CPM Profile: Caroline Patrick AFAMI CPM, Head of Strategic Marketing Solutions, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank

As featured in Marketing Update

Head of Strategic Marketing Solutions, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank

BA (Hons) Marketing, CIM Diploma, Certified Practising Marketer

Current project or activity
Transforming our go to market approach for our retail bank.

Proudest accomplishment
Receiving Australian permanent residence (after 7 years and 4 visa categories!) and producing two gorgeous children.

Marketing mentor?
I have learnt a lot from Mark Ritson through the AMI MasterClasses over the years and I have been lucky to have had a wide range of fantastic mentors not just in the marketing sphere. Matt Walsh at Australian Unity taught me to peer over the horizon and look to the future, John Billington at Bendigo and Adelaide Bank has been an inspiring trailblazer and innovator in wealth management, and Donny Walford, founder of Behind Closed Doors continually challenges me around leadership and commercial acumen.

Which brand do you most admire and why?
Marks and Spencer is very close to my heart. They have had their ups and downs but after 130 years they are still a much loved, multi generational store and even though I moved to Australia, they still are my source of many items for my family including my children.

Marketing program you wish you had worked on?
I have to choose 2! Best job in the World by Tourism Queensland. I thought was a fabulous idea and was so incredibly engaging. And my ultimate favourite because it’s a tough gig was to promote the importance of CPR – the British Heart Foundation, Vinnie Jones, hard and fast hands only CPR. If you haven’t seen the advert, you must! What I loved about what they did with really limited budget was to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the content it generated such as emergency 999 calls and amplify those.

What’s the most valuable marketing lesson you picked up during your career?
Spend the time upfront to understand your customer and what’s important to them. Only then will you be able to connect with them in a relevant and meaningful way.

What has been the biggest lesson in your career, and what did you learn from it?
That not everything will go to plan. There will be twists and turns, highs and lows, and setbacks. The important lesson is to have resilience, determination and the ability to accept and move on. Infectious enthusiasm for life generally helps too I think.

What are the biggest challenges facing marketers today?
How many options there are! How many skills we have to learn. How fast the way we connect with each other is changing. The multitude of communications platforms we have to contend with. The customer expectations, which are becoming more and more demanding each day. Also, still the recognition of marketing as a profession and discipline and the lack of understanding and importance placed on the marketing skillset which is a core component of any organisation’s value chain.

Best recent technological advance for marketing?
It has to be the smartphone. That little device has changed everything!

Future direction for the marketing profession?
How to go back to the future. How marketers can provide the seamless, one to one, connected, localised, relationship based interaction in a global, digital world.

What does “Fuelling Progress” mean to you?
Fanning the flames of innovation and embracing change. We’re seeing much of a test and learn mentality and a desire for entrepreneurship even within corporate organisations. The ability to facilitate that and nurture that in established companies is a challenge.

Do you think sustainability is a burning issue for marketing?
Yes I do. I think at some point in to the future, the term marketing will be obsolete and it will have morphed into something else. Traditional marketing functions are changing and the skills required are evolving. It’s hard to keep up from a learning point of view but also we need to have the pipeline of skills coming through and we don’t necessarily know what those skills are that we will need in 10 and 20 years time.

What attributes make a great marketer?
The ability to connect with people and understand customer behaviour. The confidence to innovate. An understanding of how to turn information and data into actionable insights.

Articles or books you have read that influenced your thinking as a marketer?
How brands grow by Byron Sharp, From Good to Great by Jim Collins and lots of TED talks – love Rory Sutherland and Simon Sinek.

Favourite quote?
Don’t regret what you did, regret what you didn’t do.

Last movie?
Mission Impossible on the plane (can’t remember which number, they all blend together!)

Favourite sports team?
Don’t have one but my husband is a massive Hawthorn fan.

Favourite holiday spot?
Aquitaine region of France – I would love to live there one day.

Last book you read?
I’m working my way through Judy Nunn’s books and the last one I read was called Heritage.

Bush walking, gardening, travelling, reading, drinking wine.


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