M&S chief throws down gauntlet to marketers

Marks & Spencer executive chairman Sir Stuart Rose says the recession has presented a fantastic opportunity for marketers to prove themselves by finding new ways to engage with customers.

“Marketing is having a very interesting time,” the M&S chief told Marketing Week on Tuesday. “The customer has never had it so good in real terms.

“You’ve got a whole pile of businesses providing goods and services at ever more competitive prices and we’re all trying to differentiate ourselves to customers through deals and other marketing tools.”

Rose, who received an honorary fellowship to the Marketing Society this week, paid tribute to the reaction marketers had showed to the recession. “That situation gives marketers a fantastic canvas to play with.”

Rose was talking at the launch of The Work Inspiration campaign, spearheaded by Business in the Community which he chairs. The campaign has paired 100 chief executives, representing most of the FTSE 100, with 100 young people, and aims to transform work experience for UK youngsters.

Marketers from Royal Mail, BT, McDonald’s and Chime Communications among others gathered in London to promote a future in business to school pupils. Chris Satterthwaite, CEO of Chime, said: “We want to play our part in finding and encouraging the best marketing services talent of tomorrow.”

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