In March this year, Kathy Hatzis added a new feather to her marketing cap, being named the 2007 AANA Young Marketer of the Year. Now in its second year, the award is designed as an encouragement of professional development among new and recent entrants to marketing. The judging was based on the submission of an essay on the topic ‘How do you best build brand loyalty in a fragmented media world?’ As part of her prize, Hatzis will attend the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival next month.

Vital stats

Age: 34
Education: Bachelor of Commerce, UNSW
Current role: Head of corporate marketing, St George Bank
Previous roles: Employed by Optus for over 10 years, with the last role being to manage a team of 18 and customer acquisition advertising across a portfolio of five retail products. This was followed by two years in a consulting firm, working on projects involving customer equity and brand equity development.


What inspired you to get into marketing?
I wanted to be a finance or political journalist, so I spoke to the editor at The Australian Financial Review before I finished school for some advice on how to go about it. He suggested I study commerce to get some commercial experience. While at uni, I chose marketing as one of my options. I did half a semester of marketing and knew I had found my niche. I changed my major to marketing and have not had a moment of regret since.

How did you come to be in your current role?
St George was one of the organisations I had identified as being a good fit for me for some time. I had worked in the financial services category while I consulted, but St George offered the opportunity to do things differently and break convention in the category – something that appeals to me. When an ex-colleague came to St George as general manager of marketing, we got in contact and within weeks, I was being interviewed for the job.

What does your role involve?
It is broken into three areas: brand, sponsorship and marketing services, which is the management of agency rosters and marketing processes. It has a great mix of strategic, creative, relationship and analytical skills.

What’s the most challenging part of your job?
Time management, followed by stakeholder management because in brand, the stakes for the organisation are high and expectations equally so. But I wouldn’t have it any other way!

What are some of your career highlights so far?
Being selected to be regional manager launching pre-paid mobiles in the Caribbean at the age of 26, travelling from one island to the next in the process and, most recently, the AANA Award, which will involve going to Cannes for a one-week advertising conference to hear some of the pre-eminent speakers and experts in advertising from around the world. I love travel so both suit me down to the ground.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Marketing director of a large organisation. But life must remain healthy, happy and balanced in the process.

What advice would you give to young marketers thinking of entering the awards next year?
Take time to plan it before putting pen to paper. This includes talking to people about your ideas, constructing your arguments and then finding the case studies and facts to support it. The process of learning and development is just as important as the end outcome. And then keep your fingers crossed…

What the judges had to say…
John Whittingham, member services manager, AANA: The judges were very impressed with Kathy Hatzis’s essay entry as the solution she proposed to building brand loyalty in a fragmented media world relied on an original, holistic marketing-focused point of view. Kathys well-reasoned proposition was for marketers to look at the bigger picture in projecting brands, not to restrict themselves to traditional marketing considerations. Instead, marketers need to focus on consumer marketing touch points, what it is that creates impressions – experiences, associations, memories etc. – or ‘engrams’ in consumers’ minds. To achieve a strong, involving brand engram, communications must deliver compelling messages across all the consumer touch points; not just marketing touch points, but transactional and incidental touch points too. By integrating thinking across all the touch points, Kathy pointed out that brand loyalty can be achieved more efficiently and sustainably among more consumers, because the marketer is not being confined or restricted within what is the available, albeit fragmented, media environment today.

The AANA Young Marketers Award is open to all people working in the marketing communications industry or a related field and who are aged 35 years or younger at the closing date.