Remarkable Marketers: Meet NAB’s Karen Ganschow

Remarkable Marketers: Meet NAB’s Karen Ganschow
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There are some pretty remarkable people in our industry, each offering their own unique perspective to adland.

While we spend so much time learning about our peers’ career highlights, B&T, in partnership with Carat Australia, thought it high-time to dig a little deeper, and find out what makes the shining stars of our industry tick and, at times, tock.

So, for the next few weeks, we will be publishing a series of personal profiles.

Get ready to laugh, cry and be taken on an emotional rollercoaster as we hear more about adland’s most remarkable marketers.

NAB’s GM of consumer marketing and strategy, Karen Ganschow: The Would-Be Globe Trotter

My biggest career disaster that turned into my biggest career learning was at Optus. We launched the first ever subsidised mobile handset and totally underestimated the demand.

We ran out of stock and had very unhappy dealers and customers. Always have a plan B and make sure your scenario planning is thorough.

At school, I was a total geek (and still am). I was the straight As student. An A-minus was therapy. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a fireperson – I loved the idea of sliding down poles. If I wasn’t a marketer, I’d be a
travel blogger. I love the idea of being able to explore the world, write about people and places and eat local food.

That may be why Airbnb is my favourite brand. It has created an amazing customer proposition from nothing. It is orchestrating over one million hosts to deliver consistently great customer experiences and have not needed a TV campaign to make a globally admired brand.

I really can’t stand navel gazing, activity without outcomes, doing business with ourselves. I love seeing teams from all sorts of disciplines working together, passionate, excited and delivering great customer programs that get customers excited.

My advice to marketing grads is be bold, be curious; don’t wait to be asked for your ideas. Proactivity is everything and anything is possible. My greatest light bulb moment came when I was a very new people leader.

Someone in my team in a feedback session told me: “Karen you don’t have to have all the answers.” So, it’s about knowing which questions to ask, listening to learn and having the team inform the way forward.

My favourite ad of all time is still BigPond Broadband’s ‘Great Wall of China’ campaign that was “built to keep the rabbits out. . . by Emperor Nasi Goreng”.

Great insight, terrific talent, never get tired of watching it. I still giggle. My most embarrassing movie that I love has to be The American President with Michael Douglas and Annette Bening. The romantic comedy script is great and shows a strong woman falling in love but holding true to her convictions.

I still watch it again and again. The last book that I read to the end? That would be Chaos Monkey by Antonia Martinez. It’s a fascinating insight into Facebook.

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