The Marketing Society in Association with Brand Learning Kicks off the Tenth Annual Marketing Leaders Programme

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The Marketing Society, the UK’s most influential network of marketers and Brand Learning, leading global specialists in organisational marketing capability development, today jointly announced the tenth annual Marketing Leaders Programme (MLP) 2013.

The Marketing Society, the UK’s most influential network of marketers and Brand Learning, leading global specialists in organisational marketing capability development, today jointly announced the tenth annual Marketing Leaders Programme (MLP) 2013.

The call to action they highlight is that senior marketers now need to give as much focus to the context in which marketing is being undertaken as to the content of their roles. They need to be able to rise above the day-to-day demands of their jobs - understanding the bigger corporate picture and providing vital vision and context within which effective decisions can be made. To be successful, they need to engage people and build their capabilities to manage the operational demands of organisations today.

The Marketing Leaders Programme, which features top marketing leaders from world class companies as guest speakers, is facilitated by Brand Learning and The Marketing Society and will run from March to May 2013. It is designed to support high potential individuals who are preparing for senior marketing leadership roles.

More than 20 delegates have now been selected from all those who applied to take part in this prestigious programme, from a range of respected organisations including Aviva, Shell, Bacardi, Costa Coffee, British Gas, RSA, Barclaycard, and AkzoNobel.

Module one, which runs from 20 to 22 March, is built around Becoming a Great Marketing Leader. Speakers include Amanda Mackenzie, chief marketing officer, Aviva and president of The Marketing Society; Roisin Donnelly, corporate marketing director, Procter and Gamble UK and Ireland; Ian Crook, marketing director,; Stephen Lehane, group human resources director, Alliance Boots; Kerris Bright, chief marketing officer, Ideal Standard and Rod Connors, founder and owner, The Branded Sports Group (ex-marketing director, Nike UK) as well as Steve Radcliffe, expert leadership coach, who will work with participants throughout the programme on their leadership skills.

Module Two, Leading for Commercial Success, runs for two days in April. It covers topics such as ‘boardroom expectations and accountabilities of the marketing director’ from Andy Fennell, chief marketing officer, Diageo plc; a ‘view from the city’ given by Martin Deboo, consumer goods analyst, Investec UK and thoughts on ‘leading for commercial performance and consumer centricity’, led by Craig Inglis, director of marketing, John Lewis. Jill McDonald, UK chief executive and president, Northern Europe division, McDonald’s Restaurants discusses her own journey as a marketing leader.

The final module in May explores the challenges of Leading Marketing into the Future and focuses on areas such as digital and sustainability. Speakers include James Elias, marketing director, UK and Ireland, Google; Richard Gillies, director of Plan A, CSR, Sustainable Business & M&S Energy – M&S and Keith Weed, chief marketing and communications officer, Unilever.

Of the nearly 200 marketers that have attended the programme in previous years, many have gone on to successful careers in marketing leadership roles. Former MLP delegates include Ian Armstrong (Jaguar Land Rover), Deborah Cutler, (GSK) and Graham Palmer (Intel).

Andy Bird, Brand Learning co-founder and executive director who is the overall facilitator and a programme speaker comments: “The continuing demand for the Marketing Leaders Programme, now in its tenth year, is clear proof that it provides senior marketers with the insights and tools they need to evolve their marketing leadership capabilities to deliver on their core role of driving business growth.
“Moreover the role of marketing is rapidly evolving and this has a significant impact on the strategic and commercial agenda marketers face. The challenges of marketing in the digital age and the leadership skills needed to succeed in a fast-changing world have never been greater and the Marketing Leaders Programme content has changed to reflect this.”

Hugh Burkitt, chief executive of The Marketing Society, adds: “Some people are born with great confidence in their leadership skills and enjoy asserting themselves, but that doesn’t mean to say that they are good leaders. Everyone can learn to improve their leadership skills. Great leaders are made, not born.

“The Marketing Leaders Programme, developed in association with Brand Learning, takes delegates on a marketing leadership journey and provides attendees with an in-depth understanding of what it really means to be a marketing leader. True marketing leadership is about ensuring there is a harmonious balance between functional marketing skills and strong leadership qualities.”

The programme will be held in and around Warren House in Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey.


For further information, contact:
Jo Sensini
Velvet PR
Tel: 0208 996 1800

Email: Jo(at)velvetpr(dot)biz

Background Information – Brand Learning -

Brand Learning is a consultancy, based in London and New York, founded in 2000 with a passion to transform the marketing capabilities and commercial performance of people, teams and organisations across the world.

Brand Learning’s 150 strong team works with over 120 leading multi-national organisations (including Unilever, Shell, PepsiCo and Astra Zeneca) in over 60 countries, Brand Learning offers a specialised blend of expertise in both marketing and learning to enable organisational transformation through practical changes in the way people, teams and organisations work to deliver business results.

The company is privately owned. Its co-founders are Mhairi McEwan (CEO) and Andy Bird (executive director) - two ex Unilever/ Pepsi-Co VP marketing executives. They are the co authors of The Growth Drivers: The Definitive Guide to Transforming Marketing Capabilities (Wiley 2011).

Brand Learning recently picked up a host of accolades in recent years including a top five place in The Sunday Times 100 Best Small Companies Awards (2008 – 2012, ranked first in 2011) and the Grand Prix award, for the company’s work with AkzoNobel, in The Marketing Society Awards for Excellence.

About The Marketing Society
The Marketing Society is a not for profit organisation owned by it members. It was founded in 1959 to provide a forum for senior marketers to exchange ideas and share best practice. Over the past 50 years it has emerged as one of the most influential drivers of marketing in the UK business community. Today the Society has a member base of nearly 3,000 senior marketers, across a broad spectrum of companies and sectors, based throughout the UK and abroad.

The Society challenges its members to be bolder marketing leaders by supporting the development of leading-edge thinking and seeking out and promoting the evidence of effective marketing. It does this through the Marketing Society’s Awards for Excellence, its journal Market Leader, a national programme of world-class events, innovative professional development, such as the annual Marketing Leaders Programme and extensive on-and-offline networking opportunities.

For more information please go to:, @TheMarketingSociety

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Jo Sensini
Velvet PR
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