The guy who went from 'nobody' to #1 marketing influencer in 15 months, the woman that teaches the world about the role of AI in marketing, Europe’s SEO guru, the content queen who was featured in every leading publication you can think of, the man that turned himself into a brand, and others!
In this must-read article, 12 key marketing superheroes will share their views about new and coming trends and changes in the UK’s marketing industry and how marketing will be managed in 2025. You will learn about these unique individuals and will discover the skills and expertise that has led them to be followed by thousands of people online and listened to at some of the industry’s largest events and in major publications.
We call these influencers disruptive because each one of these rockstars tells their unique story in a way that engages people and changes businesses for the best. They are disruptive not because they swim against the stream (though some of them certainly do!), but because of the fact that, in this crazy digital world, they have found ways of touching upon businesses’ real pain points and therefore became more relevant than any groundbreaking technology or tool.
And, if that weren’t enough, they are disruptive because they became our friends, transcending the bounds of technology to engage with us, members of a crazy hybrid species, people who are entranced with technology, yet deeply human-centered. We aren't an agency, nor are we a platform. we are neither and both and… and we are Mayple. No, not the syrup. But yes, just as sweet.
So here is our rundown of the UK’s most disruptive influencers, circa 2019
Sam is the guy who went from virtual 'Nobody' to #1 Marketing Influencer in just 15 Months (without a website). Sam specialises in digital marketing, and after 6+ years in the field, founded his own company. You can find Sam featured in content by leading industry-recognised organisations such as SEMrush, SalesForce and Mention, as well as on large global publications, such as Entrepreneur, Inc and Forbes. His enthusiasm is positively contagious.
Without a doubt, a shift from revenue-focused marketing to customer centricity is needed in the UK!
Coupled with this: A mentality that devotedly serves retention, not 'churn and burn' strategies.
All too often, further overseas brands just do things better — I see it displayed every day by acquaintances, clients, and brands I buy from abroad.
Go above and beyond to please your customers and let them know they mean the world to you as a business. (Because they really do.)
There are many UK brands that put so much effort into gaining new customers, they seem to forget about their existing base. #SourTaste
Yeah, you know those T.V. adverts I'm referring to!
This is often seen throughout all departments of said companies, which can create truly awful experiences for people who should be enjoying a pleasant purchase journey.
I've never advertised any of my services; I've always been dedicated to putting people and relationships first.
It really pays when you genuinely want your audience and customers to succeed and/or simply feel good — my story is only testament to this concept that will be alien to some.
(Additionally, I also use a lot of emojis.)😊👊🚀😁
If you're looking for someone whose passion for content knows no bounds, Lilach is your gal. Highly regarded on the world speaker circuit, Lilach Bullock is a content marketing and social media specialist and speaker, who is tremendously connected and highly influential within the digital marketing scene. Lilach is a leading influencer & expert in the fields of digital marketing & tech. She is an online marketer, digital & tech thought leader, content creation expert, and an acclaimed speaker on the subjects of digital & technological innovations - and everything she touches turns to gold.
In the coming years, we’ll probably struggle to find any successful business that doesn’t have a social media presence. Artificial Intelligence will surely have a significant impact on social media, and businesses will have to learn how to use it is a smart way to their communications and service benefit. New forms of content will certainly appear. Augmented reality and virtual reality will make their impact known. Businesses will be using a much wider variety of expertise to create their content and will have to be even more creative so they will be able to differentiate themselves.
Social media platforms themselves won’t change that much over time, but rather the way people use them. Businesses will have to adapt to ever-changing consumer behavior and get more and more agile with their marketing efforts so they can respond quickly. Proving ROI will continue to be one of the biggest challenges social media marketers face, and businesses will have to use more research and tools to do so.
I create holistic online marketing that motivates people to connect with brands. My mission is to translate my successful strategies to help businesses position themselves effectively in their industry.
