November 16th was a day of insights and celebration as MARKETING magazine brought together about 300 leading industry players at the Sime Darby Convention Centre for the 7th CMO Conference and the inaugural CMO Awards 2018.
Among the game-changers who were onstage at the Conference, sharing their thoughts on this year’s bold yet relevant theme of ‘Goodbye Marketing, Hello Engagement’ included Damien Crittenden, VP Client Strategy at Xaxis APAC; Dato’ Dr.Hussamuddin Hj. Yaacub, Chairman CEO & Group MD of Karangkraf Media Group; Rishi Pahwa, Head of Marketing at Wipro Consumer Care (LDW); Kenny Wong, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of Sunrise Berhad; INTI International University Associate Professor Dr Lee Kar Ling and local celebrity, diva and entrepreneur, the infamous Datuk Seri Vida.
This year also saw the return of the highly interactive ‘Spotlight Sessions’ where marketing heads from Malaysia Airlines, Pavilion KL, Munchworld, Johor Corporation and Petronas were put in the spotlight to answer the delegates’ burning questions via mobile Q&A app Mentimeter.
Over 200 questions were sent in, and our spotlighters gave their brutally honest and instant answers on a range of, including the future of the industry in the next 10 years to how they are winning the war on talent.
Datuk Seri Vida’s performance culminated with a befitting climax for the conference, showering her charm, wit and brutal honesty about the state of marketing with delegates.
The Malaysian CMO Awards celebrations started soon after as Awards Evening attendees began networking during an exclusive cocktails session while waiting for the Minister to arrive.
A total of 39 awards were given out during the night including Best Marketer in B2B, Best Marketer in e-Commerce, Best Marketer in Travel & Hospitality and the coveted Malaysian CMO of the Year which went to both Santharuban Thurai Sundaram of Etika Holdings and Eugene Lee of McDonald’s Malaysia.
In an effort to recognise tomorrow’s leaders 7 Rising Marketing Star awards were given out, to the most promising young marketer under 30, making waves in the marketing industry.
There also received a scholarship each for a cutting-edge digital marketing course from Econsultancy UK.
In attendance to officiate the awards was Minister of Communications and Multimedia of Malaysia YB Gobind Singh Deo, who congratulated Malaysian CMO Awards president and publisher of MARKETING magazine Professor Harmandar Singh a.k.a. Ham for his efforts in growing Malaysia’s marketing industry.
Ham, who was recently inducted into the IAA Malaysia Hall of Fame shared, “It is really weird that there’s a lot of recognition going on with more award shows than pockets and sponsors can sustain in our industry.
“The quest for fame is fast and furious and will not change. And yet we are starved of talent!”
“What I am trying to do is focus on the budding ones who are below 30 to shine, so we have a cache of talent moving forward.
“And having their senior peers win in the same show adds impetus to their development and progress.
“That’s the way I see this working; otherwise it is a vicious cycle of egos and sameness year in year out.”
“We have given each of our Rising Star winners a scholarship for Digital Marketing programmes from ClickAcademy backed by Econsultancy UK. Some of them start next month.”
“I am also working with the International Advertising Association (IAA), so our Rising Star winners and other young talent out there get into the IAA Young Professionals (YP) Chapter so that mentoring and guidance can take place under the wings of senior IAA Malaysia members through networking events.”
“At the end of the day, I can only try to implement my ideas as best I can. The critical component is to get unselfish support from all corners of the industry – organisations and trade bodies.
“Let’s break down the walls and agree that we need a clear and unified path to shared prosperity for all. Personally, I am encouraged with the support shown by marketers themselves, as they will eventually be the game changers,” Ham adds, as he is poised to start his visiting Professorship tenure at Taylor’s University Lakeside campus soon.
Find out what the CMO Winners said here!
Organised by MARKETING the CMO Conference & Awards were supported by Directors Think Tank, Moving Walls, Visual Retale, Astro, Knorex, Leyard, Innity, Ipsos, Passionation.co, Mudah.my, RIPPLE, ACE Media Network, Big Tree, FASZZ, IMI Media Group, Viu and KOMACI. Association Partners for the event includes IAA Malaysia, 4As, OAAM, MAA, MSA and MDA. Tech media partner for the event was Digital News Asia, while media partners were Malaysiakini, SME Magazine, The Edge Financial Daily and The Edge Business and Investment Weekly. Training Partner was ClickAcademy, and Knowledge Partner R3 Worldwide.