Power 100: Next Generation

The past 12 months may have been challenging, but the next generation of top marketers has the talent, ambition and tenacity to thrive, writes Nicola Clark.

Passion, confidence, and creativity are some of the qualities required for inclusion in Marketing's annual list of top talent aged 30 and under.

These young marketers may work on a diverse range of products - from the fast-paced media world of Sky to frozen-food brands McCain and Birds Eye - but they are united by their drive and energy.

Despite the recession and unprecedented pressure on marketing budgets, they have excelled in delivering stand-out for their brands.

With a greater emphasis on digital than ever, those within this group are committed to reaching their core audiences.

All acknowledge that breaking into marketing is difficult, but they praise the industry for its variety and innovation.

Each member of the line-up, produced in partnership with marketing communications agency Engine, looks well set for big things.

JOSH DEAN 29, SENIOR GLOBAL BRAND MANAGER, AXE SKIN

Making sure the 'Lynx Effect' still resonates is a big job. The Lynx/Axe brand is established in 41 countries, and its Twist variant has been rolled out in 35 of these. Developing global activity to address these markets is no mean feat. 'You really have to be a jack of all trades,' says Dean. 'Young marketers just want to create big ad campaigns, but you really need consumer insight to build a brand people love.' Having joined the Unilever graduate scheme, he worked on a range of brands including Dove and Persil. A year spent on the front line, selling to Tesco, has helped to keep Dean's feet planted firmly on the ground. 'Seeing my product on the shelf is still the biggest buzz,' he adds.

Favourite campaign: Burger King's 'Whopper Virgins'

Favourite brand: Uniqlo

LIZA BATE 24, DIGITAL MARKETING EXECUTIVE, ORANGE

As a film graduate, Bate has a natural affinity with the Orange brand. After working in TV production for a year, she sat down and made a list of the brands she loved and set about landing a job with the mobile network. This year she managed the digital activity supporting Orange's association with Bafta and built up a highly engaged community of consumers around Orange's Film Club.

Biggest marketing challenge: 'The digital landscape is changing and this change is only set to accelerate. Marketers need to focus on really integrating their campaigns.'

Favourite brand: Innocent

Favourite campaign: Nike 'Bottled Courage'.

'I'm not an athlete but Nike's advertising really makes you want to get into sport. Marketing that makes you change your behaviour is great.'

MATT RICHARDS 28, BRAND MANAGER, COATED FISH, BIRDS EYE

South African-born Richards lived in Cape Town, Belgium and the Isle of Man before moving to the UK and joining Birds Eye. It is clear that the marketer shares his brand's entrepreneurial spirit. 'I really enjoy following the product development process from concept to selling it to Tesco and Asda and then to the consumer at home,' he says. Having started his career at Nielsen, Richards relishes having a more hands-on position. 'Some of our agencies aren't sufficiently down-to-earth to get who the frozen food consumer is,' he adds. 'These are iconic brands which have been around since World War II and it's great to work on them.'

Advice: 'Know everything about your consumer. Then you can carve out a niche.'

Favourite campaign: Comparethemarket.com 'It's delivered cut-through in a complex marketplace.'

TOM WADE 29, BRAND MANAGER, MONKEY SHOULDER

Wade started his career running focus groups at TNS before moving to FreshMinds as head of marketing. An interest in NPD led to a role at Danone, until he swapped dairy products for something harder - the whisky brand Monkey Shoulder. Wade relishes the challenge of starting from scratch. 'You have so much more freedom when you are working with a new brand,' he says.

Favourite campaign: Stella Artois 'Recyclage de luxe'

Favourite brand: Specsavers. 'Its "Should have gone to Specsavers" campaign has been around forever, but the execution is always fresh and funny. More than that, it delivers the message of good-looking specs at low prices effortlessly. The company's in-house creative team hit the mark with the recent parody of Lynx's "Billions" ad.'

ANNA SHEARD 27, SENIOR MARKETING MANAGER GLOBAL, MONOPOLY

The dynamic Sheard applied for a job on the graduate trainee scheme at toy manufacturer Hasbro, but was drafted in as a team assistant on the marketing team, where she worked across the games portfolio. She describes her job as product development, research and insight. From working on setting the world record for the greatest number of people playing Monopoly at the same time to jetting off to Brazil and China, Sheard has a packed schedule.

Advice: 'Grab every opportunity. In my career I have very rarely said no. Be unique - people don't remember the average or the normal.'

Favourite campaign: Specsavers. 'From Postman Pat to its take on the Lynx ad, its creative executions always stand out.'