Want to turn your business into a digital empire? Chris is the Emperor of all things future-forward and entrepreneurial you absolutely must be following on social medi. With an unwavering eye on the future, Chris has built several businesses and employs over 350 workers around the world, and generously shares his knowledge and wisdom with those looking to enter the serial entrepreneur sphere as well. The term Youpreneur – which Chris coined in 2014 - describes the rise of the personal brand entrepreneur, a new business model anticipated by few but appreciated by many.
The game of online business has changed, and it’s going to continue to change. The problem with building your business based on ever-evolving rules is that they’re going to be different next week or next month or next year. No one can keep up with that. The main shift in attitude entrepreneurs can hugely enjoy is moving from trend-based marketing to personal brand based marketing. The world has changed the way consumers engage, and implementing a personal branding approach will keep them authentic, agile and engaging.
Marketing will be managed in a much more personal and agile way. Some entrepreneurs will be promoting their personality, instead of conceptual brands. I coined the term ‘Youpreneur’ to describe this strategy. It makes every decision so much easier because you’re not constantly trying to gauge the whims of the market. To do that, the first thing they need is to find who they are and what they want to be known for. That’s the single most important thing.
I help entrepreneurs become the go-to leaders in their industries; building profitable, sustainable business around them and those they want to serve. I do that in two steps that are combined with each other. The first is self-awareness - defining who you actually are, what you want to be known for and what you want to become known for. The second step is defining your target audience and their main pain points. Combine the two together and you have a Youpreneur strategy to start with.
Lukasz is the wanderlust SEO guy you may actually get to meet in person! An SEO Consultant for mid-sized and large organisations with 15+ years experience in the field, Lukasz enjoys traveling all over the world, appearing as a speaker and judge in leading industry events, including Brighton SEO (UK), UnGagged (UK), Marketing Festival (Czech Republic), SES London (UK), and ClickZ Shanghai (China). And with good reason. He's really great at what he does! He has also been hailed as a Search Award Judge and Top 10 UK Influencer. After years of managing organic growth, visibility, and customer engagement for some of the UK’s largest brands, Lukasz has founded his own SEO consultancy firm, which enables him a certain degree of flexibility to spread the "SEO wealth" whenever his fancy takes flight.
I think companies need to be more willing to be creative with their marketing, rather than just conforming to what everybody else is doing. We know that SEO and PPC are valuable, and I’m definitely not suggesting that anyone stops implementing these campaigns, but I do think that if companies were more willing to think outside the box, they may start to see higher levels of success.
For example, I’ve worked with local companies who use HubSpot and MailChimp to send out newsletters. And, while this strategy can work well for repeat custom, I also advise local businesses to also consider more traditional marketing methods like posting flyers and buying ad space in the local paper. Obviously, this isn’t something that’s going to work as well for multinational companies - but for local it can still be a success.
So, I guess what I’m saying is that while the most common marketing techniques still work, and are still recommended, it’s definitely worth thinking outside of the box and this is something the industry should start to recommend. Think about where your target audience spend much of their time, and think about the marketing methods you could employ that your competitors are ignoring. Those who do this may be surprised by the success they achieve.
By 2025, I expect the marketing skills that many of us have today will be outdated and no longer useful. Similar to how SEO has changed drastically over the past ten years and how we’ve all had to evolve to adjust to the changes, I expect to see a similar thing happen with marketing in general. Machine learning is growing by leaps and bounds, and those who have a generalist skill set will easily be overtaken. Instead, we’ll all be specialising in niche areas like data analytics and neuromarketing.
I also don’t think lead generation will be as important as it is today, but instead customer retention will be what most companies are interested in. And when you think about it, it makes sense. Not only is customer retention cheaper, but most consumers are brand loyal, so when they find a company that they like working with, they’ll stick with them. Marketers will be looking at the lifetime value of a customer too and doing what they can to extract the full amount from them. This will require a whole different mindset to the lead generation style of marketing the majority of companies perform today.
