Michael Pryor cashes in his insurance policies and takes on top MA job

Michael Pryor has been appointed as the chief executive of the Marketing Association, replacing Sue McCarty, who announced her departure in February after six years at the helm.

Pryor has more than 25 years of marketing experience, most recently in New Zealand’s financial services sector. He is currently general manager strategy and business performance at IAG New Zealand, having previously headed up the marketing and communications function. And before joining IAG, he held various marketing and communications, customer service, B2B and B2C roles at Sovereign, BNZ, Telecom and AMP. He also has experience from stints in senior account director roles in agencies.

“I couldn’t think of a better way to bring the skills and passion I have for all things marketing together into a role and for the advancement of such a rewarding profession,” he says.

MA chairman Debra Hall says Pryor’s depth of experience in senior leadership roles in the corporate sector and in agencies will be invaluable as the MA “strengthens its position as the voice of the New Zealand marketing industry, and as a partner for life in our quest of growing great marketers”. 

“Michael brings to the role a wonderful mix of creativity and solid managerial skills. The board is confident we have appointed a leader who will take us forward, as the role model for professional marketing and what it can contribute to growing New Zealand’s business and social success.”

With the increasing diversity of disciplines and attributes required of marketers today, Pryor believes the MA has a pivotal role to play in building and supporting programmes that enable all organisations to get the most from how the profession is evolving.

“In this regard I’m fully expecting my own experiences of navigating through the diverse marketing landscape, and of speaking so many of its languages, to be put to good use in the role. I’m a long-time supporter of the MA [and TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards judge]and how it has evolved to be the most significant form of inspiration for all New Zealand marketers. I’m also looking forward to reconnecting with many of the familiar partners and supporters to the MA such as specialist service and media providers, and creative and marketing technology agencies. In particular I’m keen to learn more about how we can further support each other for the mutual benefit of New Zealand marketing and business success. It’s a very exciting time to join the MA and to apply my experience in both corporate and agency and service environments to move the organisation forward.”

When we asked about McCarty about the MA’s major achievements during her tenure, she cited the significant growth in overall membership (now over 6,500), the unique agreement with the UK’s Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), the improved performance and stature of the TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards, the creation of the Data Warranty Register and the MA’s recognition as ‘best in class’ with a win in the AUT Excellence in Business Support Awards late last year as standouts. 

Since the rebranding and re-positioning of the MA at the beginning of 2011, she said there was a 44 percent increase in membership (and an 80 percent increase in engagements per member contact on its database) and the number of member contacts also increased 28 percent over the same time period. The MA also recently delivered a significant over-budget financial result. And it also struck up a deal with the Chartered Institute of Marketing (UK) and in the last two years it has accredited over 400 New Zealand marketers, of which 67 are fellows, including Pryor. 

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