This is the newsletter where we introduce our brand new look to you, launching very soon. And if that doesn’t do it for you, we’ve got your usual updates from all corners of the Marketing Academy so you can feel up-to-date!

New Branding!
We will soon be launching our new brand identity which has been lovingly designed thanks to a collaboration of our scholars, mentors and agency partners.

The idea was to ensure clarity around our brand hierarchy as our brand and sub-brands had grown organically and were a tad all over the shop if we’re honest!

The work was initially taken on by scholar Campbell Butler (now Creative Director at DesignStudio) and then handed over to branding agency Someone whose final iteration you can see below. The project was led by our own advisory board member/mentor and Foundation Trustee, Emma Harris who runs brand consultancy Glow London.
Thanks to Gary, Stephanie and the very clever people at SomeOne, we now have one masterbrand with all sub-brands aligned, and clear delineation based on colour. We hope you love it as much as we do!





The Scholarship
“As we hit the halfway point of the journey that has been the Marketing Academy Scholarship so far, I have been asked many times by friends, family and work colleagues “What is the Marketing Academy Scholarship like”? My answer usually starts with just two words – It’s Amazing.”
Read what current Scholar Alex Kenny has to say about his experience so far on the Scholarship here.







The Fellowship
“[It’s] an opportunity to create an incredible network of incredibly talented individuals with marketing background that you can connect with, bounce ideas off, get inspired from and occasionally have too many drinks with. The stories, emotions and learning from each other are, on their own, a reason to apply to join.”
Read how Alex Haitoglou, Chief Commercial Officer at Utility Warehouse, describes his Fellowship experience here.

Our two apprentices have begun their Chartered Institute of Marketing training programme, also generously gifted by CIM. We have also been granted funds by the Direct Marketing Trust, Derek Holder Legacy Fund to create up to five new apprentices in Direct Marketing. Virgin Fly have been the first to commit to hosting, and we are about to invite applications for more companies to contribute and come on board particularly in PR and Sports Marketing!
And finally, the Foundation’s new website is LIVE, and sporting the first iteration of the new branding! Thanks to one of our wonderful Trustees, Lisa Goodchild at Digiwoo for helping give us our own home online after all these years.
We, as always, are powered largely by the brilliant Inspire fundraising team and the events they run. Speaking of which…

Since we last wrote there have been two ah-mazing Inspire events. At the start of September Samantha Fay from Guinness World Records hosted a lecture on “how to be the best in the world” by setting the right goals and making plans to hit them! And to top that off, the legendary Penny Ferguson joined us for an Inspire Breakfast to discuss “Leadership at All Levels”. And just last week Daianna Karaian from Thoughtful Works led a breakfast discussion around brand purpose, is it “pointless or powerful”?





But never fear if you missed some of those, we always have more brilliant events on the horizon! Coming up on 23rd November, Anna Hickey, UK MD Maxus is talking “How to lead effective teams” over breakfast. Tickets are on sale here.




Chairman’s Drinks
Back in September we gathered our Mentors, Fellows, Coaches, Partners and Alumni on the legendary Global rooftop for our annual Chairman’s Drinks. It was wonderful to see so many of you there… what better way to spend an evening with your family, discussing plans for 2018 and beyond! And thanks to Stephen Miron and Kathryn Marriott at Global for hosting.

Partner Spotlight – Facebook Providing More Clarity and Controls for Advertisers 
Facebook’s VP of Global Marketing Solutions, Carolyn Everson, published an update on new standards and tools Facebook is introducing to give advertisers the clarity and control they need to run their campaigns. In the same blog, which you can read in full here, Carolyn clarifies the additional steps being taken by the company with regards to third-party verification and brand safety.

