Amanda Jones, Chief Marketing Officer, Mirus Australia supports the team to provide insights and technology with the goal of #makingagedcarebetter. We work with aged care providers to improve business performance and financial sustainability which supports quality care outcomes of older Australians. In this interview with Andrew Birmingham, Managing Director and editor-in-chief at Which-50 Media, Amanda provides her approach to continuous learning.
“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all” – Aristotle
(1) How would you characterise the extent to which the capabilities marketer need to change have evolved over the last five years?
The tension and pressure has increased with regards to what marketers are expected to know and how they do it.
The specialisation of marketing for example strategic, brand management, versus demand or lead generation over the past five years means we are gaining a greater depth of knowledge and expertise in a vertical, however, great marketing does not live in a silo. Integrated marketing has never been more important as social currency lives online and offline in our coffee shops and around our dinner tables. We need to understand and respect the philosophies and methodologies of traditional marketing and our customers, no matter what our commercial goals are or our cool job titles.
(2) What kind of pressures has that put on marketers in terms of professional development?
The pressures have not changed. We still want competitive advantage both as professionals and for the organisations we work for. Balancing investment of time and money on the right models, tools, education and training options is still prevalent today as it was for me over 20 years.
(3) How important is it for marketers to keep their skills up to date?
Keeping your skills up to date is not a cost of entry any more to the profession but a cost of staying relevant, performance driven, data savvy and customer led. Our customers across industry and sectors demand personalisation and tailored marketing to suit their needs, timelines, device preference and where they are in the buying cycle. Removing the friction for our customers requires both training on new distribution platforms and education around how, what and why we produce the content that we do.
(4) How important is it to take a structured approach to this?
A structured approach with plenty of flexibility (oxy moron?) is important to optimise time and budget and how we respond to new channels, market disruption and media or a specific community narrative.
(5) Can you provide a personal anecdote about yourself or one of your peers/staff about they/you went about this this year?
I purposely went back to the basics of research: desktop, my network, clients, my team and colleagues to ensure I had captured enough evidence based case studies, best practice and also future trends.
This past year, as opposed to last year I took a more ‘immerse myself in the learning experience’ approach to my professional development by accepting numerous opportunities to speak publicly on the subject of marketing.
This requires a commitment to firstly reading and then synthesising and finally forming my own opinions, based on my experience to validate or introduce new ways to learn marketing, which would be suitable for my industry. Not only for my audience but for me as well. Adult learning principles of digesting the theory and then demonstrating in practice ensured I embed the knowledge.
I have also been challenged, especially speaking to NEXT-GEN aged care professionals around Australia, around 300 people under the age of 40 on what I thought they would find interesting and what they did find interesting about the world I live in of marketing. Self learning through self awareness is a powerful way to learn. It was a great opportunity to remind my audience and myself on how marketers must understand the power of “the thoughts and feelings of humans” including ourselves before we embark on tactics – this is at the core of good versus great marketing.
Amanda is a NED at Globalaai and Co-Creator of #Celebratingwomeinagedcare with Samantha Bowen who is the Principal Advisor for the LASA NEXT GEN initiative. Please connect with Amanda Jones on LinkedIn.