Vision 100 List Reveals Marketing Pioneers for 2015

Mar­ket­ing Week has just com­piled its sec­ond annu­al Vision 100 list in asso­ci­a­tion with Adobe. This count­down of the most vision­ary exec­u­tives in the busi­ness world gives us insight into the most influ­en­tial indi­vid­u­als in mar­ket­ing and com­merce. This list cer­tain­ly fea­tures the biggest names from the most promi­nent brands, but also touch­es upon a raft of peo­ple who emanate from start-ups, and SMEs.

The empha­sis with this list is very much on the qual­i­ty of vision, and although the major­i­ty of peo­ple fea­tur­ing in the Mar­ket­ing Week top 100 have the word ‘mar­ket­ing’ in their titles, CEOs, brand direc­tors and dig­i­tal leads also fea­ture. This reflects the fact that although mar­ket­ing is often thought of as being the sole respon­si­bil­i­ty of mar­ket­ing depart­ments, in fact influ­encers from all over a busi­ness can have a sig­nif­i­cant impact on this impor­tant area.

In the diverse world of con­tem­po­rary mar­ket­ing, many dif­fer­ent qual­i­ties are required in order to effec­tive­ly pro­mote a brand, com­pa­ny or prod­uct. There­fore an equal­ly wide set of para­me­ters was used in order to select this group of elite indi­vid­u­als. The cri­te­ria utilised in the com­pi­la­tion of the Vision 100 includ­ed meet­ing and over­com­ing chal­lenges, lead­ing on prod­uct, ser­vices or tech­nol­o­gy inno­va­tion, and trail­blaz­ing in a par­tic­u­lar indus­try or profession.

There have been a par­tic­u­lar accen­tu­a­tion in this most recent list on the mul­ti-chan­nelled, mul­ti-device con­tem­po­rary world. This is becom­ing a crit­i­cal aspect of mar­ket­ing, with the dig­i­tal oper­a­tions of com­pa­nies often cen­tral to their suc­cess or oth­er­wise. Con­sid­er­ing that this is such a rapid­ly evolv­ing envi­ron­ment, risk-tak­ing becomes a cen­tral part of pro­mot­ing and suc­cess­ful­ly adver­tis­ing a brand. It is essen­tial to inno­vate and embrace new tech­nolo­gies; stand­ing still is cer­tain­ly not an option in this cli­mate. Thus, brands and indi­vid­u­als that have man­aged to rein­vent and trans­form them­selves have been par­tic­u­lar­ly reward­ed in this lat­est best of the best..

Of the 100 indi­vid­u­als who have been select­ed for this year’s Vision 100 list, there are many famil­iar faces and brands which are house­hold names. Two in par­tic­u­lar will be instant­ly recog­nis­able to reg­u­lar read­ers of, con­sid­er­ing that they have recent­ly been inter­viewed in this pub­li­ca­tion brought to you by Adobe.

The first of these is Direct Line’s Mark Evans, who dis­cussed how he is lead­ing a reju­ve­na­tion of the brand as it attempts to rede­fine the UK insur­ance indus­try once again. And Simon Michaelides, exec­u­tive board mar­ket­ing direc­tor for UKTV, also makes an appear­ance in this influ­en­tial group­ing. CMO had tak­en the oppor­tu­ni­ty to inter­view Michae­lidis just days ago, which has turned out to be a time­ly oppor­tu­ni­ty con­sid­er­ing his inclu­sion in the Vision 100. Michae­lidis has over­seen a change in struc­ture that has brought dig­i­tal from an edi­to­r­i­al func­tion into the heart of the mar­ket­ing depart­ment. His for­ward think­ing atti­tude when it comes to dig­i­tal has undoubt­ed­ly led to Michae­lidis being nominated.

Brands such as BMW, L’ Ore­al and Coca-Cola which have also fea­tured on were also promi­nent parts of the Vision 100 list­ing. And there are a raft of oth­er house­hold names in this who’s who of the mar­ket­ing indus­try in the present day.

As might be expect­ed, the Vision 100 list strong­ly embraces female mar­keters. Men make up the major­i­ty of the list, but there is a strong female pres­ence, with just over one-in-three of the indi­vid­u­als nom­i­nat­ed being female. This is con­sis­tent with the fig­ure from last year’s listing.

How­ev­er, else­where there have been sig­nif­i­cant shift­ing demo­graph­ics. Where­as 17% of the list was involved in the retail sec­tor last year, this has increased sig­nif­i­cant­ly with this year’s Vision 100 selec­tion. Over one-quar­ter of the 2015 list (28%) is based in the retail sec­tor, and this per­haps hints at some­thing of a come­back for the high street. It has been a dif­fi­cult time for retail in gen­er­al, but with seri­ous and sus­tained eco­nom­ic growth hav­ing occurred over the last year or so, it may be that people’s spend­ing pow­er is tak­ing them back into retail out­lets. This can only be a good thing for dig­i­tal mar­keters in the retail space.

But the new wave of retail is also rep­re­sent­ed in the Vision 100. It is notice­able that both Spo­ti­fy and Net­flix fea­ture in this list­ing, under­lin­ing the fact that the dig­i­tal econ­o­my is very much a strong com­peti­tor to tra­di­tion­al retail.

Mean­while, as retail appar­ent­ly per­forms extreme­ly well in terms of inno­va­tion, the finan­cial sec­tor has slumped sig­nif­i­cant­ly dur­ing the last 12 months, at least in the eyes of the Vision 100 list­ing. The num­ber of indi­vid­u­als involved in the finan­cial sec­tor on this year’s Vision 100 nom­i­na­tions list was snapped near­ly in half, falling to sev­en from 12 peo­ple last year. This per­haps sug­gests that the finan­cial sec­tor has more to do in order to keep up with the lat­est trends in marketing.

When one takes the time to peruse the Vision 100 list, it real­ly does encom­pass an extreme­ly impres­sive array of brands and promi­nent indus­try fig­ures. In fact, it becomes dif­fi­cult to actu­al­ly recog­nise an indus­tri­al niche which has not been tru­ly rep­re­sent­ed. But there are still fluc­tu­a­tions in pop­u­lar­i­ty between the list­ings from this year and last year, which sug­gests that some indus­tri­al sec­tors are doing a bet­ter job than oth­ers of mar­ket­ing them­selves in this new dig­i­tal age.

With the Vision 100 list expect­ed to clock up its third birth­day next year, it will be inter­est­ing to see what trends and ten­den­cies emerge over the next 12 months. Cer­tain­ly we can expect to see some new names on the list, as well as the rise to promi­nence of cer­tain indus­tri­al areas and demographics.