The fifth annual The Marketing Society conference took place last week at Marketing Mania, GITEX, bringing together key industry figures from the UAE’s marketing landscape to discuss how marketing can spearhead long-term business and economic growth in the region.
‘Changemakers Unite’ saw respected marketing leaders and visionaries from some of the region’s top government sectors, consumer and corporate brands take to the stage to discuss important topics, such as sustainability, digital transformation, and diversity and inclusion, with a goal to inspire changemakers across the emirate.
Here, speakers from the conference discuss the event, share their commentary on how brands can leverage opportunities to drive innovation and change across the UAE and give their insights into how creativity and passion can create a long-lasting impact.
Khaled Ismail, Vice President Communications, The Marketing Society UAE said “We were delighted to again host our flagship Annual Conference in partnership with GITEX and Marketing Mania, bringing 100 of our members together to hear changemaking stories from most inspiring CMOs in the region. Now more than ever, marketers need to be able to drive change through their business to drive profit and purpose and we hope these stories inspire others to become Changemakers as well.”
Rob Beswick, Managing Director, Virgin Mobile UAE said, “As climate change and living a more sustainable life grips customers attention, I expect brands and marketing leaders that understand that they need to play an active part in creating a better future, to actively embrace integrating sustainability not only into their brand and marketing story, but directly into their products and value proposition in 2022. We have already taken the Virgin Mobile UAE business Carbon Neutral and will be building out on our sustainability roadmap towards Carbon Negative in 2022. We believe that it’s in our brand DNA to change business for good, and that we have an active part to play in not only driving a better consumer product but also a greener and better future for all. We can all be changemakers no matter how small our contribution.”
Priya Sarma, External affairs manager MENA, Unilever & Un-Stereotype Alliance UAE representative commented, “Women’s equality is the single greatest unlock for social and economic development globally and yet as per the Gender Gap 2020 report it will not be attained for the next 99.5 years! Covid has pushed this timeline by quite a few years. Building a gender-balanced business doesn’t happen overnight and is only made possible through sustained focus. We need to act now if we want to see some big shifts and create long-lasting change.”
Changemakers Unite is a flagship event in The Marketing Society’s annual calendar, with the organisation celebrating five years in the region this year. Created to represent the marketing industry globally, The Marketing Society’s UAE hub focuses on creating local conversations about the role of marketing here in the region and aims to empower changemakers across the emirate.
Recently, the Society appointed a working committee in Abu Dhabi, made up of current members, who will act in a non-exec role to help shape the Society in the capital and help build the community. The committee includes: Matt Horobin, Head of Marketing, Brand & Digital, Abu Dhabi Airports; Mike Davis, Regional Managing Director, CSM Sport & Entertainment; Cherry Gore, Senior Vice President, Group Brand Strategy & Communications, First Abu Dhabi Bank; Emma Cantwell, Marketing & Comms Director, Louvre Abu Dhabi and Ray Eglington, Group Managing Director at Four Communications Group.
Current board members of The Marketing Society UAE include:
- Khaled Ismail, Chairman – Vice President Communications, Tetra Pak, Europe, Central Asia, Middle East and Africa
- Mike Fairburn, Vice Chair – General Manager, Sony Music Entertainment Middle East
- Amina Taher, Abu Dhabi Lead, Vice President Brand, Marketing, & Partnership, Etihad Aviation Group
- Peter DeBenedictis – CMO – Middle East & Africa, Microsoft
- Kamal Dimachkie, Former Chief Operating Officer at Publicis Communications
- Rachel Dunn – Communications Director Middle East & Africa, Microsoft
- Sally Edwards – Senior Advisor, Festivals and Events at Dubai Tourism
- Maria Gedeon – Chief Customer and Marketing Officer, Chaloub Group
- Mohammed Ismaeel, Senior Vice President Marketing – VISA CEMEA
- Trixie LohMirmand – Executive Vice President, Events Management, Dubai World Trade Centre
- Fran Owens – Chief Client Officer, Tutuka
- Asmaa Quorrich – Senior Vice President Marketing, Global, Jumeirah Group