Business is more than the bottom line

Published 9 August 2021
Business graduate Michelle Fragar

For Business graduate Michelle Fragar, the mark of a successful marketer and business person is not just about the bottom line, it’s about impact, leadership and what you can give back.

“A really strong leader who is able to excite, innovate, motivate and take themselves and their ego outside of the process will always create a successful business,” she explains.   

In 2020 Michelle was named the Australian Marketing Institute’s Certified Practicing Marketer of the Year, the peak professional benchmark for marketers in the Asia Pacific Region. 

Winners of this award are selected based on their ethical behaviour, marketing expertise, depth of experience and proven ability to further the practice of marketing through leadership, innovation and continuous learning.  

Business graduate Michelle Fragar:

I was inspired to study business because I knew that I wanted to do something in the marketing realm and I thought that a business and marketing degree would help me get there.

I was very focused on having skills in the bank and not just marketing because I didn't want to be that person that just did the fluffy advertising I wanted to do a true traditional marketing role.

My SCU business degree gave me the opportunity to have a little bit of a snippet across all the major business and marketing areas and then specialise in those marketing components that I was mostly interested in.

I chose to study at Southern Cross University because I wanted small class sizes. Coffs Harbour university at the time was a relatively small university and I really wanted to have you know one-on-one contact.

I’d seen from other people's experiences they didn't get that contact and I went looking for it and I think I got a better education because of it.

I think one of my career highlights was starting at Bosch.

Being a Fortune 100 company, it was an amazing experience I thoroughly loved the culture but I also loved the dedication to excellence, product, innovation and so many other areas that were ultimately inspiring to be part of.

Finding out the cultural side of the business is something that I’ve taken on to this day and really focusing on creating really strong cultures inside of business.

We're more of a marketing agency and we really focus on either branding or outsourced marketing department and in that outsourced marketing department it's where we companies can get access to people like me and my team and we manage everything for them.

We're really focused on helping them grow, go to those next levels and access grants and other opportunities.

I was honoured to win the 2020 Australian Marketing Institute's CPM of the Year award.

CPM is a certified practicing marketer which is the highest level of marketing you can be in Australia.

One of the elements of that award is our continued push for not only developing the marketing skill set but also looking to help people in those marketing areas.

So I like to give my time once a week on a Tuesday I give my day and I consult to any small businesses that want to do the one-on-one consulting and that's another way that through the CPM program that we're trying to give back and make the world a better place.

In addition to her busy role as Founder and Managing Director of BrandIt, a marketing agency based on the Gold Coast, Michelle also offers one-on-one consulting to small businesses under the ASBAS (Australian Small Business Advisory Services) grant. 

“I’ve connected with a federally funded government grant to offer one-on-one consulting called ASBAS, so I like to give my time one day a week to consult with any small businesses and offer marketing and branding advice,” Michelle said.   

“When I left corporate I thought I was going to help every small business out there and everything would be great but then I realised that’s just not the way it works. So, this is my way of giving back, using my skills and expertise as a marketer and business woman.”  

Graduating with a Bachelor of Business majoring in marketing from Southern Cross University in Coffs Harbour, Michelle’s career in marketing has spanned twenty years and a range of industries, from engineering to financial services, boutique wedding events, and building technologies.  

Holding senior marketing roles for major brands including Bosch, a Fortune500 company, and Bradken, a leading manufacturer in mining equipment, Michelle has led teams to deliver global marketing and rebranding strategies.  

When she joined the team at Bradken, the company was going through a major globalisation process.  

“I started as a marketing analyst and got to know the business and then they promoted me up to the CMO role which put me in that executive level through their globalisation process.  Being in that marketing role and having access to doing so many merges and acquisitions, it gave me an amazing understanding of not only how branding impacts the internal brand of the business, but also how it impacts the culture.” 

Outside of her nine-to-five Michelle also holds the role of Chair of the Queensland Committee for the Australian Marketing Institute, where she leads a team committed to advancing the profession of marketing nationally.  

She said studying at Southern Cross University was an easy choice.  

“I chose to study at Southern Cross University because I wanted smaller class sizes. Coffs Harbour was a relatively small university and I really wanted to have that one on one contact. Some of my friends had gone to bigger universities a year or two ahead of me, and the one thing they kept saying was that they could never get access to their teachers and they were struggling with some of the content because they couldn’t understand it and there was nobody there to help them. 

Coffs was an easy choice for me because it was a relatively new uni and it had smaller class sizes. When I got there everything was brand new, and we had great one on one contact with the university lecturers that none of my friends did so it was a much better university experience. I think I got a better education because of it.”   

Find out more about studying Business at Southern Cross University. 

Media contact: Media and content team content@scu.edu.au