Creative and media manager, O2
Bown’s career highlight in 2017 was launching O2’s Free Screen Replacement offer with a fun integrated campaign - "Oops". With an estimated £1bn repair bill over the last three years for people walking around with a broken screens, the brand knew that it had a strong proposition with almost universal appeal. VCCP delivered a simple, yet disruptive, creative execution with "Oops" and Bown and his team executed the concept through the line, "smashing everything we could along the way". The work has started to pick up awards, not least topping Campaign’s Best of 2017 list for Outdoor.
Most admired brand Channel 4
Most admired agency Adam & Eve/DDB
The future of marketing is… Brands finding their purpose. Today we find ourselves with more media platforms and opportunities to connect with consumers than ever before. The output? A whole lot of noise. The natural byproduct of this noise is that it is harder than ever to cut through. Competition is fierce for that small slice of consumer attention, a slice that is ever-decreasing in size.
You can see the temptation that brands face – trends emerge fast and, before you know it, they’re gone. The temptation to jump on board is excruciating. But just because there is an opportunity to act, it doesn’t mean that you should. In the current world, brands could do more by doing less. The problem is: how do you decide? Personally, I feel that finding your brand purpose, your mission, is the only answer. Why does our brand exist? What is it that drives us?
The brands that are succeeding now have answered this question and they stick rigidly to it. Finding your purpose and aligning all of your business to it, from your products to your employees, is the only way to filter the noise from what actually counts. Providing consistency in your message and output in today’s complex world has never been more important.
Senior marketing manager, Art Fund
Grayson joined Art Fund in 2015 and quickly progressed to senior marketing manager for National Art Pass in 2016. Since then, she has implemented a consumer-first marketing strategy by evolving the non-profit’s channel mix to include podcast and cinema advertising. Alongside an already effective campaign calendar, she has planned and executed two brand new campaigns resulting in a 27% YOY increase in direct sales, with more exciting projects already in the works for 2018.
Most admired brand Government Digital Services
Most admired agency J Walter Thompson London
The future of marketing is… With the pace of innovation in marketing technologies and ever-evolving consumer digital behaviour, the challenge of connecting with audiences seems to have multiplied. But the guiding principle for marketing strategy remains the same: keep consumer needs and desires at the core. So how to maintain this focus in a saturated marketing landscape? Before trying my hand as a marketer, I was an online strategist on the ecommerce team of a high-traffic website.
We used design-thinking methodologies to discover, define and iterate consumer-oriented digital experiences. An important part of this method is empathy – ensuring your solution is designed with the emotions and motivations of end users in mind. I’d argue this is a useful approach to designing an effective media and creative mix.
Design-thinking and empathy can help identify the opportunities that will truly resonate with target audiences, as well as being important tools for navigating the future marketing landscape. The biggest challenge facing marketers today is… Personalisation often seems like the holy grail of marketing experience. As consumers come to expect seamless one-to-one interactions with brands, marketers face several barriers to delivery.
From a technical perspective, organisations often need to deal with silos created by legacy systems that won’t synchronise or media platforms that don’t speak to each other.
From a messaging standpoint, it’s important for marketing teams to align around customer needs to ensure there are consistent crosschannel touchpoints. So few brands seem to get personalisation right. Most seem to either over- or under-use personalisation technologies and methods, which results in a creepy or annoying experience on one hand and a frustrating one on the other. At Art Fund, one objective is to recruit a younger audience. However, we still need to meet the needs of long-standing members or more traditional prospects.
Segmenting direct mail and emails to speak to each demographic most appropriately is one way to achieve personalisation. A future goal is to replicate this type of personalised experience across all touchpoints – especially our website – which requires more technical heavy-lifting and cross-functional collaboration. If marketers can overcome operational and strategic channels, there is plenty of opportunity to connect with audiences in innovative new ways.
Senior manager, brand experience, Hyundai Motor, UK
Former London 2012 marketer Jacques joined Hyundai UK in 2016 as head of its newly-formed brand experience team. She manages an annual budget of over £4m, with responsibility for sponsorship, partnership and experiential marketing. In 2017, she led the car marque’s partnership with Stand Up To Cancer, including the first fundraising "contactless car", built to take donations via contactless devices and smartphones. She also oversees Hyundai’s sponsorship of the Mercury Prize.
Most admired brand Innocent
Most admired agency Mother
The future of marketing is… The next great idea. With each new trend and innovation, the best campaigns are still those with the best creative idea at their core. Great ideas inspire teams to make the most of them. They have relevance at every touchpoint. They are memorable and have the power to transcend marketing, to become bigger than the brand. To have innovations to bring these ideas to life in new ways is a very exciting prospect, but one great idea can still make an impact, and I love that.
Senior brand and campaign manager, Domino’s Pizza
Hackett’s 2017 was one of multifarious achievements - from appointing new lead strategy and creative agency VCCP through to launching Domino’s new brand platform, "The Official Food of Everything". She also pioneered a Community Channel Takeover on New Year’s Day, representing a media first, and negotiated The Voice sponsorship UK & ROI, plus introduced a slew of media firsts for the brand, which included the IMAX wrap and a Tinder campaign.
