Year in Review with Senior Marketers: Andrew Baxter

What kept you awake at night during 2017?

I’m not sure it kept me up at night, but the biggest disconnect in marketing is ensuring a brand has as good a human experience as a digital experience. It’s what we get as consumers from Apple whether you’re in store or online. Or from your local coffee shop. Yet major airlines, telcos and banks are rightly spending huge amounts of money on their digital transformations to better serve their customers’ needs, but still try and penny pinch when it comes to the traditional human to human experience.

What have you achieved this year?

The first question I usually get from the CEO of one of our clients is “how is your business going?”. And it’s very difficult to give business, marketing or communication advice to that CEO if we can’t run a successful business ourselves. So it’s pleasing that we have had our third year in a row of strong growth as an agency. It has also been pleasing to quietly launch a new business called Publicis Engine, an outsourced marketing and sales business that is remunerated largely on topline or bottom line growth for the clients it works for. It’s a business that now has a team of close to 100 people, and is operating in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland.

What is your marketing prediction for 2018?

That AI will start to play a major role in improving the human to human customer experience, by gathering all the available first party and third party data on an individual consumer in real time, and algorithmically matching the most appropriate customer service person to that customer either on the phone or in a store.