Mark Willson

Mark Willson

General Manager at Middle Harbour 16ft Skiff Club

Sydney, Australia
Information Technology and Services

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Mark Willson's Overview

  • General Manager at Middle Harbour 16ft Skiff Club
  • Director of Marketing and Communications, IBM Australia at IBM
  • Director of Marketing, Systems and Technology Group, Asia Pacific at IBM
  • Director at
  • General Manager of Direct Marketing at IBM

500+ connections


Mark Willson's Summary

After 30 years with IBM I am moving on. At the moment I am enjoying some time out working with the builders as they renovate our home. What's next...... something exciting I am sure...

In my time at IBM I started out as a sales trainee straight out of university and have enjoyed being part of the incredible growth and change of the company as it has become one of the leading technology companies in Australasia.

As Director of Marketing and Communications at IBM, I have entered ‘Smarter Planet’ into the public lexicon – revealing itself in everyday conversation, government programs, and public events across Australia and New Zealand. This has helped IBM establish itself as a leader in sustainable and forward-thinking vision.

I’ve been entrenched in the company’s growth, from direct marketing 20 years ago to Internet-based tactics of today, while prioritising brand positioning and cultivating key relationships among customers, influencers and decision-makers. In 2000, I launched within Australia, which remains a central part of IBM’s sales and marketing activities.

I have had the opportunity to share my marketing and communications insights around the world for leading brands and am often available as a keynote speaker for events or private sessions.

I currently sit on the board of the Australian Direct Marketing Association and blog about my key learnings at

Specialties: • Marketing, Communications and Sales Management
• Focus within the IT industry – I have directly worked in the following sectors: hardware, retail, consumer products, airline industry solutions and across small-to-medium enterprise.
• Leadership
• Organisation
• Aligning sales and marketing goals to achieve business objectives

Mark Willson's Experience

General Manager

Middle Harbour 16ft Skiff Club

February 2014Present (8 months) The Spit , Mosman

Trying something totally new doing everything from working in the bar to
running the membership programs. I am enjoying being hands on, close to our clients (members) and working with a great team. I am learning many new skills while also leveraging others I bring with me... marketing, management and a professional approach to business.

Come and see me at the Skiff Club for lunch or drink. It is a great waterfront venue for friends or business meetings. Call the club on 99324600.

Director of Marketing and Communications, IBM Australia


Public Company; 10,001+ employees; IBM; Information Technology and Services industry

2008Present (6 years) Sydney, Australia

Immediately on stepping into this role, I consolidated the marketing and communications units into one efficient team, streamlining the engine that drives customer awareness and engagement with IBM’s products and achievements. This has helped IBM align our communications both internally and externally across all of our PR, marketing, and advertising initiatives, giving us a consistent voice in the Australian and New Zealand markets.

My key focus for 2011 includes:

IBM’s global vision to leverage smart connections to achieve economic-growth, increase efficiency, and build a sustainable and forward-thinking world.

Celebrating 100 years of leading technological and societal development, IBM honors its centennial anniversary with a year-long initiative to continue our forward-thinking progress by engaging with business leaders, academia, clients, and local communities. IBM was founded on June 16, 1911.

On the day marking our 100th birthday, I brought together five past IBM CEOs (including current Testra CEO David Thodey) and our current head Andrew Stevens to host a press forum and panel discussion on the history, culture, and future of IBM, elevating IBM’s public profile within Australia.

Leading my team to participate in IBM’s worldwide ‘Celebration of Service’ program, Australia had the highest participation rate of any other country with over 15,000 eight-hour community service pledges and 1000 staff-led volunteer opportunities taking place.

Director of Marketing, Systems and Technology Group, Asia Pacific


Public Company; 10,001+ employees; IBM; Information Technology and Services industry

20052007 (2 years) Shanghai, China

As Director of Marketing, Asia-Pacific, I was responsible for implementing marketing programs to drive awareness and generate demand for IBM’s Asia-Pacific hardware business. I developed and executed all advertising, direct marketing, communications and web strategies across the region. After dealing with the challenges of executing marketing campaigns across very different markets, I realised the importance of never taking anything for granted in marketing. Having the opportunity to be based in Shanghai, I particularly enjoyed living and working in China and across the region.

During this period we grew market share for IBM hardware and storage in the fast-growing and highly competitive Asia-Pacific market by two points.

I also helped establish IBM as a shared and recognised leader in the significant China marketplace.


Public Company; 10,001+ employees; IBM; Information Technology and Services industry

20002004 (4 years) Sydney, Australia

In this role I was responsible for the business management and strategy of all IBM’s customer focused web sites. My key objectives were to achieve web sales revenue targets, develop the web strategy and integration of the Internet as a primary communication, and drive relationship and lead generation across all of IBM’s business.

There were many highlights, including the achievement of rapid year-to-year growth in e-channel revenue, a successful advertising launch promoting the web as a key IBM sales channel, and the development of offerings and pricing strategies specifically designed for web sales.

During this busy time, we also successfully launched an affiliate marketing program and significantly expanded the range of IBM products available on the web.

I achieved the targeted revenue objectives over four consecutive years, posting double-digit growth per annum.

General Manager of Direct Marketing


Public Company; 10,001+ employees; IBM; Information Technology and Services industry

19972000 (3 years)

Having successfully developed IBM’s marketing and telephone sales capabilities, I was promoted to GM of direct marketing. In this role I was responsible for IBM’s direct marketing operations from campaign marketing to the national call centre, which at the time this was the largest sales organisation in IBM across Australia and New Zealand.

I forged stronger links between sales and marketing, bringing the sales database and marketing and telesales resources into the same place for the first time, creating a single efficient lead-generation pipeline.

A highlight was developing marketing database and analytic capabilities, which were then adapted as the global model rolled out around the world.

Mark Willson's Skills & Expertise

  1. Consumer Products
  2. Retail
  3. Marketing
  4. Leadership
  5. Organization

Mark Willson's Education

Sydney University

Bachelor of Economics, Economics, Computer Science


Australian Direct Marketing Association (ADMA)

Diploma of Direct Marketing

Harvard Business School

Managing an Interactive Future

Leadership Consortium

Executive Leadership Development

Macquarie Graduate School of Management

Marketing Management, Strategic Marketing

Monash University

Finance for Executives

Mark Willson's Additional Information


Sailing, skiing, surfing, Italian cooking, family time with my three children

Groups and Associations:

Board Member - Australian Direct Marketing Association (ADMA) Blue Chip Marketers Breakfast Group

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