With the call for nominations closed, we checked in with members of our Global Marketer of the Year jury on what excites them most about marketing as a discipline today.
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From left to right and top to bottom: Leyal Eskin, Stephan Loerke, Ademorayo Apara, David Porter, Jasper Donat, Lena Petersen, Mikimasa Hamamatsu and Lucinda Peniston-Baines.
A force for positive change
Leyal Eskin, VP - Head of Personal Care Business Arabia, Unilever and Chair of the Advertising Business Group (ABG), says marketing’s potential to drive positive change and its transformative power makes it an exciting and fulfilling discipline today. “Purpose-driven marketing inspires me. It's about more than just sales or metrics; it's a platform for championing causes, making a positive societal impact, and aligning with consumers' values. Marketing isn't just about products; it's about building meaningful relationships and driving change.”
Meeting people’s needs
WFA CEO Stephan Loerke says with the world today in flux, “marketing’s role is more critical than ever in figuring out what people’s needs and aspirations will look like tomorrow”. He adds: “At a time when many people withdraw into their bubbles and certainties, marketing has this magic power of surprising people, of getting them to think differently and of embracing the new and unknown”.
This is seconded by Ademorayo Apara, Senior MSE Brand Strategy Budget Planning & Special Projects at First Bank of Nigeria. Amid an ever-changing business, economic and societal landscape, “it’s the continuous drive for creative ways to pre-empt and meet customers’ needs that most excites me about marketing”, she said.
The return to storytelling
Lena Petersen, Chief Brand Officer of MediaLink, is most excited about the return to creativity and storytelling, as marketing has had “an exclusive obsession with performance and data for the last few years. What we must remember is that both storytelling and performance are just as important as the other, and as an industry, we are reawakening to this balance and beginning to bring storytelling back to the forefront. It is this equal prioritisation that makes marketing so exciting and able to deliver meaning and results for businesses”, she said.
The power of digital and AI
For Lucinda Peniston-Baines, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of The Observatory International, it’s how digital has been continuously driving the convergence of creative, content and media skills. “The unrelenting impact of ‘digital’ on all areas of marketing is offering up vast potential for new ways to reach the consumer, new business models for marketers and new operating models for agency offerings”, she says.
Mikimasa Hamamatsu, General Manager, Global Marketing at Nissan Motor Corporation, agrees. “A plethora of channels and platforms, including the emergence of generative AI, is opening up new ways of engaging our consumers.”
With the emergence of new technology including generative AI, David Porter, Strategic Advisor, stresses the importance of the human element in marketing. “Recent technological leaps are forcing us to re-examine the value in marketing of human interventions: human contact, human inspiration and creativity, the value of the random actions that we bring to processes”, he says.
Branded CEO Jasper Donat adds that with AI bringing automation tools to marketing, “this allows marketers to focus on the human elements of marketing – building genuine connections with audiences”.
The expert jury are currently reviewing all nominations and will agree on a shortlist of six marketing leaders, to be announced in November.