Staff Reporters
Jun 29, 2020

Asia-Pacific Power List 2020: Lisa Ronson, Coles Group

Former Tourism Australia marketer Lisa Ronson has injected fresh vigour into Australia’s supermarket category.

Asia-Pacific Power List 2020: Lisa Ronson, Coles Group
SEE THE FULL 2020 POWER LIST
Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers
#LeadersForGood
 

Lisa Ronson

Chief marketing officer
Coles Group
Australia

Returning member

Lisa Ronson has an impressive CV of senior marketing positions at companies including Westpac, David Jones, Telstra, Visa and Carlton & United Breweries. But the marketer shot to fame during her four-year stint at Tourism Australia, where she led a number of award-winning marketing campaigns for the brand, including its Crocodile Dundee campaign which received a Titanium Lion award at the 2018 Cannes Lions Festival.

That’s why her jump to become CMO of Coles Group was widely celebrated as a major scoop for the supermarket chain. Since taking up the role, Ronson has immediately doubled down on Coles’ purpose, which is to “sustainably feed all Australians”, she has said. In September she unveiled a campaign promoting its efforts to lower the cost of its own brand products and value packs, while its Christmas campaign paid homage to Coles’ customers.

The purpose was “stepped up” this year as Australia was hit by a trio of disasters: bushfires, drought and the impact of COVID-19. In a recent interview, Ronson said the brand shifted marketing from encouraging shopping to urging people to limit purchases and be kind to supermarket staff—messages she was not expecting to be pushing. Working for a brand that falls under essential services means heightened demand for customer communications, so in March, Ronson made the decision to hand agencies DDB and TBWA extended remits to help its in-house team navigate the unchartered waters. The two agencies joined the core supermarket account, alongside existing agency Big Red.

Ronson has a track record of using data to build customer insights, a skill that has proved particularly useful this year—under her leadership, Coles’ research and insights unit has been feeding the marketing team daily on consumer mood and messaging signals from social data to inform communications.

In March, Ronson became a board member of Coles’ loyalty programme Flybuys. She is also a board member of the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA).

Ronson can be found on Twitter at: @lisaronson

SEE THE FULL 2020 POWER LIST
Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers
#LeadersForGood
 

 

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