When I help clients with marketing, the one thing I do before anything else is find out more about who they are. I truly believe that in order for a campaign to be successful, you need to know who it is you are advertising to. After all, without understanding your target market, you can’t create the kind of ads, content, and marketing material that will bring you success.
I also make use of a number of tools to help me implement a good campaign. I’m not afraid to use a variety of tools to help ensure I’m targeting the correct keywords. I also perform A/B testing to ensure that every campaign I run is worth the client’s money. There’s no point at all in continuing to pump dollars into a campaign that isn’t making that money back, but sometimes just a few tweaks is all that is needed.
Finally, I also make sure to keep my clients informed about what I am doing and ask for their feedback. It’s happened before that a client will give me a small nugget of insight or make a suggestion that takes their campaign to the next level. I’m not keen on the conformist approach. I think the human touch and individualised marketing is much better.
Who knows EVERYTHING about AI? Why, Katie King does! And lucky for you, she's in a sharing mood! Katie is a published author, keynote speaker and consultant on the subjects of marketing, artificial intelligence (AI) and digital transformation. Katie has over 30 years of consulting experience under her belt and has advised many of the world's leading brands and business leaders on how to integrate AI into their businesses to obtain actionable results. She was even recently appointed to the UK Government All-Party Parliamentary Group's (APPG) task force to help with enterprise-grade AI adoption and is the proud author of Using Artificial Intelligence in Marketing: How to Harness AI and Maintain the Competitive Edge. Extra, extra! You're going to read all about everything this influencer has to say.
AI will supercharge marketing professionals with augmented intelligence across all of their tasks. It will revolutionise day-to-day practices and boost productivity. It is already being used in a variety of customer service functions. Beyond chatbots, AI’s capabilities are being used in airports for guest service guidebots, and AI also fuels a fully-robotised ‘team’ at the Henn na Hotel in Tokyo. AI can streamline some of the more expensive, repetitive, and time-consuming business processes. In order for these advancements to create value in the workplace, management and the workforce will have to adapt.
2025 will see marketing pros co-existing in the workplace with machines. This will include chatbot assistants, and email assistants who will operate like a member of the team. The big data insights from AI will reduce guesswork, giving marketing professionals the confidence that their strategy is correct.
My unique, deeply researched book showcases successes and failures of AI in marketing globally. I combine this with an MBA and 30 years’ consulting experience to assist clients with training and advisory to help them apply AI to their businesses to future proof and achieve growth.
Alvin is the Commercial Director at Content Team of the Year 2019 Beano Studios and a Keynote Speaker, with over 16K followers on LinkedIn and keynote speaking presence at some of the leading events in London and Europe, Alvin's digital voice is absolutely one that inspires positive, actionable thinking. Prior to joining Beano Studios, Alvin was a key member of The Hook Labs team, the award winning social marketing agency and content studio where he worked with the likes of Lionsgate, giffgaff, Bandai Namco, Hasbro, Samsung, Apple Music, Hyundai and Warner Bros. Alvin now helps brands and agencies "Think More Kid" - taking advantage of years of creating and delivering mischievous entertainment for kids, teens and families worldwide.
Like all my comments, what I will say will probably be outdated. The most dramatic change the marketing industry is going through is dramatic change. For example the on-going debates around the social media platforms, the rise of Voice assistants such as Google Home, Amazon Alexa, or the increasing power of ‘kidfluencers’ in family purchasing decisions. Teams and agencies that are able to adapt and take advantage of this will hugely benefit. What seems to tie in these dramatic shifts is the power of consumers and the importance of truly understanding them as well as communicating your brand values is becoming more paramount than ever.
Please don’t quote this back to me in 2025 (which sounds super futuristic with Timecop 2 being set then)! Perhaps bigger organisations will set up units that each act as ‘lean startups’ able to adapt and react to changing behaviours. I do wonder if planning will focus even more about engaging particular niche communities and generated increased results from them, rather than targeting a broad demographic to increase a ‘pipeline’.
