TUI launches academy to break down silos in marketing

TUI’s CMO for UK & Ireland says the travel company has developed the marketing academy to create more rounded marketers and improve its employer branding.

TUI is launching a marketing academy as it looks to broaden the scope of marketers and improve its employer branding reputation.

By doing so the brand wants to give people the opportunity to progress within the marketing and sales function and become more rounded marketers.

“People tend to be single discipline within marketing, so they either do digital marketing, or brands, or CRM. What we want to do is offer people a chance to get a more rounded set of skills which means they can move up and across within the organisation,” Katie McAlister, TUI’s chief marketing officer for UK & Ireland, tells Marketing Week.

By launching the academy, the brand also wants to become “the employer of choice for marketing professionals”.

Marketers at all levels, including new hires, will be encouraged to join the academy.

“We don’t have a huge amount of crossover currently between our marketing disciplines so there is always something for someone to learn,” McAlister explains.

“We have more basic and more advanced levels of learning so people can pick and choose. Everyone in our business has a personal development plan so they sit down with their manager and work out what things they need to learn at whatever level of the organisation so then they can be guided for what is appropriate for them within the programme.”

The course is voluntary but will be built into the personal development plan of every employee in the 350-strong head office of marketing and sales teams. Managers and employees will review and analyse individuals’ career progression, with the marketing academy able to fill in knowledge gaps.

“There is an expectation that people are responsible for their own development and that everyone has a personal development plan,” McAlister says.

We don’t have a huge amount of crossover currently between our marketing disciplines so there is always something for someone to learn.

Katie McAlister, TUI

Last year TUI extended McAlister’s CMO remit to include sales, something which has been extended to the academy.

“It’s about the coherence experience, so setting out what the brand purpose is and what it means for customers but also delivering that on channels that customers interact. It’s a natural progression and it definitely puts an emphasis on the effectiveness of the marketing, not only driving brand KPIs but commercial and sales KPIs as well,” she says.

To ensure the academy continues to be relevant, McAlister says the team will make sure content stays fresh and it will keep the senior leadership team abreast of any updates so they know exactly what’s available to help guide their teams to the right content.

Test and learn

The academy is made up of three elements: online learning courses, leadership training and TUI specific workshops.

The e-learning platform, which has been developed by Marketing Week sister brand Econsultancy, is made up of eight online topics, each comprising a number of interactive classroom sessions and offline reading. The platform covers a range of topics from customer experience and user journey mapping to data and analytics and ecommerce.

READ MORE: TUI launches campaign to ‘deepen’ connection with consumers a year on from rebrand

Each module has a test element for participants to complete before ‘graduating’ when all elements are complete. Each video includes an introduction and conclusion from one of TUI’s marketing leadership team to contextualise back to the business.

Alongside the e-learning platform, TUI will continue its TUI knowledge programme, a series of half-day workshops run by senior management level. The programme covers 12 topics from aviation planning to how the brand’s tour operator works and leadership training.

The academy will offer more frequent workshops, though, which are open to a wider pool of people across the sales and marketing teams in the UK and Ireland.

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