Professionalism, an ability to keep to budget and a working knowledge of TV advertising are no longer enough to propel marketing professionals to the top.
Today’s marketers need a far more eclectic cache of skills to draw from: creativity; foresight; a thorough understanding of new media, niche audiences and targeted advertising; and the ability to inveigle their way onto the company board, to name but a few.
A new generation of marketers is making waves across every business sector.
After consulting senior marketing, advertising and industry figures, Marketing Week has identified and interviewed ten top movers and shakers spanning the media, retail, food, utilities, telecommunications, car, Internet and alcohol sectors.
Some are well-known figures, while others are more up-and-coming, but all have shown the ingenuity and drive to add critical value to their brand. What they, and their contemporaries, do next is sure to propel the industry forward.
Chris Moore was fated to work in the fast food industry. The day after he was offered a job at Domino’s Pizza, he was involved in a road crash with a pizza delivery boy.
Moore, 40, can laugh when he thinks back to the accident, now that he is sitting pretty as Domino’s UK marketing director. The pizza boy escaped unscathed, fortunately, and Moore’s Internet strategy is revolutionising fast food.
Moore spent his formative marketing years in Brazilian ad agencies with Grey, independent Caio Domingues and McCann-Erickson, where he worked on the McDonald’s account in 1985.
A year later, he returned to London to work on the Esso account at McCann’s, and then moved to Ammirati Puris Lintas in 1989 to handle Unilever brands Surf and Sun.
But, by his own admission, Moore was bored by account-handling and developed a yen for the fast food sector.
Moore’s break came in 1990, when Sam Fine, Domino’s international vice-president of marketing, hired Moore to head his European marketing team. Moore has never looked back.
In 1998, Domino’s signed a deal with Sky One to sponsor The Simpsons – a move which has yielded higher sales ever since. The chain was among the first batch of advertisers on Open TV last year, stealing a march on main rivals Perfect Pizza and Pizza Hut as the first national online fast food delivery service. Domino’s is also testing mobile phone WAP services.
Moore says: “There is an obvious synergy between pizza and TV. We have a year’s lead on our rivals and have shown the versatility of the Internet. Nothing is faster to deliver than a pizza.”
Helen Bridgett, the former marketing manager of Tesco Direct, is ploughing a new furrow at Greenfingers.com.
Bridgett, 35, is the dot-com’s managing director and already has marketing director Jonathan Cowan in place, but she says the ethos of the e-commerce company’s happy crew of 20 people is “all hands to the pumps”.
From a background in market research, Bridgett joined Abbey National as research manager in 1990 before taking a similar role at Tesco in 1995. Within a year, she was commercial marketing manager.
Bridgett oversaw the launch of the Tesco Direct home-shopping service and the UK’s first retail Internet service provider, Tesco.com.
In February this year, she was lured to Greenfingers and, unlike many marketers who have left the relative safety of offline retail for e-commerce, has yet to encounter a thorny situation. No gardening website has closed so far. Greenfingers has gone multi-channel, with the website, a mail order catalogue service and a tie-up with Open.
Bridgett is held in high regard by colleagues old and new. Debbie Bond, commercial director at Greenfingers, and previously at Tesco with Bridgett, says: “She’s driven and focused and has the special skill of harnessing people’s energy. She’ll go from strength to strength.”
Bridgett adds: “The most surprising thing about working at a dot-com is the emotional involvement. It is incessant, hard work and you can’t switch off. Our challenge this year is to meet bigger targets and attract more customers.”
Jim Hytner, marketing director of Channel 5, has been shortlisted to take the top marketing job at the BBC. He may have reached 36, but observers believe he still has plenty of mileage left in his career. He comes from a high-achieving family: brothers Richard and Nick are, respectively, head of Publicis and a successful film and theatre director.
Hytner’s marketing has been derided as “juvenile” by one media buyer, but this is no bad thing for a marketer in his position. C5’s “juvenile” ads have helped the channel to gain a six per cent audience share, and Hytner describes its positioning as “fun, confident and ballsy”. Whether these challenger-brand tactics would transfer effectively to the BBC is open to debate. But Hytner thinks he is in with a chance because he knew Dyke while at Pearson – which, through a consolidated merger with RTL, remains a C5 shareholder.
Hytner says he “fell” into marketing after doing a hotel and catering course at Oxford Polytechnic. He worked as a trainee at General Foods in 1986, then became brand manager for coffees. In 1989, he went to Coca-Cola as group marketing manager. He joined Sega Europe in 1993, and went on to Sky in 1994, where he became advertising and media director, and then marketing director in 1996. He joined C5 in 1998.
But with the departure of his mentor, C5 chairman David Elstein, and C5 looking to move to “the next stage in its development”, Hytner’s next move will be closely monitored.
Marc Sands has set his sights high. The 37-year-old marketing director at Guardian Newspapers Ltd (GNL) wants to bring the “wow” factor back into advertising for The Guardian and the Observer, returning the brands to the glory days of the famed “Skinhead” ad.
