Meet The Drum's Future 50, part 4 - the world's most promising new brand marketers

Today's inductees include top talents from the Coco & Eve, Five Guys, Elvie and LinkedIn

Welcome to the penultimate part of The Drum’s Future 50, which celebrates the world’s most exciting up-and-coming brand marketers.

To mark our year-long focus on the Marketer of the Future, in January we asked our readers to nominate the emerging stars of our industry. Hundreds of testimonials poured in.

And having carefully considered the merits of each nominee, The Drum's editorial team have now curated our inaugural Future 50 list which we are revealing each day this week.

Today's inductees include top talents from the Coco & Eve, Five Guys, Elvie and LinkedIn. All are either under 30 or have been working in marketing for less than 18 months, making their achievements already all the more impressive.

You can catch up on part one, part two, and part three by clicking on these links. Remember to come back tomorrow when our countdown continues. Now let's meet today's Future 50...

Alberto Gerin, head of marketing and communications, ModeFinance

Alberto Gerin started out as a freelance consultant and digital marketer in 2012. Working mostly in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, on the Italian-Slovenian-Austrian border, he gained international experience backing together small startups, international corporate and research entities. He now heads up his own marketing team at Fintech startup ModeFinance.

If you could have worked with any brand at any point in history, what brand, when, and why?

Blue Ribbon Sports (AKA Nike) in the mid-60s. I have a background in basketball and have always been fascinated by Phil Knight, Bill Bowerman and Jeff Johnson's idea to change the status quo, where German shoemakers were literally the only players in the running market. It takes courage, passion and a lot of willpower to start a David-versus-Goliath fight and brave the dominators. I would have loved the challenge of creating a brand logo that came to be recognised over the brand name.

What do you believe is the main quality the marketer of the future will need to possess?

The marketer of the future should live by the mantra that they should be the highest possible expression of themselves, personally and professionally. The main quality marketers will need is being eager to learn more, from every possible thing that happens: errors, events, chats, books, the people around them – each of these can be the source of a lesson. Being flexible and able to catch them all will be the ultimate skill.

What is your social network of choice and why?

I couldn't have deepened my interest in marketing without LinkedIn. Professionally, there is no other competitor. So my choice would be LinkedIn. Even though we're living in the fastest-changing-era for social networks.

Alexandra Preston-Morley, co-founder and brand director, Coco & Eve

In January 2018 Alexandra Preston-Morley founded haircare brand Coco & Eve. Since then, the brand has grown its Instagram following to 337,000, won nine beauty awards and appeared in the window display at Harvey Nichols in London. Cleverly curated marketing campaigns, spearheaded by Morley, have ensured that the business has had a big impact in a short time.

How do you want to change the marketing industry?

I want to ensure there is as much diversity in the marketing we see as there should be behind the scenes. I believe in total equal opportunities for those in the campaigns as well as those who conceptualise them... no-one should ever be excluded based on gender identity, age or race. The oldest model we have worked with is a 90 year-old lady and our last photoshoot campaign was devised by the two youngest members of the team who are only 22.

What is your social network of choice and why?

I love (and live) on Instagram. I’m a very visual person so I find it easier to consume information on there and I like the community aspect. I admire Instagram for constantly making updates to ensure it's ahead of its game and competitors (even if it is met with initial unrest from consumers, they soon grow to love them.) 90% of our customers and prospects find Coco & Eve through social media, and a large proportion of that is through the Instagram channel so it’s integral to our marketing strategy.

If you could have worked with any brand at any point in history, what brand, when, and why?

It would have been interesting to work back in the 60s when OOH advertising and more traditional marketing methods were solely used. I also really love experimental and guerilla marketing and think it can be very powerful. I fondly remember seeing the Marshmallow Man emerging through the concourse floor of Waterloo station for the new Ghostbusters movie or when Budweiser spent millions of dollars sponsoring the World Cup, only for the Dutch beer company, Bavaria to place 36 young women in bright orange dresses throughout the stadium of one game and secure more footage and headlines.

