Lean Mean Marketing Teams with Ty Hayes

Discover how to create a high-performance marketing team by joining Ty Hayes as he interviews leading CMOs, authors and experts at the top of their game.


19. Why creative risk-taking is the best insurance policy with Brent Smart, CMO at IAG

Former Agency CEO turned CMO, Brent Smart, reveals how to nurture creativity and build an award-winning marketing team.

IAG is the Australian insurance giant with leading brands including NRMA and CGU. In four years, Brent has transformed the NRMA brand from the 36th strongest brand in Australia to become the third strongest brand in the country and the strongest insurance brand in the world! This brand strength has translated to commercial success – NRMA Insurance have won 3 coveted Gold Effies in the last 2 years.

Previously, Brent spent 20 years in the advertising business, rising to CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi New York and leading the New Zealand Agency of the Decade, Colenso BBDO. 

In today’s episode, we cover:

  • Brent’s fascinating career, unpacking what he learned from 20 years in advertising; 
  • Brent scrapping and recreating a $4M USD Superbowl ad three weeks out… with the client’s approval (find out what happens next!);
  • Why Brent decided to swap the sneakers for a suit and move from agency CEO to CMO;
  • How to foster a culture of creative risk-taking within your marketing team;
  • How to get the best work from your agency partners by setting a high creative ambition and by “buying completely”;
  • How to transform a team from a totally decentralised product-led marketing team into a centralised brand-led model; and
  • Some of the interesting roles that Brent brought in house to strengthen the creative, strategic and marketing effectiveness firepower at his disposal.

If you have any interest in building an award-winning, risk-taking, brand-led marketing team that could totally transform your marketing approach- then this is the episode for you! 

P.S. – If you’re from an agency, you might want to suggest that your clients listen to this episode!

Enjoy the show.


Contact Brent Smart

  • Find Brent on LinkedIn and mention you heard him on the podcast. Find out more about IAG.

Contact Growth Generators

  • Find out how Ty and Growth Generators can help you design and build a modern marketing team that drives growth using our 5-stage transformation framework. Follow or connect with Ty on LinkedIn.

If you enjoy this episode please remember to subscribe so you get each new episode as it drops each week to get more tips and insights to build a high-performance marketing team, tell someone about the podcast who you think may benefit, or leave us a review!


About the Show

In today’s fast paced world, your team is your ultimate competitive advantage. Join Ty each week to discover the dynamic team structures, agile practices, leadership and culture behind some of the world’s most successful brands and the teams driving their marketing. If you’re a marketer looking to enhance your leadership and boost your team’s capability, then this is your must-listen podcast.

Your Host – Ty Hayes

Ty is an award-winning former CMO turned business founder, who built and led the #1 marketing team in Australia (AMI Awards) and was ranked the #10 CMO in Australia (CMO50) whilst CMO for a global university. Ty now hosts this podcast and runs Growth Generators with the mission to help CMOs build modern marketing teams that drive growth.