Most admired brand Levi’s
Most admired agency Grey
The future of marketing is… With marketing budgets under pressure, many organisations have a tendency to take quite a short-termist view and neglect the longer term. The result of this means that we are getting caught up in obsessive measurement and neglecting the longer-term creative magic and sparkle that is essential to continue to build brands.
In an environment where it is more important than ever to cut through clutter, the right balance between the two is vital. Data is increasingly powerful and must be used effectively. However, we shouldn’t get too caught up in the maths and science of it all but should be creating truly people-based marketing that combines such data alongside customer experience.
While personalised communications are extremely effective, using data to drive decisions should not be so targeted that we don’t end up delivering the broader marketing messages effectively. Lastly, with today’s plethora of choice available to the consumer, consistency and transparency are vital to a brand’s success.
Brand manager, Europe, Stella Artois
Humphrey is responsible for driving Stella Artois’ premium-at-scale agenda across 47 countries. Before moving into her current role, she oversaw the development and execution of the 2017 Stella Artois "Buy a Lady a Drink" (BALAD) campaign in the UK, which aims to help end the global water crisis. It was the first 360 campaign she had led and last year it evolved by bringing the donation function onto packaging (previously, consumers could only donate by purchasing a limited edition chalice online). This allowed the brand to significantly increase its impact and integrate into the core of our business.
The campaign recorded impressive results. It helped more than 122,000 people gain access to clean water for five years and saw a 60-plus% uplift in sales on the BALAD limited edition packs for the period of the campaign vs 2016.
Her line manager Tatiana Stadukhina, Stella Artois director Europe, says Humphrey’s "curious nature and drive" sets her apart from her peers.
Stadukhina adds: "Ali is truly remarkable and I cannot wait to watch the unfolding of her continuous journey to becoming one of the most successful professionals I know!"
Most admired brand Pampers
Most admired agency Wieden & Kennedy
The biggest challenge facing marketers today is… I think to answer this question, we need to review who are our most important stakeholders. Of course, externally it should be consumers, and then internally it would be the boardroom. From the consumer side, the biggest challenge is cutting through the clutter to connect with consumers in a meaningful way.
Consumers suffer an information overload and so how brands stand out from the "wallpaper" is a huge challenge. From the internal side, the biggest challenge is having a voice in the boardroom to show the value of marketing to other functions in the room.
Marketing is more subjective than finance, for example, and so the skill an effective marketer must develop is using relevant data to communicate in a language that resonates across functions, taking subjectivity out of the equation where possible.
Senior brand manager, Absolut Vodka
King identified and championed the need for a new Absolut LGBT+ led campaign in the UK for summer 2017, and in conjunction with The Absolut Company, she led the launch of the global "Kiss With Pride" campaign in the UK, achieving half a billion opportunities to see across the summer. King explains: "It was really important to me that we weren’t just raising awareness of the adversity faced by the LGBT+ community, and that we were actually instigating positive change, so I engaged with Stonewall in the early stages of planning and worked in partnership with them throughout the campaign to ensure our messaging was relevant and meaningful, and that we could raise much needed funds for their fantastic work here in the UK and around the world."
Most admired brand Asos
Most admired agency Leo Burnett
The future of marketing is… Datadriven. It’s not enough to put one single message out to a target group that has been defined by demographics. People should be defined by their online behaviour and preferences, and we should be speaking to each of them in a relevant, consistent and engaging way. You just need to look at Donald Trump’s success in the US presidential election to realise how powerful this can be. The biggest challenge facing marketers today is… Having the resource and agility to create and activate multiple iterations of content. Messages have to be hyper-relevant in order to have impact on individuals – it can’t be "one size fits all".
European brand manager, Krave/Tresor
Dublin-based Kretz has built a reputation in the Kellogg EMEA marketing team as a hard-working and passionate figure with a close attention to detail. She has overseen the Tresor and Krave brands in key markets including the UK, France, Benelux, Italy and Spain, and had led the relationship with the K1 integrated agency team at Publicis, including agencies DigitasLBi and Leo Burnett. She also handled media partnerships with vendors such as Twitch, Opera Mobile, Undertone and Snapchat.
Most admired brand Oasis
Most admired agency Marcel Worldwide
The future of marketing is… Mobile. As consumers step away from traditional TV broadcasting, we’ll start to get the same level of reach through digital channels that we currently enjoy from a TV-led campaign. Our challenge will then be about engaging people effectively on mobile – and this is the future that I’m preparing for at Kellogg. Engaging people on mobile is naturally going to be an evolution, and there are two areas of mobile technology that I’m excited about.
The first area I’m watching closely is augmented reality and its potential to enrich people’s environments. Our products are in the homes of millions of people, and can be used as the trigger for these new experiences. Through this technology, we can help people view cereal and our brands differently. The second technology is voice.