Chris Ford, marketing manager, Greater Anglia

Chris Ford kick-started his career at Tesco in an operations role. He then moved into the marketing department managing search and display, before being swiftly promoted to lead on high-profile trade and seasonal campaigns. He’s now responsible for the Stansted Express brand at Greater Anglia. Since joining in 2017, he’s overseen the transformation in the approach to marketing and built a team of high-performing agencies.

How did you first become aware of marketing as a career?

I first became aware of marketing as a career while working in customer-facing retail roles. While working for M&S I became intrigued as to how they built such a level of trust with customers. My awareness of, and attraction to, a marketing career, however, accelerated while working for Virgin Media. I was fascinated with how running campaigns or price promotions would increase store footfall, seemingly changing consumer behaviour, and similarly how failing to meet expectations could quickly undo brand efforts. From this point, I had decided on a career in marketing and enrolled to study it at university.

What do you believe is the main quality the marketer of the future will need to possess?

They’ll need a relentless focus on, and a true passion for, people as well as an understanding of how to balance this when using data, machine learning and AI in decision making. As we talk of emerging digital marketing disciplines and get lost in a world of acronyms and data it's easy to forget that marketing is about people; people with emotions, who can be irrational and impulsive, people who need to be understood and considered, not simply categorised as a number.

How do you want to change the marketing industry?

I want to encourage bravery, creativity. I've witnessed first-hand how a relentless focus on metrics is demeaning true value creation, with some marketers choosing to hide behind metrics and not take risks to differentiate their brands, and others focusing on vanity metrics which add little or no value.

Fatima Diez, international brand and communications, senior manager, Five Guys

Fatima Diez cut her teeth working on Burger King's first UK digital strategy while simultaneously covering additional roles in planning, implementing, and assessing national campaigns. She’s been at Five Guys since 2017. Highlights include helping the brand go global without media investment by leveraging data through creative PR, as well as leading European marketing.

How did you first become aware of marketing as a career?

I was always an avid reader and movies fan, aspiring to create stories that engaged people. I was also thrilled by challenging adventures involving problem-solving, and it was clear that creative endeavours were the right path for me. By the time I started to consider future occupations, pop culture and advocacy had joined these passions, which naturally led me into marketing as a vocation. Despite circumstances that prevented me from dedicating my early career to marketing, I took every chance I could, eventually earning a position at Burger King's graduate program.

What is your social network of choice and why?

As a marketer, Linkedin is my go-to network. It serves a double purpose of keeping me up to date with the latest marketing news and learning from industry experts and colleagues, who kindly share their knowledge through this channel. Socially, I'm always on Instagram because it allows me to share experiences in real time with my friends and family privately and in public. Its content sparks interesting conversations that keep long-distance friendships alive and opens my world to inspiring (and beautiful) perspectives.

How do you want to change the marketing industry?

The marketing profession needs a reputational uplift. We must show customers that it's not about selling smoke, but rather responding and anticipating their needs and desires to make their lives better. We also need to demonstrate to the wider business that this isn't a naive aspiration manifesting as ‘pretty pictures’, but a product of data analysis and insight that serves to increase revenue consistently.

Helen Saul, brand manager, Europe, Lastminute.com

Helen Saul joined Lastminute.com as a brand manager for France before taking on the responsibility for all of Europe, focused on the core markets of the UK, France and Italy. She has led the platform’s pan-European brand campaign from pitch stage to establishing a new brand positioning and concept. Before that, she completed a graduate scheme at BGL Group.

How did you first become aware of marketing as a career?

I remember wanting to work in brand pretty young, and doing work experience with Key 103 (the radio station for Manchester at the time) when I was about 14, where they let me write and record mock adverts. I don't think I had an awareness of the huge range of roles within marketing until later on though, more should be done to share these as serious career options in schools

If you could have worked with any brand at any point in history, what brand, when, and why?

I would love to have worked for a brand that engaged and inspired an audience while creating positive change along the way like Sport England like its ‘This Girl Can’ campaign did. It's a great feeling being proud of work you've helped create, and I imagine it would be brilliant to be part of a drive where you could see see tangible results like millions of women taking up regular exercise as a direct result of your work.

How do you want to change the marketing industry?