Congratulations to Marketing Academy Family Members…
Fellow Nigel Hunt is now Marketing Director at Tesco Bank
Fellow Alex Haitoglou is now Chief Commercial Officer at Utility Warehouse
Fellow Alumni Shadi Halliwell is now CMO of Three UK
Scholar Alumni Jonathan Gibbs is now Client Business Director for Design Bridge
Scholar Alice Ter Haar has been promoted to EU Marketing Lead for Deliveroo
Scholar Alumni Tom Probert has now joined Been There Done That as Strategy Director
Scholar Alumni Mario Rauter is now Head of Brand Marketing for Simba Sleep

And some recommended reading…
Royal Mail Group’s Jonathan Harman on the Future of Mail Metrics.
The excellent System 1 book for advertisers, innovators and brand builders.
A whole bunch of other juicy articles on the Marketing Academy blog.

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Many years ago, while being a brand manager at a global FMCG I was also leading their global coaching course. I have a passion for people development, and it was one of the best ways to bring it to work, in parallel with my business duties. During that time, I saw some very surprising data from an annual survey across functions and levels regarding overall development and coaching.

At the more junior levels of the company, the support, training and development available was reported very high, the opposite was the case though for the more senior roles. Most directors and VPs did not feel that there was enough support or learning opportunities, neither at a corporate level nor from their managers.

Having talked about this with a lot of people over the years, and experienced it in another multinational organisation myself, it seems to be the norm rather than the exception in many companies. The absence of opportunities to learn, grow, get real honest feedback and even have people to ask for help and advice is startling at senior management levels. This does feel counter-intuitive, as the need for it is arguably bigger the more the responsibilities grow and the potential impact that it has on the company bottom line a lot more significant.

Add to that the specific challenges for managers with marketing background, especially the ones that end up with the highest marketing roles in an organisation. They are faced with some fascinating challenges: CMOs are the “first ones to go”, with the board position having the highest turnover across the board, and across most industries (HBR, Why CMOs never last). Not surprisingly, as 4 out of 5 CEOs declare dissatisfied with their CMOs. Moreover, very few CMOs make the transition to CEO altogether. It can get very lonely at the top.

Let’s recap; the people most responsible for organic growth in a company, the ones entrusted with growing the customer base and top-line sales, are not trusted by their CEOs, have little chances to get to the top spot, and have little support or learning opportunities on how to change all that.

Cue the Marketing Academy Fellowship Programme. Sherilyn and her team, together with McKinsey, have spotted the above pattern, and too action by creating the programme. Getting accepted has been a career, but even more importantly a personal, development highlight.

What the Fellowship is:

-An opportunity to create an incredible network of incredibly talented individuals with marketing background that you can connect with, bounce ideas off, get inspired from and occasionally have too many drinks with. The stories, emotions and learning from each other are on their own a reason to apply to join.

-Fantastic quality learning experience on how to run businesses, from strategy and finance, to customer experience and change management.

-A deep dive into who you really are, and how you really want to grow, transform, lead yourself and others.

What it is not:

-For the fainthearted, or for those that will not put the time and effort into it. After all, taking almost 3 weeks off the day job for personal development, plus the effort and time in between over a course of a year is something that you really want to commit to personally, and align it with your business and family, otherwise you will not get much out of it.

Personally, I have been inspired and learned a lot from my fellow fellows, got hands-on skills that I am already applying in my role, but most importantly clarified what are my values and what I am prepared to accept as consequences for living those values, positive and negative.

Learning, personal development, and people to talk to when the going gets tough (or to relentlessly WhatsApp with) is more than I expected, and what I needed this year. Plus our fellows community will carry on for the years to come.

From my heart thank you to all the fellows, Sherilyn, Thomas, Fliss, Mckinsey and the broader team that made this possible.


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As we hit the half way point of the journey that has been the Marketing Academy Scholarship so far, I have been asked many times by friends, family and work colleagues “What is the Marketing Academy Scholarship like”? My answer usually starts with just two words – It’s Amazing.

