POWER 100: This Year's Marketing A-List Is Marked by Challenges from Ryanair's Michael O'Leary and David Haines of Vodafone

Article excerpt

Marketing's fourth annual Power 100 list represents the most influential people in the UK marketing industry in 2003. Here, we pit the credentials of marketing directors against heads of industry bodies, agency types and entrepreneurs. The result is a marketing A-list. As the elite of the industry, these 100 people hold the future of marketing in their hands.

If you've made it, congratulations - your next challenge is to hang on to your place or better it. If your name's not on the list this year, your mission for the next 12 months is to market yourself as one of the industry's heavyweights.

So how can you push your number one brand - yourself - and what does it take to make a powerful marketer? A famous brand? A huge budget? Industry influence? Star quality? Entrepreneurialism? The fact is that it takes all of these criteria, in different measures, for anyone to become a marketer powerful enough to win a place on our list.

In an industry where power is hard-won and easily lost, gauging who deserves a place on the list is a tough challenge. No one has to fill all five of the criteria to justify their place, but few will have less than two icons next to their name.

The brand is integral to a marketer's power. A strong brand invariably brings with it a higher profile and budget to match. As a brand becomes more successful, its performance is key to the success of the marketer.

In this list, money is about marketing budget rather than personal wealth.

We have only awarded spending power as a factor if the candidate has an adspend among the UK's top 100 advertisers (Marketing, February 27).

Brand and budget are straightforward criteria; but the remainder are more difficult to gauge. Influence is the banner under which key people from industry associations earn their place, but for many marketers, it is gained by becoming effective networkers, or by being involved with bodies such as the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA).

These marketers often wield influence and power beyond their primary role.

Celebrity status can be linked to influence, but can also be earned by industry personalities who command the respect and favour of their peers. These are the people you would love to take out to lunch to pick their brains. This icon is often awarded to those who are not necessarily marketers by training, but who have successfully built their own brand empire: the entrepreneurs.

Factors that influenced the rise or fall of individuals include job changes, specific campaigns launched during the past year and their perceived success, brand value and therefore company financial performance, along with the profile of the individual.

So if you think you stand a chance of joining the marketing elite and getting onto next year's Power 100 list - read on. You just might learn how it's done.

1. NIALL FITZGERALD, UNILEVER

For a man whose corporate life is based on selling detergent and shampoo, FitzGerald has built a reputation of international import. The former student Leftie, who spent five years running Unilever's South African food operation during the Apartheid era, keeps growing in stature. When he speaks about the euro, the Common Agricultural Policy or politics, people listen. And despite a recent blip in Unilever's performance - partly prompted by a decline in the popularity of Slimfast - FitzGerald's 'Path to Growth' strategy continues to look spot-on. The Unilever co-chairman and chief executive also holds non-executive directorships at Reuters, Merck and Ericsson, and has an influential position on the World Economic Forum.

2. CHRIS DE LAPUENTE, PROCTER & GAMBLE

It's a brave man who loiters in supermarket aisles quizzing shoppers on their use of feminine care products. But Procter & Gamble vice-president and managing director de Lapuente claims to spend two hours a week on such a mission in a quest to understand the 'two moments of truth' in a brand experience - consumer choice of the brand and consumer use of the brand. …

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