As marketers, we have a real responsibility to be authentic in our communications and think about the consequences of the content we create. So if we're marketing clothes to young people we should be labeling any images using photoshopped models. And if we are claiming to be behind a cause, we need to genuinely be supporting it and not just using it as a platform to promote our brands. As an industry, we have the power to collectively spread positive messages and we should all be committed to harnessing this.

Joelle Barthel, global marketing manager, Elvie

Joelle Barthel runs marketing initiatives aimed at revolutionising women’s wellbeing at femtech startup Elvie – which makes connected kegel exercisers and modern breast pumps. Over the past six months, the brand’s sales have multiplied five-fold. Prior to this, she worked on Unilever’s global brand development team for Dove, where she ran several multi-million dollar projects including the launch of a deadorant brand.

What is your social network of choice and why?

I love Instagram because it is very visually inspiring and easy to use as a platform to connect brands with consumers.

What do you believe is the main quality the marketer of the future will need to possess?

The most important quality remains to understand and listen to the consumer and capture their environment holistically. There are endless touchpoints which need continuous improvement. Those are increasing and mainstream channels are cluttered. To stay relevant - create new channels and merge existing ones - be different, embrace the present and craft the future. Consumers switch loyalties rapidly but a brand has to stay loyal to its identity. My generation of marketers will need to be focused on the long-term.

How do you want to change the marketing industry?

Technology has opened a lot of doors for the marketing industry and will continue to do so in the future. It has become easier than ever to engage with consumers and find solutions to drive innovation. Marketers have the possibility to be more creative, more analytical and more inventive than before and consumers are embracing these changes. There are really exciting times ahead and the journey has only just started.

Kelly Farrell, marketing coordinator, LinkedIn

At the age of 22, Kelly Farrell relocated to London from Dublin after securing a role on the marketing team at LinkedIn. Since joining the company, her proudest achievements have included: developing LinkedIn's digital account-based marketing programme in EMEA; becoming one of a few specialists in ABM within the organisation; and educating thousands of people about our products through webinars.

How did you first become aware of marketing as a career?

I was always drawn to having a job which would allow me to be creative, but my lack of artistic prowess in school made me unsure of what form this may take. In my last year of school, I started writing a blog about fashion and food. I quickly became obsessed, spending hours teaching myself basic code, developing content, brand identity and a presence on social media. That was the catalyst. I fell in love with the idea of building brands and launching products people would care about - that's where marketing came into the picture.

If you could have worked with any brand at any point in history, what brand, when, and why?

Knowing what we know now about media consumption, If I could travel back in time, I would have loved to have worked on the broadcasting arm of Disney 15 years ago. Disney owned three huge TV networks; ABC, ESPN and the Disney Channel which reached over 270 million people, there was a huge opportunity for Disney to influence the wave disruption which hit the entertainment industry, namely streaming. I believe that Disney was uniquely positioned at the time to lead the way in streaming services and I would have loved to have worked on building that brand and product.

How do you want to change the marketing industry?

Companies are innovating faster than they ever did before which makes being a marketer right now so exciting, but some organisations have become far too obsessed with differentiation and uniqueness and as such they’ve been distracted from listening to their customers and getting the fundamentals right. Marketers should pay less attention to the latest crazes, as these things are usually a flash in the pan. Instead, focus on who your customers are, what their needs are and how they want to be communicated with. I can guarantee the ROI will be higher than any shiny, new martech solution.

Laurie Mackrell, head of marketing, Harrisons Property London

Laurie Mackrell was previously creative director at unisex streetwear brand Hermit. Working within its in-house team of seven, he was focused on digitising the business and its marketing, under pressure, against tight timescales and budgets. In 2018, he took this experience a new investment-focused challenger brand, Harrisons Property London.

What is your social network of choice and why?

Instagram holds the top spot for me because by definition its content has always appealed to my love for photography. The platform has grown exponentially since I joined it in 2012 and I don't think anyone back then could have foreseen what a powerful platform it would become in influencing audiences around the world. I'm a self-confessed Instagram addict. I've logged more than five hours in my iPhone's last seven days' screen time, mostly mindlessly scrolling. I'm on the cusp of co-launching a clothing brand that we'll grow largely through raising awareness of worth causes via Instagram content.

If you could have worked with any brand at any point in history, what brand, when, and why?

