The evening saw Unilever’s chief marketing officer, Keith Weed, named the Power 100 Marketer’s Marketer, after winning a poll among his fellow members of the list.
Weed was welcomed onto the stage by Campaign's global editor-in-chief, Claire Beale, and Nigel Vaz, chief executive EMEA and APAC at Publicis.Sapient.
Accepting the award, he encouraged his fellow marketers to seize the opportunities the changing world offered to make their jobs matter more than ever before.
"What a fabulous time to be in this industry – this is the most exciting time," he said. "I’ve been around for a little bit longer than some of you and I’ve never had so much fun as we’re having right now.
"Let’s not get too miserable about all the world around us right now – let’s look at the opportunities we can bring our brands and our businesses."
The party, held at SapientRazorfish’s offices, welcomed top marketing leaders including Weed’s colleague, Unilever senior vice president for marketing Aline Santos; Sainsbury’s recently promoted marketing director Mark Given; L’Oreal chief marketing officer Hugh Pile; and Diageo’s European marketing chief Ed Pilkington.
Six marketers were inducted into the Power 100 Hall of Fame, an honour recognising those who have appeared on the list for five consecutive years.
The new inductees were Nissan’s general manager, marketing communications Martin Moll; RBS chief marketing officer David Wheldon; O2's chief marketing officer Nina Bibby; Ford’s director of marketing communications Anthony Ireson; Lloyds Banking Group's managing director of retail brands and marketing Catherine Kehoe; and Mastercard’s senior vice-president Paul Trueman.
Reinvent what marketing is about
Weed acknowledged that the challenges facing the world could be frightening, but encouraged his fellow marketers to take the mantle.
"There are so many businesses right now that are terrified about where the future growth is going to come from," Weed said. "As a marketer, you’ve got to work out what’s going on right now and how you help deliver a strategy for your business that’s going to deliver growth in this ever-changing world.
"Marketers have never been in a better place to understand this changing market and deliver real added value and competitive advantage to businesses."
Weed went on to call for marketing teams to be advocates for the potential of digitisation within their companies.
"When I look at Unilever, and the agenda we have around digitisation, of course I champion what we’re doing in marketing, but it also impacts HR and supply chain and beyond. We should grab that technology, grab that opportunity of being a leader in a changing world and help the rest of the business."
Making the case for sustainable growth, Weed warned against merely "trying to just sort of sell more stuff", and instead advocated "reinventing marketing to what it used to be – providing consumers with a better solution to the alternative."
He added: "If we can get sustainable business models at our core, and if we can find ways we can positively impact society and the environment, then all our jobs are guaranteed for life."