This Much I Learned: Forest Holidays on crafting a ‘naturally driven’ team

In the latest episode of Marketing Week’s podcast series, the Marketing Week Masters Team of the Year discuss the value of specialisms, grassroots talent and going all in to achieve their transformation agenda.

Any brand that can beat competition from the likes of O2, Aldi, UKTV and Specsavers when it comes to creating a successful marketing team has lessons worth listening to for marketers across organisations large and small.

The company in question is Forest Holidays, the luxury lodge and cabin travel business which was named the Marketing Week Masters 2021 Team of the Year. The past 18 months have been significant for the business, which had a digital transformation agenda and new brand positioning lined up when the pandemic struck, putting the holiday sector on ice.

Despite seeing colleagues furloughed and uncertainty grow about when the government’s restrictions would end, Forest Holidays pushed on with its plans to build a digital trading platform and refine every aspect of its creative execution. The business made vital senior hires, as well as in-housing skills in performance marketing, copywriting and web, and supporting grassroots talent across the business.

Pulling together under a shared vision for success, the Forest Holidays team went on to achieve the best commercial return in the company’s history.

Forest Holidays: Six lessons for success from Marketing Week’s team of the year

This podcast features head of performance marketing Michelle Tassi, who has built a strong data-driven team to help drive on and offline acquisition and retention. Alongside her is head of brand purpose Gemma Chance, who has responsibility for the evolution of the brand across communications, positioning and product development.

The final guest is head of digital trading Kate Mitchell, who joined Forest Holidays in November 2020 with responsibility for the trading performance of the business, as well as leading the digital transformation.

In this podcast Chance, Tassi and Mitchell discuss the defining characteristics of a high-performing marketing team, why they brought key skills in-house and how the clarity of the mission has enabled them to succeed.

From opening up about mental health issues to closing the career confidence gap, you can listen to previous episodes of Marketing Week’s This Much I Learned podcast on Apple PodcastsSoundcloud and Spotify.



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