Rising Star

 of the Year

True stars can neither be defined nor confined because stars are both boundless and timeless.  They shine even in the darkest of nights and are symbols of hope.

We are looking for the next rising star in marketing.  An individual who has defied the odds, challenged the status quo and redefined the business of marketing – all before hitting or turning 35 years old!

Yes, we are looking for you and want to celebrate you and the light you bring to our industry. Your ingenuity, guts, and sassy edge.  Could you be that star?

This Award aims to recognise and celebrate great marketers on the rise. Those who think differently, who disrupt the status quo and challenge the way we think. Those with an edge, who define the future of marketing, pushing the discipline forward, giving marketing its shine.

We’re looking for young marketers who are doing great things in their organisations or in their own companies. These individuals are commercially-minded with a focus that extends beyond marketing communications or advertising. These shining examples are those who demonstrate leadership, innovation, forward-thinking, and the ability to strategise for impact and growth.

The winner of the Award will be recognised by the industry as a future leader and will act as a role model for all young marketers.

Rising Stars are the ones who have made valuable contributions to the overall excellence/effectiveness of their business or organisation. These individuals possess exemplified skill in integrating marketing disciplines and working with other professionals in other departments, and in partner organisations. Moreover, our Rising Star is regarded as an emerging leader and to this end has demonstrated leadership, innovation, creativity, influence, and accountability in executing their internal and external marketing responsibilities.

To qualify, nominees must:


  • Be 35 years of age or younger at the date of entry.
  • Have been in a marketing role for four years.
  • Be nominated or endorsed by a senior executive from within their organisation.
  • Have a letter of nomination submitted by a senior executive in a partner organisation if they own their own business.
  • Have executed a company-wide integrated campaign, or marketing initiative with many moving parts.

Submit a short video, less than 5min in length, outlining:

  1. What makes you a great marketer?
  2. What role do you play In the marketing of your organisation or brands?
  3. How do you keep your marketing skills honed and polished?
  4. How do you help others in developing their skills?
  5. What do you regard as the core skills of a marketer in 2030?

Submit a brief bio (of 750 words or less) detailing career highlights:

We would like to hear about your “wow” moments, as well as your recent lowlights and the lessons that you learnt from them. As part of this submission, please provide no more than 5 social media (or other) links to projects where you proudly influenced, contributed, or participated in a significant business/societal/social/environmental outcome.

Submit an integrated case study from a campaign/initiative that you have recently been involved in bringing to life:

  1. All results are strictly confidential, with adjudicators bound by a Non-Disclosure Agreement.
  2. When you win the 2023 MAA Rising Star of the Year Award, we will consult with you in creating a case study that provides insights into why you won and the lessons that can be learnt from your best practice, in a format that you are happy to publicly share.
  3. Please provide your case study as a .pdf, keeping it as brief as possible (no more than 10 pages, including images.)
  4. Be sure to include the following:

What you set out to do 

  • What were the objectives?
  • How did you approach insight gathering?
  • What key insights informed your strategy?
  • How did your team approach and develop your brand architecture and propositions?
  • How did your team approach segmentation and which customers to target?
  • Describe how you arrived at your marketing approach and customer experience journey.
  • How you planned for aligning people and tracking the execution to meet your objectives?

How you did it

  • Demonstrate how you used all elements of the marketing mix effectively, using the 7/8Ps to guide your submission. We’re looking for the Rising Star of the Year, not the Campaign of the Year, so please keep examples short.
  • Demonstrate how you’ve prioritised choices and balanced quality, speed, and cost to ensure that you delivered on the strategy.

What your results were

  • Marketing outcomes, brand outcomes and company/initiative growth outcomes should all be indicated.
  • Judges are looking for key results, ones that you can substantiate. No vanity metrics, please.

Provide a letter of nomination from your organisation:

This letter must be crafted by a senior executive in your organisation, who will vouch for your shine.

If you have been nominated, we will provide you with your letter of nomination.

An outline for this letter of nomination can be found on the How to Nominate tab here.

Once you have registered, we will send you a link where you can log in and upload your presentation content.

Entry fee:

The admin fee for entry is R500

As a senior executive in your organisation, you will be asked to detail your nominee’s achievements, with a particular focus on how their efforts have stood out and how they’ve contributed to your organisation. It’s important to elaborate on the depth and breadth of their accomplishments. In the case where your nominee owns their own business, explain how they have affected your organisation.

These individuals should:

  • Be regarded as a future leader by Exco.
  • Have made valuable contributions to the overall excellence/effectiveness of their organisation.
  • Have demonstrated leadership, innovation, creativity, influence, and accountability in executing their marketing responsibilities.
  • Possess exemplified skill in integrating marketing disciplines and working with other departments.

To nominate a Rising Star, please provide answers to the following questions:


  • How specifically did this person’s efforts influence and contribute to value creation, growth, and business outcomes of your organisation?
  • How is this person different to other young marketers?
  • Describe their personal and leadership characteristics pertaining to their marketing function?
  • How do they embrace the art and science of marketing?

The 2023 Rising Star of the Year will be adjudicated by a diverse panel of highly experienced industry experts. The selection of judges presiding over this category will be determined once all entries have been received, to make sure no conflicts of interest arise.