I've always aspired to Virgin Atlantic's brand and would love to have played a part in building what it is today, especially during the late 80s and early 90s. In an era of fierce competition as a result of the changing landscape of air travel and a booming industry, it stood out and continues to do so, with flashes of red in a sea of monotonous grey.

How do you want to change the marketing industry?

Consumers are now averse to being 'pitched' to. The old tricks of the marketing trade don't wash anymore, with audiences filtering out plain sales tactics and already becoming wary of the lies many influencers carry. I want to bring back some style to marketing and advertising, appealing to the consumer's sense of humour and appreciation for art, fashion and trending popular culture in clever ways that excite, rather than trying to trick buyers out of their cash through gimmicky campaigns. I believe this is possible when brands are able to cut through the clutter by wowing consumers.

Timothy Katoga, head of digital marketing and communications, Europe, Gulf & Africa, Veolia Mobile Water Services

Timothy Katoga has held roles at the Mobo Awards, Natruly Gifted, SBTV and Headlam Group. He is currently leading the digital marketing and communications initiatives for Europe and Africa at Veolia Mobile Water Services, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Veolia with a turnover of around €25bn.

How did you first become aware of marketing as a career?

It started at 15-years-old. I developed a penchant for the internet, technology, gadgets and marketing. I wanted to know how businesses were able to convince me to spend my hard-earned money on their products and services. That curiosity led me to attend seminars and networking events. I started to pay for workshops (out of my own pocket) in my spare time to learn more about marketing. Combining my passion for the Internet and technology, I then realised that I wanted a career in marketing. I've been learning and developing new skills ever since.

If you could have worked with any brand at any point in history, what brand, when, and why?

Brands can't expect to earn loyalty if they're neutral on issues that matter to their customers. This was true in the past and it's still true today. The only thing that has changed is the velocity and access to information. Nike has this concept woven in its fabric. Its #JustDolt 2018 campaign is a prime example of a brand that really understands this; a brand that is willing to stand by what it believes in. It would have been a pleasure to work on such a powerful campaign, in 2018, for such an innovative brand.

How do you want to change the marketing industry?

When you identify who you are, what you believe in, what you stand for, what you value, and then always act on those values, it makes life (and business) much easier. I want to help people and companies act on the values that matter to them. Good marketing doesn't happen in a vacuum. The best strategies come from paying close attention to what people care about, and how their needs change over time. I want to change the industry by putting consumers at the forefront of everything by showing that I'm listening to the hardest, too, at what they care about.

Winona Mack, digital marketing coordinator, Yamaha Motor Corporation

Having moved over from Bealls in 2016, Winona Mack is currently digital marketing coordinator at Yamaha Motor Corporation. Over the past three years, she has created a content management strategy, bulked up its influencer proposition and managed a successful dealership social program with over 600 posts and 64,000 impressions spanning across 300 dealerships.

How did you first become aware of marketing as a career?

When I was young, my father would bring home marketing samples he had created. I loved the vivid imagery and clever thoughtfulness behind the presentation. I also wanted to create something that would capture my audience's attention the way he did. Now, I have learned what it is to be a marketer and the change I can effect in people's lives with marketing. I want to create value for customers with the marketing I do. I am determined, driven and pour my heart into my work. I am excited to continue to grow and evolve to be a leading marketer.

If you could have worked with any brand at any point in history, what brand, when, and why?

I would work for Adidas (if I didn't already work at an amazing company). It has digitised most of the consumer journey which has proven to be successful for them. It uses innovative technology as part of its marketing strategy, including creating those personalized touchpoints with consumers at every step of the consumer journey. It has a consistent experience throughout mobile, web and other channels. It’s also constantly using its marketing to create value for customers. One example is its recent beta test to be one of the first 20 top brands to introduce a ‘checkout’ button on Instagram.

How do you want to change the marketing industry?

I want to be a marketer that effects change in the industry and impacts the world through their marketing. I want to do this by telling a story that resonates with a tribe of people. It is by targeting this group with a personalised and unique message instead of ‘mass-marketing’ to everyone. I believe we need to change the culture of marketing from "spam" to something that adds value, truly improves the life of the consumer and builds trust between a brand and an individual. As a digital marketer, I want to be a force for that change.

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