At some point soon, clever historians will look back on the past 12 years and try and make sense of what has been, to use an academic term, a bonkers time. It’s dizzying to think of the number of events that we have dusted ourselves down from, stood up and collectively shouted “next”. Here’s a roll call of just some – the financial crash, austerity, Brexit, Trump, Covid and subsequent lockdowns. In the absence of an agreed upon name to sum up the era, I will fall back to the name of a news podcast I recently came across – ‘Oh God! What Now?’
We have also endured more than the fair share of drama in the past 12 months. An invasion of Ukraine triggered by the unpredictable despot, Putin, and the tragic human aftermath and economic tremors that have brought a cost of living crisis. Oh, and amid all of this, the Conservative Party forcibly removed one prime minister, and installed another. Fair to say the new incumbent of number 10 might be best advised to pause unpacking boxes. More uncertainty.
One thing is for certain – recession is coming, which, coupled with the highest rate of inflation for decades and the likelihood of a spike in interest rates makes for a toxic brew.
It’s been a rollercoaster of a 12 months, an extraordinary 12 years but take a deep breath, and allow yourself a pat on the back.
In profound ways, we have all been impacted by these events. Within businesses, marketers more than most. As the ostensible “voice of the customer”, great marketers are the bridge between consumers and company.
The person in service of those that do and might buy their products, and tasked with maximising that opportunity, while corralling an organisation to do the same. And doing so in such a manner to command influence.
Trying to achieve all of this when totally exposed to the vagaries of macroeconomics, and reaction to often unprecedented events, is, to use a technical term – bloody hard.
Pivoting, flexing, replanning and thinking differently. While having to make the case for marketing more vocally, and persistently than their predecessors might. Not to mention the need for leading teams that finding enough people with requite skill sets.
Leading marketing in an age of extreme uncertainty. I do not envy the task.
It’s incumbent on Marketing Week to hold the industry to account. And there is much to account for. There are also lots of examples of where marketers are going wrong regardless of current context. From the definition of effectiveness to over-indexing on purpose and every dead end and meaningless endeavour in between.
But it’s also necessary to give credit when credit is due. In the ‘Oh God! What Now?’ age, that’s due more than ever.
The best of the best
Marketing Week’s Top 100, sponsored by Tag, is the perfect vehicle to do exactly that – to pay tribute to the UK’s top marketers and celebrate their achievements, as well as their adaptability and resilience. To shine a spotlight on 100 of the best, both to celebrate them, and what the industry is capable of when tested to the limit.
Selected from a longlist by our judges, some of the most experienced, insightful and brilliantly opinionated people in the industry, the Top 100 is made up of 10 vertical sector groupings of 10 senior marketers, based or with a significant presence in the UK.
We cast our net wide. We want to represent as many corners of marketing as possible. The list includes marketers from public and private organisations, and all categories in between, B2B and B2C, scale-ups and household names. Their set objectives might differ but they all share one thing in common – they are impactful, influential and effective marketing leaders.
There are thorny challenges that lie ahead, some known, many unknown. The screws are about tighten on budgets for 2023.
Just for a moment let us pause the hand-wringing and navel gazing and celebrate the achievement of the Top 100. Their capability, competency and undoubted skill to adapt and thrive.
More importantly, what they represent – the excellence the UK marketing industry can point to. It’s been a rollercoaster of a 12 months, an extraordinary 12 years but take a deep breath, and allow yourself a pat on the back. All of you.
The achievements of the Top 100 are testament to all in the industry. Congratulations to them and all.