The challenge for senior marketers

Engage Awards Senior Marketer of the Year 2013 John Bernard, global marketing director for Firefox OS, discusses the challenges and opportunities for marketers in 2014. 

John Bernard, global marketing director for Firefox OS

Help us find the Engage Awards Senior Marketer of the Year for 2014 by making a nomination. The award, in association with Adobe, recognises a visionary client-side marketer who has led their company’s marketing strategy and is seen as innovative and effective within the industry as a whole. It is free to nominate a candidate and the deadline is 21 February. You can make your nomination at

Marketing Week: What do you see as the biggest challenge for senior marketers in 2014?

John Bernard: Senior marketers need to get a good grasp of digital in 2014, the options it presents, terminology, ROI, and Social. Things have moved so much even over the last 2 years that the challenge is keeping up with the change.

MW: What are the biggest opportunities for senior marketers in 2014?

JB: To highlight how marketing spend and activity inputs directly to the bottom line.

MW: What advice would you give a young marketer aspiring to rise through the ranks?

JB: Develop a good agency roster, apply common sense, work hard, know your consumer, watch what your competitors do and use research where needed.

MW: Do marketers deserve a seat in the boardroom and if so, why?

JB: Yes. This comes down to the impact we as marketers are having on the turnover and profitability of organisations. In the mobile phone industry you still see a lot of offer-led activity and particularly price-led promotions. Being a part of these cycles with operators and retailers is essential to maintain presence, relevance and ultimately, sales. Having the authority to share this top-line strategy with the Board and as a result being able to take commercial decisions, is essential.

MW: What campaign (other than your own work) do you most admire from 2013 – and why?

JB: I love the recent Coke ‘Reasons to Believe’ campaign from the end of the year. You don’t know or see what’s being advertised until the last second so your interest is piqued, then it all clicks.

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