The level of improvement in voice technology is amazing, and I’m fascinated watching it develop. Will the technology move beyond simple commands, like controlling music, to a more interactive medium? If it does, this could be huge for Kellogg. The breakfast table isn’t a great place for phones – and voice could bridge that gap.
The biggest challenge facing marketers today is… Keeping up with the needs and expectations of consumers in an ever-changing world. People are becoming more impatient and demanding – they want brands to tailor products to meet their needs, be entirely transparent about their work ethics, and won’t forgive mistakes.
At Kellogg, we find that topical and relevant content is an effective way to engage consumers – but this comes with its own challenges. What was trending yesterday might not be interesting today and marketers need to be able to adapt – constantly seeking new channels and new strategies, while trying to measure efficiency and return on investment.
Senior brand manager, Coca-Cola
Maugest has had a busy year. In 2017, as part of her work leading brand management for Coca-Cola Zero Sugar she worked on the biggest sampling plan in Europe, which saw the distribution of 11 million Coca-Cola Zero Sugar samples.
The marketer, who has had spells at Procter & Gamble and Orange, also led the activation of a number of partnerships including British Summer Time, Up Close with Ed Sheeran, Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball and is also overseeing the soft drink’s FIFA World Cup plan for GB.
Most admired brand Converse
Most admired agency Social Chain
The future of marketing is… Understanding consumers like never before to offer personalised, connected and seamless products and experiences to tap into constantly evolving needs and, ultimately, make their lives easier and more streamlined. Marketers need to fully understand and know their consumers in order to deliver highly targeted messages in a relevant context and on the right platform. Products or services will need to be much more flexible so they can be easily customised, as well as to adapt to new trends and innovations constantly. Artificial intelligence and augmented reality will become key to enabling these seamless experiences.
Creative lead, Airbnb
Petrillo is one of the founding members of Airbnb’s film department. Since 2010, he has helped shape and define the brand’s look and tone through internal and external marketing, PR, and product efforts. Prior to Airbnb, Dillon was a freelance videographer and an undergraduate at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. He is the winner of the 2009 Wyoming Short Film Festival, a 2015 Webby Award Honoree, and a 2015 Passion Award recipient.
Most admired brand Converse
Most admired agency I’m still searching
The future of marketing is…I think we have a responsibility to not fill people’s senses with frivolous advertising. The more that marketing becomes organically woven into our day-to-day life, and the more it is form-fit to each person, the more it will feel invisible. The biggest challenge facing marketers today is… The timeless challenge of authentically relating to the end user, and the user’s relationship with the product that is being marketed.
Twitter - @dillonpetrillo
Brand director, M&M’s
Over the last year, Saller has led M&M’s to double in size into a top five chocolate brand in the UK, up from number 18 three years ago. In line with her passion for communications, she has pioneered a number of new channels for Mars in the UK including Instagram and Snapchat. Saller has also demonstrated that content can be both engaging and effective, having developed Halloween content that has proven to be more effective at driving purchase than a standard ad.
Colleagues praise her collaborative spirit; she is viewed as someone who brings agencies and marketers together to deliver great work. Saller also found time at the end of 2016 to found a cross-industry women’s network to break down silos and bring women together to help them get the most out of their career. She also has good marketing genes, her mother is the Diageo marketing grandee Syl.
Most admired brand BBC
Most admired agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty
The future of marketing is… Brands need be clear on the enhanced experience you offer and be a positive force for change. I am a bit of a history geek and if you look at the history of brands, marketing started as a way of reassuring consumers of quality – flour didn’t contain chalk, for example.
Over the decades, brands focused first on functional benefits and then more recently on emotional pull to get noticed But it’s no longer enough to have a heartwarming TV ad. You must think about the experience your brand delivers and how you can convey that appropriately in a multitude of channels.
We are clear that M&M’s brings spontaneous fun to any situation and aim to deliver that online, on mobile and in store in surprising and innovative ways. But we also strive to do more – whether that’s working closely with cocoa farmers in Côte d’Ivoire to ensure plentiful yields or offsetting all the M&M’s we manufacture globally with sustainable wind energy.
We use our scale to leave the world a better place than we found it. It’s marketing’s role to be clear on that vision for your brand and champion it at every opportunity. The biggest challenge facing marketers today is… Consumers are jaded by advertising. They are overwhelmed by advertising because it’s everywhere – on TV, in travel, on our phones – and are also actively rejecting it by downloading ad-blocking software.
The net result is that brands need to be authentic to cut through. There is no room for pretence – don’t try to be an aspirational luxury brand if you’re washing-up liquid. Understand what your consumers think of you and how they use your products, and use those insights to fuel ideas for how to connect with them. Large businesses must also be transparent about their supply chain and the provenance of their ingredients. And to connect with consumers in a world where they are actively avoiding marketing, you need to stand for something you believe in.
I am so proud of Maltesers’ mission to stand up for diversity, but what’s most important is that it comes from a really genuine place. It’s something our vice-president of marketing, Michele Oliver, is personally passionate about – and consumers recognise that. Using your brand to make a difference through your supply chain or with your advertising, backed up by concrete commitments, gives consumers a reason to pay attention to you.