Marketing leaders of tomorrow will have to be more agile and have broader experience to adapt to changing technologies and consumer behaviours, according to top CMOs speaking as they were honoured with Fellowships from The Marketing Society.
Britvic CMO Matt Barwell, former Burton Biscuits CMO Stuart Wilson and Sainsbury’s director of planning and propositions Mark Given were among the 16 members of The Marketing Society honoured with the Fellowship of The Society award in London yesterday (25 August), an accolade currently held by the likes of Sir Martin Sorrell, Sir Stuart Rose and John Hegarty which acknowledges bold and inspiring leadership in the industry.
Speaking with Marketing Week on the keys to being a top marketer, Barwell said that great leaders need to have talent, understand strategy, provide training and consumer insight and be “obsessed with creativity”.
He added that they need to have the ability to “surround themselves with fantastic people and then get out of their way” and to create an environment where “people are passionate about consumers, insight and growth and are free to take risks and accept that sometimes you fail in pursuit of those goals”.
Wilson and Given agreed that an element of curiosity is also crucial to understanding customer motivation, needs and desires.
“You have to passionately and doggedly represent the customer within the organisation and the boardroom and really think customer, customer, customer first,” Given said.
However, while the marketers agreed that many of the key characteristics will remain the same moving forward, they highlighted the importance the changing role of technology will play.
“You have to be very flexible and adaptable because the world around you is changing, the business within is changing and the people are changing so it does require you to be able to modify and adapt to circumstances as they come up,” Wilson said.
Barwell added: “The pace of technology change has been immense and that more than anything has altered the way and ability to build brands with consumers.
“Over the next 20 years I suspect that will only accelerate and therefore marketers who can have those basic attributes and be able to combine those with an ability to be agile and move as technology and the tools with which you can build brands become greater will make the biggest difference.”
The full list of 2015 Marketing Society Fellows:
- Matthew Barwell, chief marketing officer, Britvic
- Francesca Brosan, chairman, Omobono
- Mark Given, director of marketing, planning and propositions, Sainsbury’s
- Andrew Strange, group CEO, Brandwidth Group
- Nigel Vaz, SVP, managing director Europe, SapientNitro
- Stuart Wilson, former CMO Burton’s Biscuits
- Sara Bennison, managing director marketing communications, Barclays
- Yonca Brunini, senior marketing director, Google
- James Frost, chief product and marketing officer UK, Worldpay
- Rufus Radcliffe, group marketing and research director, ITV
- Charles Vallance, founder and chairman, VCCP
- James Espey OBE, business writer and mentor, Making Your Marque
- Martha Lane-Fox CBE, Baroness Lane-Fox
- Raoul Pinnell, chairman of Bromley Healthcare
- Lord David Puttnam
- Tom Rodwell, director at The Chiltern Society