriers are and how are you going to connect with them. In terms of creating great marketing teams that can work through all of this, it goes back to the consumer, always.”