CPM Profile: Demetrios Hughes AFAMI CPM, Managing Director, Cher Ami Communications

As featured in Marketing Update

Demetrios Patrick Hughes AFAMI CPMDemetri_Hughes_web
Managing Director, Cher Ami Communications; Committee President (QLD), Australian Marketing Institute

Bachelor of Business Management, UQ; Masters of Business (Integrated Marketing Communication), QUT; Masters of Business (Public Relations), QUT; Certified Practicing Marketer, AMI; Member, Australian Institute of Company Directors; Fellow, Australian Institute of Management; Full Member, Public Relations Society of America

Current project or activity
Managing the digital transformation of FantAsia and their expansion strategy into new markets and locations.

Proudest accomplishment
It was some time ago, however, delivering the high school graduation speech in front of my mum, who had been unable, due to family circumstances to go onto high school herself – she is the most self-sacrificing and kindest lady you would ever meet.

Marketing mentor?
Judy Wong, she is one of the greatest branding minds that I have come across in my years. She has incredible wisdom and insight, she is one of my strongest supporters and friends, and privately she acts as a strong but thought provoking adviser.  Kellie-Ann Robinson, former president of the Qld Committee, she is a truly genuine lady, has amazing skills at bringing the best out of a team and has successfully bridged the divide in her corporate life between marketing and operational.

Which brand do you most admire and why?
Virgin Group: Sir Richard Branson continues to shine in the area of having a strong brand personality; he was also one of the first to look at marketing as more than B2B or B2C, moving towards ‘Business-to-Individual’ (B2i). In so doing, he has been able to successfully establish many businesses across various industries, appealing to the individual, whilst maintaining credibility, acceptance and market leadership irrespective of industry (no small feat).

Marketing program you wish you had worked on?
Early 2000s Victoria’s Secret fashion label brand overhaul. It was unprecedented, it was controversial but innovative and it was targeted towards female consumers, whilst not forgetting the male consumer who sought to purchase gifts for their partners.

What’s the most valuable marketing lesson you picked up during your career?
Believe in yourself, there are already many doubters out there; you have to enter any project with unwavering determination. Sarah Lewis states that failing your goal is in fact an opportunity to sharpen your game plan.

What has been the biggest lesson in your career, and what did you learn from it?
Embracing my strengths and realising any shortcomings. I would advise any practitioner to have courage to look in the mirror, change the things that they can and have the wisdom to embrace other people’s skills.

What are the biggest challenges facing marketers today?
Demonstrating that we are not a function, rather a core business skill. We need to change the perception that marketing is the colouring in department or the long lunch’s group of people. It is a science, when an integrated marketing communication approach is used, a business can grow both in the good and bad times.

Stand tall because many successful companies have individuals as leaders with a marketing orientation.

Best recent technological advance for marketing?
1) Big data analytics (if you don’t understand it, research it on Google); and 2) Movement away from traditional media towards the more targeted digital, including mobile.

Future direction for the marketing profession?
Achieving real brand personality, not a generic statement of the mission and values or a fake image that is hard to maintain.

What does “Fuelling Progress” mean to you?
We are practitioners operating in an exciting period, we can now truly measure data to make informed decisions about how best to target consumers. Remember, clients and employers will have varying degrees of change and/or risk appetite, take people on a journey to reach a decision.

Do you think sustainability is a burning issue for marketing?
Many organisations seek to be sustainable on a superficial level; however, rarely do many implement this from conception through to creation.

What attributes make a great marketer?
Authenticity, a curios mind, an analytical thinker and a determined personality.

Articles or books you have read that influenced your thinking as a marketer?
By 9am each day, I have read all of the major newspapers and each week I aim to have read at least four research papers or industry magazines.

Favourite quote?
1) “Chivalry is not dead”, I believe it not to be so, nor should it ever be; and 2) People rarely remember what you say, but they do remember how you make them feel.

Last movie?
I watch many black and white movies, as well as serial killer films and history documentaries (if we don’t learn from history we are destined to repeat it).

I would live on the beach if I could.


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