Today's top marketers are redefining the boundaries of what it takes to get ahead in the industry. From triple-dip recessions and data overload to the multitude of emerging media platforms, there is no doubt that marketers face challenging, yet immensely exciting times.
Among the nominees for this year's hotly contested Next Generation group, a common thread emerged - namely, a willingness to challenge the status quo and embrace technology to better meet consumers' changing demands.
Analytical, insightful and generous with their time and effort, these marketers testify to the enduring power of innovation and commitment, regardless of the economic climate.
The classically trained FMCG marketer, who formed the lynchpin of the industry in years gone by, has been usurped by a new breed of digital natives busy reshaping the marketing profession.
Instead of following a predetermined path, these marketers do not specialise too soon and stretch their interests and understanding way beyond the realms of their business and the brands upon which they work.
There is no denying that marketers, who work in the biggest area of discretionary spend in many businesses, have been at the sharp end of the economic downturn. However, as the industry continues to fight its way through financial turmoil, its brightest young talents have adapted their skill sets and used new channels to stay ahead of the competition. Smart businesses realise that they must adapt to keep hold of this elite group.