Google tells me that the word ‘amazing’ has two meanings. The first definition is “Very Impressive; Excellent”. This is perhaps the more obvious characterisation when it comes to an exclusive, premium, world renowned training and development course such as the Marketing Academy. Suffice to say, the course so far has been excellent, and ultra-impressive. However, it is the second definition where I believe the Marketing Academy has really been Amazing – “Causing great surprise or wonder; Astonishing”.

I think most of us scholars knew it would be impressive based simply on the standard of people involved, the calibre of the professional people giving up their time to mentor or talk at boot camps, and the quality of content being delivered within every training session, workshop or lecture. It was always going to be impressive. However, what I didn’t expect was to be genuinely surprised. For example, I have been surprised at just how much I have learned about delivering a really great presentation. Having people present to you who have presented to the boards of some of the biggest companies in the world, is a real eye opener. The way they carry themselves, the way the deliver their message, the way they engage with the audience – all these things have been just as important as the message itself. I didn’t expect that. I also didn’t expect to be truly and deeply moved by peoples’ stories. I knew I would be inspired to be a better leader in business, but, I didn’t expect to be inspired to simply be a better person. Hearing from people who have genuinely faced adversity, and come out the other side as amazing, wonderful individuals, and the impact their story, their honesty then has on your very soul, was not something you anticipate getting out of a development course. This then ties in with my final surprise – the other scholars. Again, one expected to get a new network out of the course through meeting other professional marketers, but what I didn’t expect was to meet 29 brilliant, funny, intelligent, inspiring, motivated and caring individuals on this journey. Their stories have surprised and inspired me just as much as the speakers we have heard from. Above all, each and every one of them makes me genuinely want to be the very best I can be. I did not expect 29 friends for life. That was as surprising as anything, and what a wonderful surprise it has been.

So when asked, I will continue to describe the scholarship as “Amazing”, meaning it hasn’t just been excellent, it has been surprising, and astonishing. I cannot wait for the second half.

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The Marketing Academy has opened nominations for the 9th intake of its highly coveted Scholarship programme which gives aspiring marketing leaders the skills and knowledge to get to the top of their industries.

Each year 30 of the Marketing, Advertising, Media and Communications industries brightest talent are selected to undertake this 9 month, part time and completely free leadership development programme. Since opening its doors in 2010 over 240 of the industries best emerging talent have experienced what is described by alumni as a ‘life changing’ programme.

The Marketing Academy Programmes are sponsored by brands such as Facebook, ITV, Microsoft and British Telecom. Media agency PHD, Google, Brand Learning, Living Leader, Eat Big Fish and Kantar Millward Brown are also long time partners.

Sherilyn Shackell the Academys Founder said ‘Each year we are overwhelmed the support we get from Sponsors, Mentors, Coaches and speakers who all gift their time on a pro bono basis to inspire the next generation of industry leadership and I’m delighted to be opening nominations for our 9th year in the UK. The programme enables our Scholars to become the best versions of themselves in every context which in turn means that the entire industry can reap the benefits of nurturing these highly talented, committed and passionate leaders.’

To gain a place in the Scholarship Programme potential Scholars first need to be nominated via, submit a 3 part application and then take part in a three stage selection process. The 2018 Scholarship Programme commences in May 2018.

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We’ll start with a confession. We’re still recovering from our first ever Summer Campus over the weekend. Covering the Marketing Academy’s 4Ps (Personal, People, Professional, and Purpose Development), our lucky delegates heard from such a variety of speakers including Adam & Eve, Virgin Atlantic, Ogilvy, MCordis, L’Oreal, Livity and The Mix. Boot Camp regulars in the form of Oli Barrett and James Brett and a handful of our own Scholars, Fellow and Alumni also offered their inspiring stories…




It was epic – thank you to all who came and made it what it was! Particularly thanks must go to System 1 for sponsoring it. Anyway, here is a dose of other news and updates from across the whole Marketing Academy family.

The Scholarship Programme in the words of Alice Ter Haar (Current Scholar)
As I reflect on the first 3 months of The Scholarship, one word immediately springs to mind. Appreciation.