Favourite brand: Benefit make-up

LOUISE MULLOCK 30, HEAD OF ONLINE SALES AND MARKETING, SKY

It is easy to see that the personable Mullock started her career in PR (working for brands such as Boddingtons and Thorntons). She is an excellent communicator - clear, bright and forthright - and has focused heavily on digital marketing. From creating Facebook Fan pages to relaunching Sky HD, Mullock has a lot on her plate.

Advice: 'Be really proactive when you are starting out and show you are willing to learn. Competition is fierce and the calibre of graduates is really high, so you need to get as much marketing experience as possible.'

Biggest marketing challenge: 'There are different challenges in every spectrum, but there has been a lot of consolidation in the digital display market in the past 12 months. It's how you capitalise on this change that counts.'

NATHALIE MASOIN 29, PARTNERSHIP MARKETING MANAGER, BRITISH AIRWAYS

Masoin is not a marketer who could be accused of living in an ivory tower - when Heathrow's Terminal 5 launched, she was on hand to offer travellers support. 'It was great to get the opportunity to help customers,' she says. Clearly passionate about the BA brand, Masoin has a big job on her hands. She joined the airline to look after its BA Miles communications and was promoted last year to lead the entire UK and Ireland partnership marketing team. Masoin's solid background in direct marketing - she worked agency-side at EHS Brann - and her fantastic people skills should stand her in good stead.

Favourite campaign: Comparethemarket.com

Favourite brand: Google. 'It's so simple, credible and innovative.'

GREG FOSTER 28, SENIOR PRODUCT MANAGER, MCCAIN

Foster has the challenge of persuading British consumers, concerned about their ever-expanding waistlines, that potato products are not junk food. McCain has sought to achieve this via its 'It's all good' positioning. For someone who had always been interested in brands, taking a job on McCain's marketing team was an easy decision, and Foster joined straight from university. 'In the face of obesity, chips have been unfairly demonised and we really believe in embedding the "It's all good philosophy" in consumers minds,' he says.

Favourite brand: John Lewis, Mr & Mrs Smith

Favourite campaign: Walkers 'Do us a flavour'

Biggest marketing challenge: 'In these turbulent times the changing media consumption habits of consumers are key, we need to embrace new strategies and ideas.'

DANIEL HILL 27, COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER, LARGE CARS, VW

Getting a new car every six months isn't the only thing that attracted Hill to VW.

Having joined the marque as a parts marketing manager, he is now enjoying his chance to create marketing activity for the whole car. Hill claims he is 'not a petrol-head' but it is clear that he has a genuine passion for the VW brand. 'It's a great product and, as a business, you have absolute faith everything is done properly,' he says.

Biggest marketing challenge: 'Measurement and accountability are huge issues. Justifying spend and measuring results are key, especially when budgets are cut first in marketing. It is all about hard work and thoroughness, but research is no golden ticket to a great campaign.'

Favourite campaigns: Nike 'Community' and Nike+

JO TASKER 25, DIRECT MARKETING MANAGER, SAINSBURY'S

Before the energetic Tasker joined Sainsbury's, she had never been to London, and leaving Liverpool was quite a wrench. However, her natural flair for retail, boosted by the time she spent working at her local Next store during her university years, meant the six months she was required to spend on the shop floor as a graduate trainee proved a positive experience. 'It was hard work, but now I can see it was invaluable, as I really understand how marketing fits into the business,' says Tasker. She continues to grasp opportunities to develop. 'Every day is different, from email marketing to the Little Ones Baby and Toddler Club to in-store promotions, I'm always learning,' she adds.

Favourite campaign: Comparethemarket.com

Favourite brand: Innocent. 'The brand personality comes out through everything it does.'

ROB BAYNE 29, SENIOR BRAND MANAGER, ACTIMEL

Supremely focused and ambitious, Bayne's remit is to plan and deliver probiotic yoghurt drink Actimel's brand strategy. Following a stint agency-side, at Ogilvy, as well as working for Channel 4 and Johnson & Johnson, he is a well-rounded marketer with a £9m media budget and a brief to make probiotics relevant to consumers. 'The wonderful thing about marketing is you're given no set path,' says Bayne. 'What that means is you have to stand out and make your skills stand out.'

Favourite campaign: Walkers 'Do us a flavour'

Biggest challenge: 'If consumer spending decreases, there'll be greater pressure on marketers to think tactically and focus on the short term. The key to delivering sustainable growth is making your brand stand out from the crowd and not relying on commercial solutions alone.'

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