Poached in May (MW May 25, 2000) from his job as director of brand marketing at ONdigital, Sands is reviewing creative agency arrangements. The full extent of his marketing input has yet to be seen, but expectations are high as industry insiders consider Sands – a lifelong fan of The Guardian – to be well suited to the brand, describing the pairing as “the perfect fit”.
As part of the ONdigital launch team, he says he learned how to react quickly to moves by rivals, including BSkyB.
Sands began his career as an account planner for Still Price Lintas and HHCL & Partners, before going client-side in 1997 to become marketing director for Granada UK Broadcasting, a subsidiary of the Granada Media Group.
He was transferred internally to British Digital Broadcasting, half-owned by Granada, which later became ONdigital.
David Pattison, chief executive of New PHD, which has GNL and ONdigital as clients, says: “He has an extremely good strategic brain and I think because he has worked in agencies, client-side and for media owners, he can see all three sides of the industry.”
Whether his 360-degree vision will enable Sands to put the spark back in the Guardian titles remains to be seen.
Clare Salmon, marketing director for Centrica’s utility and AA Roadside Assistance businesses, is already making her mark on the business just two months into the job.
Salmon, 37, has introduced a new marketing structure for the road assistance business, which serves more than 9 million motorists, and British Gas’s home service (MW October 5 2000).
Salmon says: “They are two mass market propositions and the challenge for me will be to develop a much more segmented and tailored offering, and to create new products and services.”
She first came to prominence at the UK’s biggest insurance firm, Prudential, where she worked for eight years. She rose to the role of consumer marketing director before quitting after a disagreement over strategy in 1999 (MW March 3 1999).
A competitive cyclist, Salmon was behind Prudential’s sponsorship of the UK’s top cycling race, known as the Prutour. She built a direct marketing team at the company to harness the customer database that she had also developed.
After quitting the Prudential, Salmon became European group director of marketing for car hire giant Avis. She departed after nine months to join Internet start-up Transacsys, the e-commerce arm of vending machine manufacturer Girovend, as commercial director.
The UK car breakdown business is becoming increasingly competitive with the demutualisation of both the AA and RAC, and their subsequent acquisition by Centrica and Lex respectively. Insurer Direct Line has also entered the market through its purchase of Green Flag. Salmon will be drawing heavily on her competitive energy and determination in the coming months.
Vijay Anand, Ericsson UK’s channel marketing manager, has been busy making his brand heard by the nation’s youth. His impact on youth marketing and sponsorship has snowballed, from organising underground club nights to brokering global TV deals for the UK’s biggest dance music festival. Now Anand, 33, is poised to take on a global youth marketing role.
For six years, Anand has been combining his love of dance music culture – as a house music DJ – and his day job at Ericsson, after moving client-side from working on the Ericsson account at Bates Dorland.
Spotting the natural affinity between technology, communications and the club scene, Anand set about convincing Ericsson that a credible youth marketing strategy would mean a long-term commitment by the brand.
In 1995 and 1996, he organised Ericsson-sponsored underground club nights and, by 1998, he had set up a deal to sponsor IPC’s influential Muzik magazine dance awards – a continuing partnership.
But the big breakthrough came with the sponsorship of the first Homelands dance music festival in 1999. This year, Anand brokered a deal to have both the Muzik awards and Ericsson@homelands broadcast on Channel 4, which he counts as his greatest achievement.
He has also just launched the first MP3 mix for mobile phones in a deal with BTCellnet – a 35-minute, limited edition session by superstar DJ Pete Tong for the Ericsson A2618 phone and MP3 player.
“Getting the right people together and creating the deal – the TV contracts, events organisers and venue – is difficult and demanding. But I have a very strong view about what should happen with youth marketing in the future,” he says.
Anand is in a position to influence the future youth strategies not only of Ericsson, but other technology, music and media companies. He maintains his future is in marketing, not music, but for how long will Ericsson manage to hang on to him?
Michele Jobling starts 2001 as director of childrenswear at struggling high street retailer Marks & Spencer in the hope that she can wave the same brand-saving magic wand she used at Liberty.
Lowe Lintas regional account director Liz Wilson worked with Jobling on the Liberty “Feel at Liberty” campaign, when TBWA GGT Simons Palmer was appointed in 1999.
Wilson says there are strong similarities between the problems Liberty was having and the branding challenges facing M&S. “Liberty is a strong brand but it had become distant from its consumers. Michele made it relevant to people again,” says Wilson. “She understands the absolute core of a brand and is very good at knowing what to take forward.”
Wilson believes Jobling will be “fantastic” at M&S: “Michele is a clear thinker with a strong sense of direction. She has enormous energy and enthusiasm which spreads through the business.”
Jobling, 40, began her retail career as a buyer for Sainsbury’s in 1982 before moving on to Tesco in 1984 as trading manager and buying controller. In 1992, she moved to DIY chain B&Q as merchandise controller. Three years later, she became vice-president of sales and marketing for Procter & Gamble’s Tambrands in the UK and Ireland.
