WFA launches Asian Marketing Leaders Program to create the next wave of regional CMOs

WFA launches Asian Marketing Leaders Program to create the next wave of regional CMOs

Marketing Organisation & Strategy
5 minute read

Focus will be on developing empathetic, entrepreneurial and ethical skillsets and imparting a keen understanding of Asian markets and marketing practices. The program is developed with Human Capital Leadership Institute and supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board.

Article details

  • Author:WFA

    WFA

Press releases
29 October 2020

WFA has launched its first-ever training programme, the Asian Marketing Leaders Program (AMLP) in partnership with Asia-focused centre of excellence, Human Capital Leadership Institute.

The initiative is designed to equip the next generation of APAC CMOs with the progressive leadership skills they need, with a people-centric focus and an empathetic approach to colleagues, consumers and external partners.

The goal is to create a cadre of future marketing leaders who are fully equipped to understand the unique and diverse challenges of the region and possess the people skills to inspire their teams.

Open to marketers and agency staff with 12-15 years of work experience, the programme will accept just 30 attendees – 80-90% will work for brands – from those who are next in line for regional leadership roles. Firms must nominate candidates before December 20th 2020.

The content of the AMLP has been designed to address many of the gaps in existing marketing executive training, with much of the content based around the missing skills and new priorities identified by WFA’s Marketer of the Future research.

Key differences from existing leadership programs include:

  • AMLP will combine specialist priorities with wider, leadership skills: while most leadership programs do not take into consideration the nuances of the marketing role, pure-play marketing development tends to skew towards executional excellence. The AMLP leadership modules have been specifically tailored with marketing leaders in mind, to provide CMOs-in-training with an empathetic, entrepreneurial, ethical skillset.
  • AMLP will address the Asian challenge and the region’s influence on the rest of the world: International programs can sometimes paint all regional markets with the same brush, while Asia-only narratives miss wider implications on the world stage. The AMLP will not only explore the impact of international trends and industry issues within Asian markets, but also the influence of first-to-market Asian innovation on the world.
  • AMLP will provide both academic rigor as well as real-life practitioner know-how: marketing programs that lean purely on experience can sometimes lack institutional structure, while tertiary education offerings miss the richness of marketer experience. The world-class AMLP faculty brings global thought-leaders and subject matter experts for a balance of technical skill and practical savvy.
  • AMLP will build a community of senior marketing talent guided by the best global marketers: The AMLP has been designed from the ground up, incorporating the feedback of Global and Regional Chief Marketing Officers from across the network. Global marketers who have already confirmed their participation include Ivan Pollard – SVP, Global Chief Marketing Officer, General Mills, as well as current members of WFA’s Asia Advisory Board.

“The marketing role has become increasingly complex from both a technical and a skills perspective. The Asian Marketing Leaders Program uniquely combines both - insights into the challenges faced by Asian marketers with insights into how this plays out across the world. There are also huge learnings from the experiences relayed by some of the world’s smartest marketers talking about how they have overcome challenges in today’s fast-changing world,” said Stephan Loerke, CEO at the WFA.

“Marketing is no longer just about messaging and creativity, it’s about demonstrating the effectiveness of your efforts across multiple channels, platforms and messages. It’s about proving ROI and acting as a business leader not just a marketing leader. The AMLP is a wonderful initiative that will give potential CMOs the tools they need to succeed when they get the top job,” said Raja Rajamannar, President of the WFA and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Mastercard.

This initiative is also supported by WFA’s Asia Advisory Board, led by David Porter as WFA Regional Vice-President, and which includes many of Asia’s smartest marketers including:

  • Karen Chan, Chief Operating Officer, AirAsia.com
  • Rupen Desai, Global CMO, Dole
  • Lynette Pang, Assistant Chief Executive (Marketing), Singapore Tourism Board
  • Pratik Thakar, Director, IMC, SEA, The Coca-Cola Company
  • Silas Lewis-Meilus, Senior Director, APAC Head of Media, GSK
  • Shyam Balasubamaniam, Global Innovation Director – Castrol, BP
  • Adam Wee, Group CMO, CIMB
  • Juliana Chu, Director, Digital & Analytics (APAC), KCC
  • Josephine Tan, Global Technology - Solutions Readiness Director, Digital/Mobile, McDonald's
  • Juan Manuel Hoyos, Global Marketing Divisional General Manager - Brand and Engagement, Nissan

“Asia challenges marketers in unique ways and not just because the digital landscape can be very different from other parts of the world. It’s increasingly important for brands to succeed here. As well as being many companies’ main source of growth, APAC is often the birthplace of new technology and the place where new global consumer behaviours begin. The AMLP is a critical step to ensure that our region gives its marketers the capabilities we shall need in the future,” said David Porter, WFA Regional Vice-President and Vice President, Global Media at Unilever.

“Marketing is at the heart of all growing businesses. The field increasingly demands boundary-crossing innovation, and context-tuned leadership. We’re proud to collaborate with WFA to bring the AMLP to life – a program that meets these needs and embeds deep learning around marketing and leading in an Asian context,” said Doris Sohmen-Pao, Chief Executive Officer at HCLI.

“Asia is a fast-growing region that presents tremendous opportunities for our businesses and people. We must continue to invest in developing marketers who can lead teams across diverse markets and functions, to drive capability development and innovations for the region. The AMLP builds on existing efforts to groom our talent in the marketing field, and will give experienced marketers added exposure to develop their leadership skills and grow their regional networks,” said Damian Chan, Executive Vice President, Singapore Economic Development Board.

The 2021 Asian Marketing Leaders Program runs from January 10 until March 8, 2021 with graduation ceremony planned for WFA Global Marketer Week, which will be held in Singapore from April 20-23. 

Details of the programme are:

  • Three modules delivered over eight weeks in intensive, two-to-three day blocks;
  • More than 25 diverse sessions comprising academic lectures and keynote addresses;
  • Pre-program personal consultation for each participant with one-to-one interviews with the Program team including orientation, strategic development planning and goal setting;
  • Robust inter-session stimulus with individual coaching and content development;
  • Post-program community check-in to drive engagement and continue the conversation.

For more information about the initiative please visit the Asian Marketing Leaders Program page.

Article details

  • Author:WFA

    WFA

Press releases
29 October 2020

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