I have spent nearly a decade working at innovative startups. My approach has always been to view content from the perspective of a consumer (whether that is a client or a member of the target audience for a campaign) and not just rely on individual biases (e.g. Well I don't do that so... .). At Beano Studios, we achieve this with insights to the 6-12-year-old audience, who are changing the rules when it comes to digital behaviors and opinions. With our ‘kids-first’ consultancy’, “Beano for Brands”, we help brands to “Think More Kid” to better engage with kids and their families.
David is the voice you simply cannot ignore. As the Founder and Host of Digital Marketing Radio, the marketer, author & podcaster is ready and eager to help you cultivate your brand and offering to meet your customers' needs, through exciting and engaging rhetoric. He additionally serves as a leading consultant, and the host of the Business Book of the Month podcast. So, which channel is your radio tuned to? If it's not David's you're making a critical business mistake!
The marketing industry is currently going through a massive change, partly because of the data and targeting options available to marketers, and partly because of the way that people consume content. However, the biggest challenge that marketers might face in the future could be understanding and appearing in recommendation engines, such as voice search. Consumers won’t browse for as many alternatives in the future. If you’re not top of the pile, you’ll be nowhere.
Marketing will be planned around audiences and buyer journeys in 2025. It will no longer be sufficient just to target consumers just before the point of purchase. You will need to build trust and own the relationship well before then to give yourself a chance of making the sale at some point in the future.
I use my “4H Content Marketing Model” to map the right content to consumers at the right time. Content is paramount to marketing success and I don’t plan marketing channel campaigns until I consider the content that audiences are likely to wish to interact with at every step along the journey. Audiences come first, followed by buyer journeys, then content. And then after that, marketing channels.
Mark is the "KPI Guy" who sparks growth in any brand he comes into contact with. A qualified Marketer (MCIM) with over 20 years commercial experience working for blue chip organisations (BT Plc, EDF Energy), Mark's career has spanned the fields of corporate sales, product development, innovation leadership, affinities management, digital strategy and corporate social responsibility. He is the Founder of Sparks4Growth Ltd., a company specialising in marketing consulting, strategy and digital marketing solutions. Focused on achieving customer KPIs and objectives to deliver “marketing that makes your business vision reality,” Mark thrives on innovation, quality and disruptive marketing practices.
The marketing industry is at risk and so are business customers. I work mainly with B2B clients and I constantly see clients at risk from poor quality suppliers. Those who promise the earth e.g. “we promise to get you to number one on Google” and yet deliver nothing that generates value or ROI. This hits the customer hard. It hits the reputation of the UK Marketing Industry even harder.
These low cost, low delivered value providers, send a message to the Market that services such as web development, SEO or social media are ‘quick and easy to achieve’. Of course they are neither of these things, at least if the customer hopes to generate business leads or sales, specialists are needed. The true value, time and expertise, is perceivably reduced and an over price sensitive market has emerged. One where price over measured quality leaves customers vulnerable to exploitation and often no ROI.
The UK Marketing Industry as a whole would do well to self-regulate and set up a Trust Mark like Check-A-Trade, to root out poor practices and give customer confidence. I know initially that is not going to be popular but I am more interested in integrity than ‘quick win’ popularity.
There is a juncture coming in Marketing, a new panacea, whereby the dominant channels such as social media and search engines are reaching saturation point. And that people are also reaching a saturation point of messages, channels, reducing ‘value’ from services available and ROI effectiveness reducing for businesses.
By 2025 I anticipate that deep machine learning, true AI and big data will help to shape marketing planning. Managing data will become even more paramount. Informed from voice, visual, geo-tracking and buying intent anticipation far more refined than today.
My unique approach is uphold quality and simplify. To focus on clients’ KPIs and Objectives first, then solutions 2nd. I have developed a Stop-Start-Continue framework that translates to both technical and non-technical decision makers. It is growth focused marketing.