But Jobling really made her mark when she moved to Liberty in 1998 as managing director. In September 1999, she launched the Liberty ready-to-wear collection at the London Fashion Show in a bid to build a new lifestyle brand to target Londoners and a younger market.
M&S childrenswear can expect a shake-up from a highly focused and determined woman.
Charlotte Emery, Bacardi-Martini’s marketing controller for new product development (NPD), is on a mission to shape the future of the drinks market.
Emery, 35, describes herself as “very driven and ambitious”. She gushes about the brand she has worked on for five years: “I love the brand and believe I am making a difference. It’s a fantastic job. Bacardi is the greatest brand in the world.”
In 1996, she launched Metz, the schnapps-based drink famed for its eerie Judderman ads, setting a trend for premium packaged spirit drinks.
Emery studied philosophy and logic at Durham University from 1985 to 1988, so marketing is maybe a curious choice of career. But she explains how, as a member of the student union services committee, she “fumbled” through the repositioning of the student union building after the union was given control of its restaurants, bars and shops. “I enjoyed it. I wanted a job similar to what I was doing there and I found out that was marketing,” she says.
Her first job, in 1988, was as a buyer at beauty accessory business Marling Sales. She joined Best Foods in 1989 as assistant brand manager of soups, stock cubes and sauces. She was at CPC from 1990 to 1992 and then marketing manager at Homepride from 1992 to 1995, where she relaunched Fred as the face of the company’s sauces range. She has been at Bacardi since 1995.
Paul Cousins, director of marketing consultancy Catalyst and a colleague of Emery’s at Homepride, says: “She’s incisive and very clear-thinking – and she combines that with a creative side. She’s the smartest marketer I have worked with.”
Emery says her biggest achievement to date is getting new product development “back on the agenda” at Bacardi.
Chris Hawken, Skoda’s head of marketing, has had the best year of his career. The car company has seen sales increase by 100 per cent year-on-year – an incredible achievement in a very difficult period for the car industry. Skoda swept the board at the Marketing Week/CIM Effectiveness Awards last October and Hawken walked away with the Marketer of the Year award.
Not unusually for a car marketer, Hawken’s background is more about cars than marketing. He joined Rover in 1987, on the fleet side of the business, as a graduate trainee and also worked at Peugeot before moving to Skoda’s parent company, Volkswagen, in 1994. He moved to head up Skoda’s marketing in December 1998.
Moving Skoda’s UK advertising business out of the European-aligned Grey Advertising and into Fallon last year was a high-risk decision – and it paid off. Hawken helped to forge what many consider one of the best car ads in years.
His biggest challenge in 2000 was to convince Skoda’s dealerships to accept an advertising campaign which poked fun at Britain’s regard for the brand – still a very touchy subject.
Hawken is a likeable, jovial character, according to associates, who variously describe him as “genial”, “optimistic” and “encouraging”.
Fallon planning partner Laurence Green says Hawken is a good client because he is very interested in what the agency does, but without smothering it: “He is good at buying an idea and then letting us execute it. He trusts us totally.”
Hawken could become one of the rare breed of car marketers who successfully move outside the industry. But Skoda holds ample challenges for him over the coming 12 months.
He will oversee the relaunch of the Octavia, a car which has never held much credibility, and the launch of a new upper-medium sector car, code-named B5. Both are set to be Skoda’s biggest launches so far.
Amanda MacKenzie, formerly marketing director at Air Miles, starts the new year with a new job – marketing services director at BT.
MacKenzie, 37, replaces Tim Evans, who was promoted to consumer division marketing director at BT in September. The move sees MacKenzie jump from handling a &£5m advertising budget to staking a claim on BT’s &£100m spend.
It could be her make-or-break job. BT is struggling to fend off criticism from the City. Its share price nosedived in 2000 as the company attempted to restructure businesses and realise value through greater transparency.
BT’s advertising has been criticised this year for using the dated ET character and for lacking consistency of message across its various businesses.
Finding a simple, understandable message and executing it across the full range of communications is what MacKenzie values. She believes she has done it with Air Miles and the other brands she has worked on in 12 years as an advertising executive.
MacKenzie spent two years at WCRS and ten years at DMB&B, where she ran the Mars UK account. She cites the revamp of Maltesers’ advertising and launch of the lower-fat Flyte bar as her proudest agency achievements.
But on her mission to “get a broader look at business”, MacKenzie went client-side to Air Miles two-and-half-years ago and has never looked back. “I wouldn’t have done it any other way. I feel like a different person,” she says.
She hopes to bring her experience of simplifying complicated messages to BT. “Joe Public on the street needs a simple, crystal-clear idea of what BT is doing – it’s not about complexity and technology,” she explains.
When talking about her achievements, MacKenzie is careful to attribute success to her colleagues. “It was a team effort,” she insists. Her generosity extends to describing everyone she has met at BT as “bright, clever, visionary, focused and passionate about the BT brand.”
Entering the male-dominated world of BT marketing does not faze MacKenzie but she believes there should be more women at senior level. She values balancing work and home life – she has had two children with husband John Porter, D’Arcy planning director, and describes herself as “very much a family person”.