In recognition of his significant contribution to the marketing industry, Chair of Deakin Business School’s Advisory Board, Andrew Baxter, has been honoured with a prestigious award at the recent 2017 Awards for Marketing Excellence.
At a ceremony hosted by the Australian Marketing Institute, Andrew was presented with the Sir Charles McGrath Award which, since 1976, has recognised those who have made significant contributions through sound business practice, development of the marketing profession or wider industry achievements.
Previous winners showcase a line-up of leading Australian business-industry winners including Sir AV Jennings, Bob Ansett, Harry M Miller, Hector Crawford, James Strong, Michael Gudinski , Geoff Dixon, Gail Kelly and Harold Mitchell.
Andrew is Chairman of Publicis Communications Australia and New Zealand, one of the largest communication agency groups in Australasia. He is also CEO of Publicis Worldwide Australia with businesses specialising in advertising, digital, PR, CRM, loyalty, activation, mobile communications, brand strategy, design and media.
He currently chairs three boards – Deakin Business School, Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and the Song Room – and is also a non-executive director of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and a member of the Publicis Worldwide Global Management Board.
Andrew says it was ‘incredibly humbling’ to win the Sir Charles McGrath Award.
‘It’s a great honour - the list of winners is a who’s who of Australian business. It’s a bit hard to believe, as I feel like all I’ve done is to do what I love doing every day – to chat about all things marketing!’
Reflecting on his marketing industry career, he says it has been an amazing opportunity to meet and work with a diverse range of individuals and organisations.
‘I still love that one minute you can be sitting in a meeting with a state premier, or a vice chancellor, or the founder of a start-up or a rock star and then the next you’re having a coffee with a smart university student, or a bright young marketer or creative person. And the conversation is almost always a positive one as you bounce around ideas to solve problems big and small,’ says Andrew.
Since graduating with business degree 25 years ago, he’s also seen sweeping changes across marketing landscape and says it’s an exciting era to be working in the industry.
‘Back then there were no smartphones or even mobile phones, computers were more like word processors and sophisticated calculators. There was no such thing as e-commerce, virtual reality, Diagous, data lakes, We Chat, wifi, behavioural economics, CX, UX, beacons, Facebook, Google, Bluetooth. But what an incredible era to work in! I’ve love waking up every day and wondering what’s next. What new invention, new innovation, new theory, new insight, new technology or new creative thought can power the successful growth of a brand or organisation?’
Andrew was appointed inaugural Chair of Deakin Business School Advisory Board in late 2015 and says it comprises a talented and inspiring cross-section of industry representatives.
‘The members include local and international business leaders –around half of whom are Deakin alumni – which enables different perspectives to be discussed. The conversations and discussions are of a very high quality and support Professor Mike Ewing to deliver on his business plan and the future needs of the business community.’
Looking ahead, he predicts the next 25 years in marketing will hold even more ‘change for the better’ that good marketers will embrace.
‘They’ll remain constantly curious,’ says Andrew. ‘They’ll never stop learning, thinking creatively, innovating and trying to finding solutions for problems. They’ll never stop digging in to truly understand the changing needs of consumers.’