Firstly, for how lucky I am to have been selected for this money can’t buy opportunity – thank you to all the heroes who through blood, sweat and tears keep it going every year.

Secondly, for my fellow scholars who I am grateful to begin counting as friends. They’re a diverse bunch of exceptional humans, and it’s an honour to be on this journey together.

Thirdly, I have learnt be grateful for appreciation itself. I now set aside time to think about all the things I have to be thankful for each day – and there’s tons. But there’s something even better: the transformational power of appreciating others. You can make someone’s day just by pointing out the good things you see around you. Priceless. If you do one thing today, I urge you to think about who you can offer appreciation to – and do it!

And nominations for 2018 are still open!

They are flying in already, so if you know exceptional individuals in our industry who could benefit from everything the Scholarship has to offer, then get nominating at our portal now. (Pro tip: the sooner you nominate, the more time your nominee has to complete their application!).


We’ve had an awesome summer of Inspire Breakfasts, including two in July. The first was from David Pearl and Chris Barez-Brown on Creativity and Curiosity, followed by Max Dickens hosting a workshop on Storytelling a few weeks ago. And the calendar is full for September and October too:

  • 12th September – Samantha L Fay, Global Brand Director for Guinness World Records talks about the art of setting goals and achieving them. A few tickets are still available here.
  • 28th September – Penny Ferguson, the Living Leader is in London to share her view on leadership at all levels. Tickets have sold out.

19th October – Daianna Karaian, Founder of Thoughtful Works, shares her view of how mission-led startups hold lessons for brands seeking – or maybe just considering – “purpose”. Tickets are on sale here.

The Foundation

We did it! After a confection of form-filling and question answering, we are official. You may now call us… Registered Charity Number 1173977. Catchy!

Much more important, our two apprentices who are hosted at The Prince’s Trust are happy, loving their jobs and doing really well there. We are embarking on the new official government Apprenticeship Programme with them, which is a bit of a challenge, but we are delighted to be trailblazers!

There are lots of other schemes coming to fruition in the final part of 2017, including a direct marketing initiative and an official launch and industry fundraising initiative. Watch this space!

The Fellowship

“It is a truly remarkable programme, led and run by remarkable people, I would encourage any CMO or Senior Marketing professional who is considering General Management and a CEO path to apply, you will learn a lot about yourself, new skills, become a better leader and have a lot of fun along on the way.”

Lizzy Johnson, Global Brand and Marketing Director at Quintessential Brands Group, says it all for us here in her summary of her year on the Fellowship so far.

Applications for the 2018 programme are open here and you can hear what our Alumni think by watching this short video.

The Marketing Academy Australia

After a cracking Scholarship Boot Camp in mid-July, it’s hard to believe that the programme only has 2 months left for this year’s cohort. Sad as that is, it means we’re on the lookout for the next generation of marketing leaders to take part in the 2018 programme! Australia nominations close on 15th December and all the details can be found at

The IPA relaunches its Foundation Certificate Qualification
The award winning IPA Foundation Certificate online learning programme provides junior industry people, regardless of discipline, with the knowledge to perform their roles with confidence and expertise. Since its inception in 2003, over 9,000 people have passed the IPA’s Foundation Certificate qualification globally.  In 2017 the content has been completely updated by the IPA and industry experts to reflect the rapid changes taking place in the communications industry – from programmatic buying to AR and AI capabilities. Changes in platform and design also mean that the whole learning experience is now mobile-first, through the IPA app.

The new learning goes live on 2nd October 2017 and the exam will take place on Monday 26th Feb 2018 at locations all over the UK.  The price for IPA members is £250 (+VAT) and for non-members is £500 (+VAT). If you would like to know more, please contact Sara Assumani at the IPA ( or you can book here.

