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Anna Koleth

Anna Koleth
Account Director at The Marketing Practice on the Phygital Realm's Challenges.

At Marketing Trends we are discovering what drives Australia’s top marketers. The Marketing Practice specialises in account-based marketing, demand generation, channel and customer marketing. Anna Koleth, Account Director, shares with us her career journey, her thoughts on the challenges involved in the shift to the phygital realm and TMP's commitment to have a positive social impact through its Foundation.

Read her story here ↓

Career & professional background

Anna, how did your career in marketing start?

My marketing career formally began at an independent, integrated agency that was at the forefront of delivering digital services prior to the economy-wide acceleration of digital transformation.

Subsequently, I was fortunate to join Publicis Groupe within a specialist digital role; with clients encompassing a range of industries, from financial services to technology, aviation to telecommunications. This experience included contributing towards the Virgin MobileFair Go Bro’ campaign, which won 2 Silver Lions at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

Consequently, I was able to parlay this experience into the position of the first social media headcount in Australia and New Zealand at American Express. This role encompassed establishing the foundational social media strategy and functional remit for the regional American Express business.

Vitally, my career journey is similar to others in that it is comprised of a unique set of experiences that have led to the cumulative development of skills relevant to fostering professional growth along a niche career path.

Moreover, I believe that any career journey is only advanced through the support and generosity of others; including, colleagues, mentors and leaders, who have guided and advocated for my career growth at pivotal moments of opportunity. My fundamental ethos is that success has less to do with me and more to do with those that have contributed their support in my career journey to date.

If you hadn’t pursued a career in marketing, in which other industry do you think you might be?

If I had not pursued a career in the marketing industry, I believe my professional journey would have taken a vastly distinct trajectory as a human rights lawyer. I am deeply moved by the depth of need that exists in our present world, as well as the deprivation of fundamental liberties and severe human rights violations prevalent across many countries.

Presently, I am very fortunate to work within an organisation that is committed to advancing social impact outcomes by giving back to communities in need. At The Marketing Practice, the TMP Foundation strives to make a difference by supporting various charities, including raising funds to cover the annual educational cost and needs of 8 Cambodian girls.

It is a privilege to work for an organisation that is committed to making a difference. Every person is of infinite worth, and I believe corporate social responsibility programmes are but one important avenue to creating lasting social impact.

Could you tell us about your role as Account Director at The Marketing Practice?

I am grateful to have joined The Marketing Practice’s APAC business as a member of its founding leadership team. As a global B2B marketing agency, The Marketing Practice specialises in account-based marketing (ABM), demand generation, channel and customer marketing.

Our clients are predominantly in the technology sector and at the forefront of the digital revolution; therefore, their marketing needs are distinct and critical to sustaining competitive advantage in a data economy. We strategically partner with clients to enable business growth through relevant marketing programmes that foster deep brand engagement with target audiences.

Every week, I am privileged to work alongside a cohort of talented colleagues to strategically partner with clients to overlay marketing programmes with a commercial lens, whilst fostering deeper brand to customer engagements. I look forward to continuing to contribute to our clients’ success, because their success is our success.

What type of impact has COVID-19 had on your industry?

The impact of COVID-19 has accelerated the Fourth Industrial Revolution and fundamentally transformed the way that brands engage with consumers. Increased adoption of AI and machine learning capabilities have enabled predictive analytics via tracking consumer behaviours at a granular level to inform greater relevancy and customisation in the delivery of brand messaging and content.

Modern marketers are now contending with an expansion of traditional spheres of consumer engagement to the ‘phygital’ realm, as the cornerstone of meeting the consumer where they predominantly transact.

Additionally, the pandemic has led to an exponential increase in online buying behaviour within the B2B sector, with 70% of B2B decision makers now open to transitioning all purchases entirely online. With 27% of decision makers stating that they would spend more than $500,000 in online transactions, it demonstrates the need for marketers to contemplate the regulatory environment to ensure that data privacy and security underpin every customer engagement and transaction. In turn, companies will be able to innovate more efficiently through retaining the consumer trust essential to compete in today’s global digital economy.

What is the most exciting trend or innovation happening in your field in terms of growth?

The most exciting trend leading to greater innovation and growth is the increasing adoption of AI and machine learning as integral to rapid optimisation and hyper-personalisation in customer engagement. I believe that the adoption of AI technologies is one of the most significant commercial opportunities for companies in the next decade, with early adopters benefiting from increased competitive advantage in an evolving economic landscape.

As a marketer, what do you believe is the biggest challenge facing your industry in the future?

With the acceleration of digital transformation and shift to the phygital realm, a significant challenge facing companies is how to effectively deliver personalised ABM programmes in a scalable and cost-efficient manner. Moreover, demonstrating and validating the ROI of marketing programmes remains critical to building credibility and gaining influence with key stakeholders; for example, Sales and Strategic Alliances teams.

Tools, recommendations & sources of inspiration

What brands do you take inspiration from?

Microsoft for pioneering the democratisation of technology access within the private sphere, whilst retaining brand relevance across decades of transformational marketplace change. Additionally, Microsoft’s #BuildFor2030 initiative is a corporate social responsibility programme that harnesses the innovative benefits of technology and digitisation to support the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This initiative exemplifies the impact of a tech for good ethos, and the vital role companies can play in harnessing the power of technology to enable a better future for all.

From a brand storytelling perspective, Nike remains a clear leader in demonstrating the beauty in simplicity to create resonant and impactful content that strikes at the heart of customer experience. Based on a hero archetype, Nike has consistently inspired every individual to be an overcomer in their journey to success throughout each successive generation. Nike serves to illustrate the power of storytelling in galvanising individual and collective action towards aspirational aims.

What are three resources you would recommend for anyone working in your field?

McKinsey and Company’s Marketing and Sales Insights, Deloitte Digital’s Thought Leadership content and MIT Technology Review are three resources that have provided invaluable insights that act as a compass in relation to future industry trends.

In turn, this information can strategically inform marketing programme development that is commercially sound and relevant to current and prospective marketplace trends.