Teresa is a positively disruptive influencer who was successfully turned the science of marketing into a vertiable art form. As an international social media & marketing keynote speaker, trainer and consultant, Teresa has also presented her knowledge and expertise on TEDx, giving over complex marketing tactics and techniques like they were stories she heard at the hair salon around the corner - with passion, vibrancy and precise details. She is one of the UK's leading social media marketing experts, with over 15 years of experience in the field. Teresa is the author of 'Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses'. She has been featured in content on leading platforms, including Social Media Examiner, Social Day, Atomic and others, the direct result of her knowledge, experience, expertise and artful presence online.
As the world moves more online, marketers are given amazing opportunities to make the customer journey and sales process more tailored and personal to each customer. We will be able to integrate slick automation processes with personal interaction through things like video messaging and voice messaging. Businesses should focus more on understanding their customers, building a community and loving them, rather than chasing follower numbers of social media.
Marketing planning will be very customer focused and I see functions merging into similar roles and using platforms for multiple reasons. Such as the sales, marketing and customer services roles working closer together and all being part of the customer journey which will become the focus rather than the business areas. Platforms such as messenger will be used by all departments of the business and through them you may experience sales, marketing and customer services.
Having been in Marketing for 15 years and also embracing new strategies I feel there is a unique approach to balance the both. To use foundation principles with new technology and platforms
Jonathan is the "muscleman" you want training your brand to excel in the field of social media. As a leading social media influencer and expert, he is passionate about helping train small businesses and charities in the UK, and runs The #SocialMediaDaily show on a daily basis. In 2010, Jonathan co-founded Laptop Friday, which brings freelancers and solopreneurs together for coworking and networking purposes. The event runs weekly in Cheltenham and Gloucester - be there or be square!
The customer is at the heart of marketing and yet with the rise of automation and AI, this is sometimes forgotten.
The dramatic change that the industry should go through is to truly put the customer first and to focus on giving them a great experience. So at the start of the marketing process there should be greater market research to really understand what the customer wants and what problems and issues they have that the product or service can resolve. During the sales process, conversation and engagement with prospects should be paramount and personalised as much as possible. It's still the case that many businesses talk at prospects rather than with them. A great example of a company doing it right is IKEA who engage customers through a community - IKEA Family - which they are welcomed to with a personalised video.
Once the sale has been made, marketing shouldn't come to an end although in many cases it does. Existing customers can refer new customers and they can buy again or upgrade so conversation, engagement and where appropriate support needs to continue.
For example, John Lewis and HP provide excellent customer care.
In summary, the customer should be at the forefront in the marketing strategy, not the business or the product.
Planning and management will be areas where AI will play a huge approach. For example, CRM, content planning and data analysis are areas were AI can improve quality and reduce manual resources.
My unique approach is to put my clients first and always be available to answer one-off questions and solve problems. In fact, I do this for non-clients too. I keep on top of the latest trends and new features of social networks to help keep my clients ahead of the game.
If the intricacies of social media and content marketing leave you feeling lost in translation, you're not alone. But don't worry, Andrew is the digital translator who is ready and willing to help you understand the field and succeed. Considered to be one of the UK’s most prolific keynote speakers & trainers in the fields of social media & content marketing, Andrew holds an impressing portfolio, and works with brands like: KPMG, Ogilvy, Tesco, o2, Paramount Pictures and others. Andrew delivers keynote speeches and training workshops that help businesses translate digital language into action for clients in multiple sectors.
Marketing has been split in 2 areas recently: Brand and Data. Both are important but it seems like organisations are more focused on the data side of marketing. If this is the case then I think marketers need to have more of a business development mind about them.
Understanding the sales process from awareness to relationships with existing customers is important. Marketers also need to be able to speak with confidence and influence other members of staff including senior management and sales. Marketers do a vital job and we should shout about it and get people to respect what we do.
