Brands team up to create future marketers

Aviva, O2 and Heineken are working together to find ways to develop the effectiveness of their staff in a bid to develop the “marketers of the future”.

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The three, who met through their involvement in the Marketing Week sponsored Marketing Academy, have formed an informal “capability community” that meets on a regular basis to share best practice on current and future challenges that face marketers.

Collaboration is the future of marketing says Marketing Week editor Mark Choueke, click here to readhis viewpoint

Recent issues discussed include digital marketing opportunities such as mobile and the best way to improve return on investment.

It is hoped that by sharing learning and experience, the three will be able to improve the skills and abilities of their marketing staff and offer them an advantage over rivals in their respective sectors.

The three also hope to bolster staff engagement by investing in improving capability.

Michelle Keaney, head of marketing capability at Heineken UK, says: “Our common ground lies in the individual development of capability programmes for marketing teams within our respective businesses and key to the success of our community over the last 12 months has been a real openness to sharing ideas and insights around these areas.

She adds: “The formalisation of our capability community will not only serve to increase our effectiveness here but will also ensure that we are helping to shape the marketers of the future across the depth and breadth of our industries”.

Meetings have been taking place for 12 months on an ad hoc basis but are likely to become more formalised and regular in the coming years. The three are also keen to grow the number of companies involved.

Discussion has so far focussed on improving the skills and efficiency of staff but could also expand to include the subjects such as data use.

The idea was first floated by Fiona Maktari, head of O2’s marketing academy and her counterpart at Aviva, Hannah Grant after identifying that only a small number of companies have resource specifically for “marketing capability development”.

Grant adds: “For Aviva, this collaboration has proven very helpful. It has enabled us to connect with others working in similar roles, to get peer feedback to help shape our thinking. What¹s interesting is that although the industries and the marketing challenges within them differ, the challenge of creating and sustaining behavioural change in a large organisation is common to us all.”

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