The CMO Award winners 2019 pose on stage with the Minister of Communications and Multimedia, YB Gobind Singh Deo and the CEO of Marketing Magazine, Professor Harmandar Singh.

“Advertising is art”, proclaims Don Draper in AMC’s hit drama, Mad Men. Though the show was set in the 60s, its message still rings true today.

Though today’s algorithms claim to target your message better than ever before, your message must still be creative and impactful enough to make an impression. But how do we make our message stand out in this age of digitalisation?

To that end, the CMO Conference and Awards was held at the Sime Darby Convention Center on November 15. Over 400 figures in the Malaysian marketing industry gathered at the event, hosted by Marketing Magazine Asia.

Senior marketing executives from brands like Gojek, Domino’s Pizza, Nando’s, A&W, Digi, Maxis, Axiata, TM Berhad and many more took the stage to present their views on the current state of marketing. In particular, many marketeers were concerned about Big Data and its impact on marketing tactics.

“The CMO conference, beyond a networking opportunity, is the potential birthplace of great ideas that stems out of being inspired by others in your industry,” said President of the Conference and CEO of Marketing Magazine Asia, Professor Harmandar Singh. “When designing this annual conference, we (the organisers) make sure the chemistry between each speakers and even the moderators are thought through because it’s those things that make for a successful event,” he added.

But how do we know what is creative and impactful? We may know this instinctively, but it is hard to quantify what works and what doesn’t.

In this spirit, the CMO Awards 2019, held the evening after the conference celebrated Malaysia’s best marketers with 35 different categories highlighting specific achievements in the industry. The Awards, which requires no fee for participation, is judged by a panel of accomplished senior business leaders across marketing, media and digital industries.

Minister of Communications and Multimedia, YB Gobind Singh Deo attended and officiated the awards night to show his support for the award winners.

During his speech, Gobind acknowledged the strategic role the Malaysian marketing sector plays in this increasingly converging industry and its important role as an engine of commerce. “Marketing innovation is a game changer and marketers are more able to explore and realise new ways of reaching the consumer with new levels of creativity and innovation,” he said.

The winner of Malaysian CMO of the Year was Vice President of Unifi Marketing and Communications of Telekom Malaysia, Lai Shu Wei and his team. “The real heroes behind this award are my team members, agencies and partners who have always come together in delivering relevant and impactful propositions to the consumers,” Lai said. “The real heroes behind this award are my team members, agencies and partners who have always come together in delivering relevant and impactful propositions to the consumers,” he added.

Though the marketing scene has moved on greatly since the 60s, advertising is indeed still an art that can’t be quantified. The Awards play an important role in the recognition of this art in Malaysia.

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