University of Strathclyde team wins ‘The Pitch’ national marketing competition to be named ‘Marketers of the Future’

The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) has announced a student team from the University of Strathclyde as winners of its student competition, The Pitch. This is the third consecutive year that students from the University have triumphed at the competition.

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

Thomas Cooper and Adam Dickson who study 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 CSR strategy.

Thomas and Adam focused on helping Lidl’s core audience make little, realistic changes, using their strapline ‘A Lidl means a lot’ to encourage individual changes such as switching to green reusable bags, while also keeping customers informed with Lidl’s overarching sustainability commitments. This included a social media campaign exploring what a difference little changes can make to other people’s lives.

Their approach was finely tuned to Lidl’s primary shoppers – 16-24 year olds and over 55’s – and therefore included a multi-channel focus on digital platforms, as well as more traditional techniques such as email marketing. 

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

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

Claire Farrant, Marketing Director at Lidl, said: ”The competition this year was fierce and there was a high level of research, understanding of the brief and the Lidl business from all 10 finalists which was so good to see. The finalists Paradigm, Met a la mode and Cooper and Dickson all showed a well thought out strategy and a strong customer proposition. 

“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. This showed real insight into our business and ways of working. Congratulations to all teams and to Cooper and Dickson for being The Pitch 2020 winners.”

Thomas Cooper commented: “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.”

Adam 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, Chief Executive of CIM, 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.

“We created The Pitch to offer students the opportunity to gain practical experience while responding to a real-life brief for a leading brand. It’s this type of business exposure that is critical for graduates preparing to enter the job market.

“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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