Turn here for your career ‘satnav’ to navigate the twists and turns of modern marketing

Two intertwining strands are currently preoccupying many marketers. There’s the issue of talent – how to recruit the right kind, how to nurture it, how to retain it. Running alongside is a growing concern about personal career development, which is increasingly coming to the fore as traditional career paths no longer seem so straightforward or even available.


Digital, which demands that marketers operate in fast-moving, technologically driven and customer-focused environments, is making it even more essential that companies locate and attract the right kind of talent. At the same time, practitioners need to figure out how to equip themselves for their rapidly changing roles. One agency CEO told me recently that he has had to deal with 22 new job titles in his organisation in the past year – a strong indication of the changes afoot.

CMOs looking for reassurance that talent of a high calibre does exist can take heart from The Marketing Academy, the mentoring organisation of which Marketing Week
is proud to be a partner (and has been since it launched). It has just unveiled the list of scholars taking up places for 2013. A glance over the list, which can be found here, shows that the selection panel is keen to inject some new DNA into the marketing talent pool as many recruits come from an entrepreneurial background, alongside those working at well-known brands.

As an aside, it is gladdening to see a higher proportion of women being chosen for the Academy leadership programme too. I was alarmed to hear from a trade body that women are still asking for gender-specific advice in progressing their careers, as they find that in some companies they still operate at a disadvantage.

For the young marketer looking at inspiration for mapping their own future, this issue features interviews with the four candidates for the Marketing Week Engage Awards Rising Star trophy. They describe their career paths and have words of advice to offer.

The four on the list all impressed a panel of veteran marketers with their ambition, vision and, to use an old phrase “sheer bloody mindedness” at overcoming challenges. They all deserve applause and the winner will be revealed at the Engage Awards gala evening on 21 May.

If you are attending I look forward to seeing you there. Places are still available for the evening and you can book by calling 0207 970 4203.


Mark Ritson

Pointless slogans are a waste of time

Tess Waddington

It started nine years ago. I can remember the actual week when it all began because I was teaching brand management at London Business School to a class of MBA students and we spent the first hour of class discussing it. That morning Unilever announced that it was introducing a new corporate logo featuring a smooth, rounded U made from an amalgam of 24 icons representing all the businesses that it was engaged in. I beamed the new design onto the screen behind me and my class debated its merits.


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