Compass marketers take learning to a new level

30/06/2009 - 00:00
In a first for the contract catering industry, Compass Group UK & Ireland launched its inaugural Marketing Academy last week, in association with the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD), Brakes and PepsiCo.

Over three days, 30 Compass marketing professionals attended insight presentations on the retail landscape and changing consumer behaviour from IGD, Brakes and PepsiCo and then undertook the task of developing a consumer-focused marketing plan using the insights to create business opportunities. The presentations focused the team's attention on consumer spending and confidence in the recession and their focus on four broad needs – trust in the brands they buy, value for money, comfort purchases like small treats and the need for grounding in a backlash against frenzied consumerism. With these insights in mind, the Compass marketing professionals were divided into four teams to develop a marketing plan for a specific area of the business – Eurest Services, Medirest, Restaurant Associates and Sports Leisure and Hospitality. At the end of the Marketing Academy, the teams had to present their plan in a competitive Dragon's Den format to Stewart Samuel from IGD and John Pain and Bill Vickers from Compass Group. The presentations were assessed on the robustness of the plan, the insight-driven strategies and the 'wow' factor, and Restaurant Associates' team won the competition. John Pain, marketing director of Compass Group UK & Ireland, said: "The Marketing Academy demonstrates that Compass Group leads the industry in developing consumer-focused strategies that are based on insight. It was an intensive three days, as the team went through the full process of gathering insight, developing a SWOT and then preparing a marketing plan for implementation in the business. The Academy provided an opportunity to hone and develop the skills of our team as we become a more consumer-focused organisation." Compass Group intends to run the Marketing Academy on an annual basis and extend it to sectors outside the marketing team to further drive the focus on developing offers and brands for consumers.

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