University of Strathclyde again bags marketing competition win

A team from the University of Strathclyde has come top in the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s (CIM) student competition, The Pitch.

Thomas Cooper (left) and Adam Dickson. Picture: contributed.

It is the third year in a row that students from the Glasgow university have triumphed at the competition.

Thomas Cooper and Adam Dickson formed their team Cooper & Dickson to beat 28 teams from across the UK – and be crowned Marketers of the Future. Due to Covid-19, the team were told of their award win by video call.

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The duo, who are both studying for a BA Hons in business, impressed the judges with their creative proposition, “A Lidl means a lot” – which “not only neatly reflected Lidl’s plastic-reduction objectives, but also provided a platform to deliver against Lidl’s wider [corporate social responsibility] strategy”.

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Cooper and Dickson focused on helping Lidl’s core audience make small, realistic changes, such as switching to green reusable bags, while also keeping customers informed with the budget supermarket’s overarching sustainability commitments.

Their approach was aimed at Lidl’s primary shoppers – the 16 to 24 and over 55 age brackets – and therefore included a multi-channel focus on digital platforms, as well as more traditional marketing techniques such as email.

The Pitch is now in its ninth year, and sees students from leading universities compete to respond to a live client brief in a bid to win £1,500 in addition to scooping the Marketer of the Future title. It aims to help accelerate the career of marketing or business degree students, by developing their presentation, communication and problem-solving skills.

Eco targets

This year, teams put forward ideas to show how Lidl can most effectively market its commitment to a 20 per cent reduction of its own-brand plastic packaging by 2022.

Claire Farrant, marketing director at Lidl, said: “All three teams demonstrated clearly what the role of Lidl will be over the next three years and how our customers could get involved in our commitment to reduce plastic use by 2022.

“Cooper and Dickson, however, showed a true retail roll-out marketing plan, allowing trial, review and roll-out, which is a typical framework that a retailer would adopt when launching a campaign like this.”

Cooper said: “While we might not be able to celebrate in person, we are so pleased to have been awarded this year’s title. Both of us jumped at the chance to put into practice many of the theories and marketing techniques that we’ve been studying since starting university.”

Dickson added: “The Pitch has given us the chance to be recognised for our thinking by a panel of respected marketing professionals, and it’s given us the confidence boost we needed, as we start to apply for graduate jobs.”

Chris Daly, boss of CIM – which has more than 28,000 members worldwide – said: “Since we first tasked students with this year’s challenge, the world has changed significantly due to the impact of coronavirus. However, what remains true is that there is a huge amount of future marketing talent across the UK.

“Congratulations to Thomas Cooper and Adam Dickson, whose scalable approach offered a genuine solution to a retail challenge, and clinched them the title.”

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