This will sound crazy but bare with me. I have been working full time in digital marketing since 2001 and over the last 18 years I can honestly say nothing has changed professionally. All businesses still need something to sell, someone to sell it to and somewhere to sell it...but what has had an impact are 2 key things: people's behaviour and technology and they both go hand in hand. As a trainer who teaches organisations to not just go through a digital transformation but how to continue working in this space, I focus on traditional business objectives and add a digital lens across them as that is where I see most organisations struggling. Marketing has become a lot more data-driven, which has its advantages and disadvantages. Even though data is key as well as tech I do hope marketers have a focus on the behaviour aspect as well and remember the human aspect. Tech comes and goes quickly but changes in habits can take longer and marketers need to be careful not to forget this.
Want to climb the corporate ladder, impress your superiors, or scale your business? With $40m digital ads spend, and over 10 years of experience in marketing, Michael Taylor, the Co-founder and COO of ladder.io is your go-to person in the digital marketing scene. Michael is leading Ladder's growth in New York and in London, and combines strategic thinking, with performance marketing and tech. Follow him on social media and discover how his tricks of the trade can be yours - enabling you to climb the ranks and achieve the highly-coveted status of digital marketing expert.
Because of the UK's historical significance in the marketing industry, we have a tonne of veteran traditional marketers who are fantastic at creative but out of their depths when it comes to digital channels. Unfortunately to date they have largely seen tech and data as a threat to be criticized and rejected, rather than another source of creative ideas. At the same time we have a new crop of digital marketers who are amazing at data and technology, but are either ignoring or slowly rediscovering marketing concepts that were already solved problems 60 years ago - that does nothing for their credibility and opens them up to criticism from the traditional marketing crowd. The best marketers from both sides will learn to respect and learn from each other because the best performing campaigns come from both creative and analytical disciplines interacting together in interesting new ways.
A lot more of the planning process will be automated - rather than relying on excel spreadsheets and memory of what worked before, instead machine learning algorithms will surface opportunities and make recommendations. That will free up marketers to really be more creative to find novel ways to capitalize on the opportunities. There will also be more predictive tools available - imagine being able to run your ideas through a system that helps predict with relative certainty which ones are most likely to cause the desired impact. With most marketing fully digitized every campaign will be accessible programmatically like Facebook and Google ads are now- from TV ads to radio and even offline billboards. That said most optimization will be automated so the real lever to pull will be creative - whichever brand comes up with the most novel and engaging creative through a combination of emotion and data will win the market.
We live in both worlds, creative and data. I studied Economics, learned to code and spent most of my career in digital performance marketing, but our agency was born out of BBH, one of the world's leading creative agencies. Over the years we've found that the best creative drives order of magnitude effects on performance and that data and technology don't stifle creativity they unleash it. We have a data-driven agile approach at our core, but unlike most performance marketers we actually respect the creative process and know that most 'modern' marketing techniques have actually been in practice for years under different names. We're also a little different in that we actually work on early stage startups and can keep up with the best of them - when we work with more mature businesses they're astounded by our speed and efficiency, because most agencies don't touch startups and therefore operate at enterprise level speed. Other than that I was recently told by a client "all agencies are crap so you should choose the one you like" - so read our blog and see if you like us!
Responding to new consumer demands and adopting innovative engagement profiles. Unearthing new management methods that combine brand strategy and performance marketing. Establishing and nurturing long term relationships and implementing AI in marketing. While changes and, up until recently, focused on developing and integrating new technology tools and solutions, what we can say for sure, is that future trends will have to be hybrid to meet customers’ human-centric demands - after all, technology does not stand on its own. And in the heart of marketing, the human factor and relationships are always present. Only brands, businesses, managers, and professionals that think through relationship-oriented lenses, and see technology as the key enabler and not the leader, will succeed in achieving their goals. This, written by a technology company - who would have thought.
Mayple is a hybrid solution that integrates technology and human touch, that empowers businesses and marketing talents to come together and achieve superior marketing results. We act as businesses’ digital marketing guardians and secure high levels of performance and service, provided by independent marketing experts.
Mayple matches businesses with top performing and vetted marketing experts that fit their unique needs, and consistently ensures high performance and service levels.