Digital marketing and technology is expanding at a rate faster than the world has ever seen. Global strategies are becoming more important than ever and all marketers are scrambling to keep up. So if 2014 was a year of big progress, 2015 might give it a run for its money.
While the quick rate of change and innovation presents certain challenges to marketers this year, it also presents boundless opsportunities for growth. Certain key marketers will be important to watch this coming year as they stand on the edge of innovation and change. Here’s our pick for four people to watch in 2015.
BuzzFeed, Senior Director of Creative Services
Of the publishers that graced Marketing Dive’s headlines, Buzzfeed may have been the most prolific. Since its inception, the viral mastermind has been a shining example of how native content can – and perhaps should – work. A big driver in the native content development is senior director of creative services, Melissa Rosenthal.
Besides heading up one of the most successful native ad programs in the U.S., Rosenthal was named one of Forbes “30 under 30” in 2014. Rosenthal is now focusing on recreating the creative department she’s built in its New York headquarters in other countries.
Google, Senior VP Global Marketing
Google+: Lorraine Twohill
It’s easy to dismiss a marketing position at Google as secondary because the search giant has such a dominance in the advertising market it’s helped to create. But times are changing and no company—not even Google—should be resting on its laurels. Social media, rival ad exchanges, and global expansion all provide new challenges for Google’s marketing.
That’s why vice president of global marketing, Lorraine Twohill, will be a person to watch in 2015. After her promotion to senior VP in June, Twohill has been busy helping Google expand into markets, like Japan for example, where the search engine doesn’t dominate. The VP is working on developing video strategies with the Google-owned YouTube and pioneering new ways to reach mobile heavy markets – like Korea. Twohill currently overseas operations in over 30 countries and will certainly be making some news in the coming year.
Sharethrough, Founder & CEO
Although the practice has been around for decades, the world of digital marketing opened up the door to a whole new world of opportunity that made ‘native ads’ the industry buzzword in 2014. The industry understands that native ads work, but has been struggling with details like ethics and the ability to scale.
Dan Greenberg is helping to pioneer a new way to develop and distribute native content with his startup, Sharethrough. In 2014, the firm was able to secure $17 million in funding to help propel its in-feed ads platform even further. Publishers like People, Forbes, and E! Online are among those who help Sharethrough's network reach 227 million unique visitors monthly. In 2015, Greenberg’s company will likely continue to innovate – both for the industry and as a response to growing competition from firms like TripleLift. Not to mention he, like Rosenthal, was named a Forbes ’30 Under 30,’ but in 2011. See a pattern emerging?
Marcos de Quinto
The same month that Coca-Cola was bumped off its 13-year throne at the top of Interbrand’s “Top 100 Global Brands List,” the soft drink brand appointed a new chief marketing officer. Marcos de Quinto was moved up from his spot as president of the Iberia unit covering Portugal in Spain. His appointment is a deviation from Joe Tripodi, the previous CMO, as De Quinto has proven to be prolific and a bit controversial—he once told a conservative family-values group that was upset with an ad that "if the price to pay for you to not stop drinking Coca-Cola is that I have to think like you, I prefer you don't drink it. Seriously." He is also frequent tweeter in his native Spanish.
De Quinto is expected to be relocated from Madrid to Atlanta this month to fully take on his responsibilities as CMO at the Coke headquarters. He is the first non-American CMO, and his transformation will be one to watch as Coke redefines its brand in a world that seems more interested in tech gadgets than soda.