Marketing Leader of the Year 2016

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McDonald’s CMO Alistair Macrow named Marketing Society Leader of the Year 2016


McDonald’s senior VP, CMO, McDonald’s UK, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland won the Marketing Society Leader of the Year 2016 trophy at last night’s (15 June) awards ceremony with judges recognising his marketing leadership at the fast food retailer.

Last night, McDonald’s Northern European marketing boss, Alastair Macrow was lauded for his leadership skills in ensuring the fast food chain remains relevant and engaging to consumers in a brave, new world.

The Marketing Society Marketing Leader of the Year 2016, in association with Marketing, was unveiled at a ceremony held at Artillery Garden, HAC, London EC1, with Macrow gaining the most votes from his industry peers.

“Alistair Macrow was the clear choice of his fellow marketers in our vote for the Marketing Leader of the Year. He has led marketing at McDonalds since 2010 and is much admired for his innovative local approach to both its messaging and its menu, which has helped this classic global brand become more popular than ever with the British public,”  said Hugh Burkitt, CEO, The Marketing Society.

On Macrow’s watch, McDonald’s has become more agile in its marketing approach launching its own YouTube channel and developing innovative content like the Jessie J gig on a London bus.

Macrow is a big believer in listening to customers. “Letting ourselves be led by our customers and understanding how they want to engage with us is the hallmark of good marketing leadership,” he said. “What makes it bold is showing the courage and commitment to stick to those principles amidst a wealth of distractions – the new buzz thing, short-term sales need, competitor tactics or budgetary challenges to name a few. Cutting out the noises and telling the stories our customers want to hear.”

He beat competition from fellow nominees Matt Barwell, CMO of Britvic; Nina Bibby, marketing and consumer director, O2 and Telefónica UK; Mark Evans, marketing director, Direct Line Group; Anna Hill, CMO, Disney; Kenny Jacobs, CMO, Ryanair and Sarah Manley, CMO, Burberry.

Alison Orsi, VP marketing, communications and citizenship for IBM, UK and Ireland was highly commended.

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Our 2016 Marketing Leader of the Year nominees:


Submit your nomination before Wednesday 17 April.

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  • Alison Orsi

    VP marketing, communications and citizenship for IBM, UK and Ireland
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  • Alistair Macrow

    Senior VP, CMO, McDonald’s UK, Ireland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland
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  • Anna Hill

    Chief marketing officer, Disney
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  • Kenny Jacobs

    CMO, Ryanair
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  • Mark Evans

    Marketing Director, Direct Line Group
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  • Matt Barwell

    CMO, Britvic
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  • Nina Bibby

    Marketing and consumer director, O2
    Vote Biography
  • Sarah Manley

    CMO, Burberry
    Vote Biography