The past year has brought big changes to the business landscape, forcing marketers to be more resourceful than ever. These are the nominees for The Marketing Society Marketer of the Year 2012, to be voted on by readers of Marketing and members of The Marketing Society. The winner will be revealed at the Society's Awards for Excellence on 11 June at the London Hilton. Read these profiles and cast your vote by 5pm on Friday 4 May via marketingsociety awards.com/vote.
Have your say on Twitter @TheMarketingSoc #MOTY2012
BEN CULL - Head of Marketing, Yeo Valley Organics
Cull has enjoyed a fantastic rise. Yeo Valley's marketing director, who has been showered with awards for his creative leadership, launched the brand's first TV campaign in 2010.
Yeo Valley is still collecting awards. In 2011 it won the prestigious Grand Prix at the Marketing Society Awards for Excellence for its 'Live in harmony' campaign featuring rapping farmers, created by Bartle Bogle Hegarty. The campaign, which has evolved to launch boy band The Churned, has continued to capture the nation's attention. While Little Mix won last year's The X Factor, it was Yeo Valley and BBH that stole the crown in the ad breaks, standing out in a crowded commercial space.
JAMES EADIE - Olympic portfolio director, Coca-Cola Great Britain
This is unquestionably Eadie's year in the sun as he successfully conducts a wide orchestra of Coca-Cola brands vying for their place in the Olympic spotlight.
From flagship brand Coca-Cola's tie-up with Mark Ronson to Vitaminwater's partnership with Jessie J, Coke has achieved cut-through in a cluttered market. Employing a focus on youth and sustainability, powered by a fusion of sports and music, former Army captain Eadie has quickly become one of the most-admired and successful Olympic marketers. He must also be credited for looking beyond the commercial benefits of sponsorship to focus on the Games' positive social legacy. This concept of a social ROI marks a dramatic shift in thinking for Coca-Cola.
JOHN EDWARDS - Global brand director, Land Rover
As the driving force behind Land Rover's resurgence, Edwards has had a phenomenal 12 months, with the marque enjoying great success in emerging markets. Last year China overtook the UK to become Jaguar Land Rover's biggest market.
Last September's launch of the Range Rover Evoque has been key to a major success story. Land Rover's commitment to NPD places the marque in pole position to capitalise on the growing importance of emerging markets to the automotive industry.
ANDY FENNELL - Chief marketing officer, Diageo
One of the most straight-talking and highly respected marketers in the business, many in the industry believe 2012 is Fennell's year.
Having shown grace and strength under pressure, he is now reaping the rewards of a marketing restructure that included a shift from individual brands to categories. A focus on digital, including a high-profile partnership with Facebook, has also helped ensure Diageo remains on the front foot when it comes to innovation. A fantastic brand guardian, during his career at Diageo Fennell helped double the turnover of the Smirnoff vodka and rum portfolios in three years. In a tough market, he has rejuvenated his brands and continued to invest in marketing.
NIGEL GILBERT - Chief marketing officer, Virgin Media
Gilbert has been busy, restructuring Virgin Media's marketing department into a 'customer marketing organisation' handling brand marketing, customer insight and commercial strategy.
A marketer of some intellect, he has ushered in a fresh creative direction, the result being a series of humorous ads starring athlete Usain Bolt, actor David Tennant and Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson, under the strapline 'Keep up'. Gilbert is also forging ahead with plans to make 'super-fast broadband' available to 13m homes across the UK.
In addition, the brand has vowed to bring wi-fi and mobile internet services to London Underground passengers in time for the Olympics.
RICHARD HODGSON - Group commercial director, Morrisons
The former Asda and Waitrose marketer has had a dramatic impact on the Morrisons business since his arrival in 2010.
It has been a fantastic 12 months for Hodgson. The supermarket enjoyed a cracking Christmas (total sales including fuel rose 5.6% in the six weeks to 1 January), and was quick to adapt to consumers stocking up on their festive foods earlier than usual. Morrisons also branched out into festivals with the launch of MFest, which will take place this July, an initiative being overseen directly by Hodgson.