Congratulations to Marketing Academy Family Members…
(Fellow) Claire Cronin is now Senior Vice President Marketing at Virgin Atlantic
(Fellow Alumn)i Sophie Goldschmidt is now CEO at World Surf League
(Scholar) Adam Holmes has become a Partner at Brother Film Co.
(Scholar Alumni) Cristina Loaiza been promoted to Brand Strategy Manager at Sainsbury’s
(Scholar Alumni) Jamil Bhatti has moved to Edelman as Creative Director
(Scholar Alumni) Sophie Howard has moved to Facebook as Industry Marketing Manager for Facebook & Instagram
(Scholar Alumni) Celine Naude has moved to TechData UK as Head of Marketing Services
(Scholar Alumni) Hannah Penn has been promoted Deputy Head of Account Management
(Scholar Alumni) Masha Voskresenskaia has moved to Coca Cola as Associate Director, Coca Cola European Partners
(Scholar Alumni) Kate Taylor-Tett has moved to Snatch Inc as Head of U.K. Marketing

And some recommended reading…
Why The CMO Is The CEO’s Super-Weapon by our very own Sherilyn Shackell in CMO Magazine.
Think and Grow Rich! by Napoleon Hill.
Spike: What are you great at? by Rene Carayol.
And a whole lot of other great blogs – from Scholars and Fellows alike – on the Marketing Academy website here.

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I had the privilege of being selected for the 2017 Marketing Academy Fellowship Programme and without a doubt it has been a GAME CHANGER.

The opportunities presented throughout this fully funded course are exceptional, a mix of educational sessions through McKinsey and Company experts, peer to peer learning, leadership training, coaching and the most exceptional Mentors.  Having access to highly regarded, successful CEO’s, Chairs and NED’s who share their knowledge and experiences is incredible, something that would be difficult to achieve and as a result my network has fundamentally changed and my thinking challenged throughout.  On top of that one to one Coaching has been insightful and supportive, leveraging Wisdom8 preferences to guide the sessions.

One of the most amazing aspects is our Cohort.  During the selection interviews, it was said that ‘you would make a network of peers who would continue with you on your journey’.  Each Fellow is truly inspiring, unique and an experienced professional, 10 different nationalities from 17 different industries.  We bonded immediately, (the social programmes helped, not to mention the most amazing setting at McKinsey University in Kitzbuhel, Austria), being able to share experiences and aspirations with peers outside of your daily work is fantastic.   I have since met other Fellows from previous years and we all have similar shared experiences.

It is a truly remarkable programme, led and run by remarkable people, I would encourage any CMO or Senior Marketing professional who is considering General Management and a CEO path to apply, you will learn a lot about yourself, new skills (whether it be learning more about Corporate Finance, Strategy, Non Bias based decision making or how to build an igloo or save someone after an avalanche!), become a better leader and have a lot of fun along on the way.

A huge thanks and respect to Sherilyn Shackell, Thomas Barta, Felicity Cumming, McKinsey experts, leadership coaches, mentors, dinner guest speakers and all who give their time voluntarily on our leadership journey.

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4 weeks into my journey on the marketing academy and I’m at the stage of conscious incompetence.

The first step to improving as a leader, and as a person, is to understand where you need to improve. You must set a baseline. This means having to be conscious about everything I do, and realise the impact of my actions, good and bad.

It is incredibly exciting to actually pay attention and see what’s possible — how I can make people feel, what I can inspire people to do. It is also incredibly frustrating realising that there is such a long way to go, and that after literally every interaction I have I now review myself, and realise that I could have done better.

Time to get comfortable feeling uncomfortable…

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“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.”

As soon as I heard this something clicked. Actually that’s a pretty fucking large understatement. Something erupted. (cheeky).

Adventure sets my soul on fire. So much so that I physically cannot control my emotions when I talk about it. Saying the word out loud makes me want to cry. That’s a feeling I can’t ignore.

So in September I am going to paddle a Canadian canoe from the source of the Thames, roughly 185 miles to London. I might make it. I might not. It doesn’t matter. I’m not doing it for the destination, life is about the journey.

