In honour of the Masters of Marketing awards, Marketing Week caught up with some the members of the Masters jury, the 60+ group who will judge the entries, to ask them the simple but $100m question: what makes great marketing activity?

Simon Carter, marketing director of Fujitsu UK

Great marketing for me is all about outcomes – what have you done to influence a business result?

Great marketing is not (just) about fancy creative, or huge budgets – it is about doing something that makes a customer undertake an action that helps fulfil the objectives of your business – this might result in a customer wanting to find out more about your brand or product/service; they might change their behaviour; or if you are really lucky, they might actually buy something from you!  

Marketing for marketing’s sake is just not relevant in today’s fast moving commercial world.

Hilary Cross, director of marketing and communication at Macmillan Cancer Support

Fantastic marketing activity begins and ends with the customer – understanding them really well and being clear about what you want them to think, feel and do.  

Then you can engage and build a relationship with them using creative excellence that ensures stand out, and by delivering a relevant offer and a meaningful experience of your brand.

At Macmillan we have diverse audiences – people with cancer, volunteers, health professionals and donors – and sometimes one customer can wear many hats.

We need to ensure our brand communications are integrated, consistent  and targeted so that, whatever the touchpoint, they experience one amazing Macmillan.

Sara Holt, vice president marketing, BBC Store

Great marketing activity pushes boundaries. It breaks into places you wouldn’t expect. It makes a habit of something completely new. It is disruptive, unexpected and imaginative. It uses the latest technology seamlessly and for smart targeting.

Great marketing is hard work to get approved. Someone senior thought it would never work and someone wouldn’t sign off the budget.

It is highly effective, creating records for conversions and considerations and sales. It is not expensive. It is noisy, well placed and shouts far louder then it should have.

Great marketing isn’t robust strategy and a 360 campaign. That’s a given. Great marketing does something else.

Pete Markey, CMO of The Post Office

We are living in The Attention Economy. Attention is the scarcest resource of the 21st Century. But it’s getting harder and harder to attract attention. Everyone is clamouring for our attention, people as much as brands.

Great marketing activity gets brands an unfair share of attention in a truthful and relevant way. It does this by delivering fresh, emotionally engaging expressions over a sustained period of time in order to stick in peoples’ minds and drive sales.

The very best marketing activity today inspires people to invite others to pay attention to your brand.

Simon Michaelides, marketing director of UKTV

The marketing landscape may have radically evolved in the last few years, but what makes for great marketing activity is timeless and constant.

Defined by four consistent characteristics, it reaches out and grabs your attention, it entertains and/or informs in a memorable way, it is timely and relevant in its delivery, and it is predicated on a meaningful insight that inspires its audience to change their attitudes and behaviour.

At its best, this formula results in iconic activity like Channel 4’s “Meet The Super Humans” campaign; arguably more impactful, memorable and synonymous with London 2012 than any of the main Olympic campaigns.

The Masters of Marketing will be awarded to those campaigns, brands and individuals that demonstrate true mastery in marketing. There are 46 categories covering industry sectors and disciplines. To find out more and to enter go to Masters of Marketing. Deadline is 23 September.

Russell Parsons

Published 7 September, 2015 by Russell Parsons

Russell Parsons is the Editor of Marketing Week.

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Comments (2)

Pete Austin

Pete Austin, Founder and Author at Fresh Relevance

Simon Carter seems closest. Great marketing is about results.

Surprised that nobody mentioned breaking down barriers - making it easy for people to buy from you. It's not sexy, and potential customers may not even notice it happening, but it's where you find low-hanging fruit for reliable ROI improvements.

almost 3 years ago


martin bexley, director at revolve

Simon Carter is absolutely the closest, it's about creating awareness, engagement and then, dare I say it, Sales - otherwise what's the point. Not sure what Sara Holt is talking about- less jargon please.

almost 3 years ago

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