STEVE LANGAN - Managing director, Hiscox UK, and group marketing director, Hiscox
Langan is a genuine innovator, responsible for insurer Hiscox's retail product lines across the UK and Ireland. Prior to joining Hiscox, he worked at Diageo for eight years: for three of them, he was managing director of the drinks company's Italian subsidiary, based in Turin. Langan has also garnered experience at some of the world's best-known blue-chip companies and brands, including Nestle, Bass Brewers and Coca-Cola.
Langan has, in a short time, transformed a respected business into a powerful consumer franchise in an overcrowded market. He has installed strong values and culture across the business with marketing at the heart. The brand continued to grow its footprint during the past 12 months with sponsorship of programmes on Channel 4 and investment in outdoor advertising.
DIETRICH MATESCHITZ - Chief executive, Red Bull
Mateschitz is one of the most successful entrepreneurs of our age and a true marketing visionary. Having started his marketing career at Unilever, he co-created Red Bull, in the process developing a whole product category: energy drinks.
Not content with cracking the beverage market, Mateschitz has also been instrumental in the success of the Red Bull Formula One motor racing team over the past 12 months. He is making inroads into the media world, too, with a burgeoning film, TV and magazines operation and plans to make Red Bull a leading content provider. The Austrian, who rarely gives interviews, has a 49% stake in the privately owned company, marketing it to young people through its constantly evolving association with extreme sports.
GREG NUGENT - Director of brand marketing and culture, London 2012
Managing the branding of London 2012 is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the energetic Nugent. Describing the task as 'unprecedented in its scale and complexity', Nugent is responsible for the look of the Games, volunteer drive, torch relay and the marketing of the Cultural Olympiad.
It has been an exhilarating 12 months for him. Describing the Olympic Games as not a brand in the traditional sense, but rather a 'movement that is never satisfied and always moving forward', the former Eurostar marketer has propelled the brand onward since his appointment in 2009. On a limited budget and using Olympic sponsor services, Nugent has managed many London 2012 campaigns including drives for volunteers, the torch relay and the Cultural Olympiad.
SARAH SPEAKE - Strategic marketing director, Google
Speake, the energetic and engaging diversity champion for Google EMEA, runs the company's women's leadership council in the region and sits both on the project team for connecting women in technology and the management committee for women in technology.
A rising star, she has climbed the ranks at Google at a pivotal time for marketing within the business. From appointing Adam & Eve to create 'Tom', an emotional ad campaign to promote Google+, to its investment in Think Quarterly magazine, Google has put marketing at the heart of its continued innovation drive. Known for her innate understanding of the media business, Speake's record includes stints at Carat and VNU Global Media, demonstrating that she is innovative and strategic in equal measure.
KEITH WEED - Chief marketing and communication officer, Unilever
In developing the Unilever plan for sustainable living, which aims to double the company's profitability and halve its environmental impact by 2020, Weed has set the standard for CSR not just in the UK, but across the globe.
The high-profile marketer has been responsible for a step change in the marketing of the Unilever brand. While rivals have focused on slashing costs, Unilever has supported its core brands, as well as highlighting Unilever itself as a consumer-facing brand to engender trust. When so many brands are sacrificing brand equity in favour of short-term profits, this strategy is to be applauded.
SUZI WILLIAMS - Group marketing and brand director, BT
Williams is the driving force behind BT's London 2012 sponsorship and has overseen a successful brand-activation programme.
Her long-term vision is to change the face of the company, and she has driven innovation across the business. A marketer who excels both at internal and external communications, Williams has engaged BT's 100,000-strong workforce in its 'Difference is you' programme, which has delivered a consistent tone of voice across the business. With a brief that encompasses brand development, internal brand engagement, marketing and commercial innovation, media and sponsorship, Williams knows her business, and marketing, inside-out. A true expert.
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