Young talent takes in views from top level

Yesterday was one of my most enjoyable days yet as editor of Marketing Week. I spent most of my day learning how to build a brand from scratch with the cream of young marketing talent in the UK.

Of the scholars of the Marketing Academy, a scheme designed to develop leadership capability in talented marketers through mentoring, coaching and experiential learning, some ply their trade at some of the world’s biggest brands and agencies, including Sony, Mars, BT, O2 and AMV BBDO.

Others work on brand and marketing strategy for local authorities, airports and big B2B operators such as Severn Trent Services. But these scholars are all equal and no snobbery exists within the group. They are far too pre-occupied with honing their skills, learning new ones from one another and changing the face of their businesses through clever, relevant customer engagement.

What brought them together yesterday was their second ’boot camp’ – three days of intensive learning led by practitioners such as Google and former Cadbury marketing director Phil Rumbol. Since the last similar event in May, they have each met with personal mentors and coaches and were eager to share their experiences with one another.

“They are far too pre-occupied with honing their skills, learning new ones and changing the face of their businesses through clever, relevant customer engagement”

The Annual, Marketing Week’s new conference on 29 September 2010 www.theannual.co.uk
The Annual, Marketing Week’s new conference on 29 September 2010 www.theannual.co.uk

They talked excitedly about what advice and lessons they had taken from the likes of HSBC marketer Philip Mehl, William Hill’s marketing boss Kristof Fahy and Chime executive director Sue Farr.

I was there because Marketing Week is a proud sponsor of the Marketing Academy. Next week I’m meeting with the board of parent organisation Marketing Hall of Legends to see what improvements can be made to the scheme next year. Meanwhile, writer MaryLou Costa will be meeting and asking these brilliant young marketers for their views on everything from changes in consumer behaviour to the way we run our organisations as part of her research for a cover feature in two weeks’ time.

While we’re talking about young and brilliant marketers, I’ve just seen a preview of the presentation that Mars Petcare marketer Gemma Howells – who won our Rising Star award at the Engage Awards in May for her brilliant work with Innocent Drinks where she championed a single idea that resulted in a 60% rise in sales – will make at The Annual on 29 September.

To hear Gemma’s idea (and perhaps copy it), log on to www.theannual.co.uk and book your place now.

Mark Choueke, editor

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