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What makes a successful marketing leader? In this Forbes interview series, Thomas Barta explores together with leading CMOs the secrets of marketing leadership, what works, and what doesn’t. This time, let’s listen to the views of Dan Ramsay, consumer marketing director of telecommunications giant BT.

Thomas Barta: Dan, great to meet you. Here’s a question I’ve been asking your peers: what’s great about being a leader in marketing?

Dan Ramsey: For me it’s being at the heart of the business—at the center of the action. I’ve always wanted to make a massive contribution and be in the engine room of the business. I think marketing is the place where you can drive the business forward and make the biggest difference to the business’s performance. Sometimes that’s great, and sometimes that can be quite chaotic. But it’s very rewarding and gives me a great sense of opportunity for personal growth.

Barta: What’s one of these “massive contributions” you talk about?

Ramsey: Our business is largely a volume driven business. We live or die by the number of subscribers we retain or acquire. My team is responsible for doing both things: acquiring new customers and retaining customers. We have daily conversations about the number of customers joining us or leaving us. I can influence tomorrow’s sales numbers by changing a price or by changing the level of marketing spend. It’s great to work in a business that responds so quickly to your intervention.

Barta: Marketing leadership, as I define it, means serving customers and the company. Have these two objectives come into conflict for you? And what do you do then?

Ramsey: That can happen quite often, particularly in businesses that have set goals that are not well grounded in customer insight. I think you have to create a culture of intolerance of a substandard customer experience. There will always be a million reasons why someone wants to invent a process that isn’t customer friendly but is half the cost or twice as quick.

My job is to create a culture within the business that puts customers first. Customer experience is a very measurable thing. We measure it in lots of different ways at BT, so that people know what process X does to customer satisfaction. As marketers, we have to make customer satisfaction a priority for the business.

Barta: What was your most defining leadership experience?

Ramsey: One in particular sticks out for me. I was once given an enormous business challenge and a very small amount of time to do it. BT had bought sports rights to Premier League football in England. I had to work out how we would sell or market that, which was about a 1 billion investment. I had three days to complete my analysis. It was a very high profile piece of work. Inevitably, you begin to question whether you’re capable of doing something quite so big in a short space of time. After three days I presented to the CEO my recommendation, and it was accepted. I guess what I learned from that was not to underestimate myself. Do what you do best, and have a bit of faith. You’d be amazed at what you can do in a short space of time if you really push yourself.

If I’m facing a challenge today, I find it quite helpful to look forward and say, “Well, in a year’s time, how will I feel about this moment?”

Barta: How do you get things done in your company?

Ramsey: Two things are important: personal connections and trust in people’s abilities. You have to have some level of personal connection with the people that matter and the people that make that change happen for you. I don’t mean necessarily an intimate day-to-day relationship—you can’t have that with the number of people you might need to influence. I’ve got 170 people in my team, and I don’t deal with them all day to day. But I can still reach out to them frequently. It might be just a “how’s your day going?” in the lift, or it might be a polite “hello” on the way into work. And some of it happens in a bit more of a formal sense.

I think the other thing you have to do is create a culture whereby you set very clear outcomes and then trust people to go and deliver them—and give them the space to do it. People have to be really clear right from the start about the goal and that you are going to hold them to account for it. You have to be able to say “I asked you three weeks ago if we could do this. That time is up. How are you getting on?

Barta: That’s fascinating. How are you practically balancing that team coaching and performance management?

Marketing leadership expert and keynote speaker Thomas Barta is a former McKinsey partner and the author of the new leadership book The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader (with Patrick Barwise).

Full interview can also be read here

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Why does it take a tragic event for us to realise what matters in life and to appreciate the people we care about?

It shouldn’t have to. Try phoning the first person who comes into your head and appreciate them for something they have done for you. I guarantee it will make them feel amazing. And you.

I dare you.

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