As the nomination for the World Federation of Advertisers Global Marketer of the Year came to a close on 11 October, while its shortlist of six marketing leaders gathers momentum to be announced in November, members of expert jury have been tasked to highlight some areas that nominees should focus to drive business and industry growth.
The experienced jury unanimously agreed that first and foremost, those nominated should demonstrate outstanding leadership in two or more of four areas such as driving initiatives that contribute towards sustainable business growth, optimising their global marketing organisation, including working more effectively with partners, delivering stand-out innovation and creativity or playing an industry leadership role, for example around furthering the Diversity & Inclusion agenda.
Lucinda Peniston-Baines, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of The Observatory International, pointed out that “sustainable business growth” is essential for anyone who must be recognized with the coveted position of the global marketer of the year.
She said the four areas where this year’s nominees should demonstrate leadership are all essential and are “each in service of delivering the outcome of sustainable growth, which is at the heart of a marketer’s role and DNA”.
Corroborating Peniston-Baines’s position, Jasper Donat, CEO of Branded, reaffirmed the strong link between sustainability and business growth. The marketing expert agreed that sustainable growth is critical in a year of uncertainty, recession and disruption.
“It’s more important than ever that marketers show their value by focusing their marketing efforts on products and projects that drive sustainable growth, and also being part of the high-level conversations in which new initiatives are being brought to life.”
ForTom Ollerton, Founder of Automated Creative, “Optimisation is not the same as automation”. He observed that marketers are currently confusing automation with optimisation in their internal processes. Priority should be placed on optimisation.
“Automation is a process but optimisation is the outcome of doing the optimal or best thing. The optimal thing is the unity of talent and technology. The marketer who is getting this right has two feet in the future and is not following the path of the past.”
WFA CEO, Stephan Loerke, maintained that “Innovation is a marketer’s superpower”.
The WFA boss said delivering stand-out innovation and creativity is “the single most powerful talent of a marketer. It’s the magic that can enable all the rest…driving business growth, championing sustainability and driving the DEI agenda.”
On her part, Mikimasa Hamamatsu, General Manager, Global Marketing of Nissan Motor Corporation, agrees with this, especially with creativity’s role in engaging consumers in a meaningful way.
“Modern-day marketing has become ever more complex, with constant changes in how consumers behave and interact with brands. This is key in how brands engage with consumers in the most relevant way.”
Leyal Eskin, VP – Head of Personal Care Business Arabia for Unilever and Chair of the Advertising Business Group (ABG), believes that “industry leadership elevates the role of marketing in business and society”. Although he also argues that while marketers delivering stand-out innovation and creativity is crucial, it isn’t enough on its own.
“Pairing this with a strong industry leadership role, especially in areas like the Diversity & Inclusion agenda, elevates the credentials of marketers. This combination reflects a comprehensive approach to marketing, one that not only benefits the business but also positively impacts society. I believe this dual emphasis is what truly sets top contenders of this year’s award apart.”