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January, 2023

Marketing is Transforming. Are You?

The future belongs to leaders who can translate aspirations into transformations and execute ideas for sustained results. Marketing, like most industries, continues to evolve at pace into a sophisticated domain. This puts Marketers on the front line of solutions for complex conditions. At a time of accelerating disruption and large-scale change, the focus for the contemporary marketing leader is to protect, promote and optimise performance.

Leadership and leadership development across industries, including Marketing, is a much-discussed topic. This has resulted in a constant stream of ideas, approaches and must-dos. The underlying question remains, how effective is all this information and investment in nurturing leaders able to navigate present-day business challenges?

Why aren’t there more great leaders?

Historical approaches to leadership development were designed for stable and more predictable times. This saw the accrual of skills developing ‘new’ knowledge, skills and capabilities over time. This development is like adding information cumulatively to an internal reference library. You learn new things, file them away and draw on them if you remember it’s there. Many of us tend to forget what’s in the library, leaving this knowledge pool dormant.

Leaders around the world are stretching the boundaries of what is possible with the mindset, skills and resources they have called on for previous success. Times have changed and so have the complex demands on the contemporary leader. Precedence cannot be relied upon for future success.

A rarely considered blind spot in leadership development relates to the way we see and make meaning of the world around us. How you interpret conditions, sets the tone for how it is experienced and in turn, how they can be solutions.

Addressing this requires development that goes beyond the accrual of more knowledge and skills. It requires a change in how one thinks, how one expands their worldview and in turn grows the capacity to think at different scales and from different vantage points. Instead of reductive thinking, contemporary leadership calls for a resilient, inclusive and adaptive approach. This requires a whole new approach to leadership development.

Next Generation Marketers

The interplay between art and science underpins contemporary marketing. Marketing employs targeted individualised approaches underpinned by consumer psychology, martech, AI and strategic collaborations.

Increasingly, consumers have high expectations, unlimited access and choice. This shift in power from organisations and brands to individual consumers who use their buying decisions to influence change has happened relatively quickly.

Unprecedented disruption, the impacts of megatrends combined with budget constraints, and the war for talent have created the perfect storm that stipulates that marketing professionals need a new toolkit to remain competitive. Contemporary marketing leadership skills include:

  • Sensemaking, self-awareness and new ways of thinking
  • Adaptive leadership and the ability to influence change, culture and performance
  • Enterprise perspective and business, commercial and entrepreneurial ‘know-how’
  • Digital and data capabilities
  • Influencing and communicating for impact
  • A shift in focus from output to value creation
  • Domain knowledge and technical marketing skills
  • Ingenuity, resilience and the ability to manage energy and stamina.

Building Industry Capability

Recognising the importance of strengthening industry capability, Australian Marketing Institute (AMI) has partnered with First 100™ to launch a leadership program commencing on 29 March 2023 called the AMI Step Up Leadership Development Program™ for their Certified Practising Marketers (CPM) and members who are in the mid-career stage of their professional journey.  

AMI Step Up Leadership program™ is an accelerated development program that fosters the mindset, skills and impact required to lead through disruption, complexity and change. The AMI Step Up Leadership Program™ has been designed to nurture and support the progression of emerging and mid-career leaders.

This progressive curriculum will support AMI’s members to stretch and grow as leaders and, in time, swell the ranks of sophisticated, contemporary leaders who can drive sustained success.

You can learn more about AMI’s Step Up Leadership Program by contacting Binh Rey, Head of Membership and Engagement on (02) 7228 2162 E: for more information.     

Julie Birtles and Vanitha Ryan


First 100 – Emerging Leaders™