Next Generation – Introductory Day

On 13th March 2014, four Research Executives from Marketing Sciences made our way to the Creston head office in London, to take part in the second ‘Next Generation’ programme. This programme, following such a success last year, is running again over the coming months for the next group of juniors (the ‘next, next generation’!). We were up early to join the London commuters on the busy trains and to attempt to navigate the London Underground network. We arrived at the Creston offices, in trendy Soho, with time to spare thanks to trusty Google Maps!

The introductory day was structured around a series of presentations given by a variety of speakers from across Creston. The day started with a talk from Barrie Brien, the current CFO and COO of Creston (and soon to be CEO), who took us through ‘big topics’ such as the vision and ambitions of Creston. It was very motivational to understand how our work at Marketing Sciences feeds into Creston’s success. Following this talk, we had a session covering ‘insights personality profiling’, run by Tim Bonnet (Chairman of Communications division of Creston); I found this activity fascinating as it enabled me to see the differences across agencies and across divisions. This profiling put us into ‘colours’, with those in Insight tending to be more ‘blue’ (attention to detail, which is very important for our data-focused role).

Following lunch, the winners of Next Generation 2013 presented their pitch to the ‘class of 2014’. We were all amazed at the creativity and innovation demonstrated by the group; we certainly had a lot to match up to! The pitch demonstrated how insight and communications work well together, giving a great example of how collaborations within Creston work brilliantly.

Inspired by the 2013 winners, we were then taken through the 2014 brief, which we will need to address in a future ‘pitch’ session. Our brief, for young skin care brand ‘Clearasil’, addressed the need to better understand who the consumers are, and very importantly how and where to talk to them. The brief emphasised a focus on the digital channel, as it is an ever-increasing area of communications, particularly for the teenage target audience. With the brief in hand, we were split into groups, which combined people from across the agencies within Creston; this was interesting for me as it was a great way to get to know those from other agencies and to hear thoughts on the brief from the ‘communications’ angle. These groups mixed different personalities, and with differing knowledge, made for a dynamic first discussion playing on our varied strengths.

Our final presentation of the day, by Chris Pearce (MD of TMW), was useful for us to understand what ‘Marketing Communications’ are – important as this is what Creston’s focus is upon. Chris linked the work we do at Marketing Sciences (and more generally in the Insights division) with that of Creston’s communications agencies, to demonstrate how vital each of the ‘parts’ are.

After a busy day of meeting and developing a greater understanding of other agencies, and lots of idea generation, it was definitely time to wind down! We all moved up to the top floor bar ‘5@10’ for drinks, to mark the end of a productive day and get to know our new team members better.

Later that evening, as we said goodbye to London and our fellow Creston employees, we had time to reflect on the first day. I think the Next Generation programme will have a great impact on strength of bonds between agencies, which will benefit both us and our clients. Overall, I walked away from the first session with a greater understanding of the diversity of the group, and a more solid grasp of ‘marketing communications’, as the overarching descriptive of Creston. I also developed a greater understanding of the talent within Creston, and the vision for how we will harness this for the future.

The Class of 2014 will be updating you on our progress through the Next Generation scheme, so check back for future instalments!

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Becca Allen
01962 842211
Article date - 16/04/2014
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