Viewpoint: Fiona Marshall, head of marketing, womenswear, Asos

Fiona Marshall is the winner of Marketing Week’s 2012 Rising Star Engage award, sponsored by Ball & Hoolahan.

Fiona Marshall

The leaders I admire are the ones who are very honest, have integrity and bring their whole self to the role. They have a natural ability to lead. There are lots of techniques that you can learn, but having energy and passion for what you are doing will naturally mean you are someone who people will want to follow.

The barrier for marketers is the need to really understand what the growth drivers are. You can no longer go out and spend millions on a TV ad, then be congratulated because it is really creative. You have to prove it is going to deliver sales. Right now, it is hard for marketers to become leaders. But the more that marketing becomes central to how businesses develop and grow, the easier it will be to progress to a leadership position.

The core principles of marketing are always going to be the same – it’s always going to be about generating consumer-led growth – but the role that digital technology is going to play will become increasingly important. Because of it, the world is becoming more fragmented, and that will make it harder for marketers to build strong brands.

The more mobile innovation you can come up with as a marketing department, the better it will be for your business. You have got to put together very solid case studies that show having a product that is accessible on mobile will double your sales, for example. That is the language the finance team can understand.

There needs to be a new type of marketing, which doesn’t mean that the discipline we are familiar with is lost – it just means being fast-paced, working on multiple channels and knowing how those interlink. You have to make sure they are all working together and all contributing to building the brand.

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