Posted: 24th June 2014

“How are you going to stand out?” That’s the big challenge that marketing guru Professor Malcolm McDonald posed The Cranfield Trust Marketing Masterclass during his keynote speech.

He reinforced the earlier message delivered by fellow trainer Janet Cole, that understanding your market segments is vital. The audience of 23 charities – the lucky ones to get tickets for a free event that quickly ‘sold out’ – heard that since it costs five to ten times more to acquire than retain customers, nurturing relationships really pays off.

Marketing Masterclass Cranfield TrustBoth Malcolm and Janet left the audience in no doubt about the importance of Brand.  When P&G paid £31billion for Gillette, only £4billion was for tangible assets. The Gillette name itself was worth £4billion and sister brand Oral B came in at another £2billion.

Lucozade - Marketing Masterclass Cranfield TrustLucozade - Marketing Masterclass Cranfield TrustJanet quoted Lucozade as a good example of brand repositioning.  Many of us were old enough to remember the iconic glass bottles, wrapped in cellophane and fizzing with the magical recovery brew. Now Lucozade is seen as the sports drink of choice. Similar principles of shifting were necessary for a polio charity in the US when the disease was eradicated there.

Malcolm felt that differentiation was now “more challenging now than at any time in our history….(but) remains the key to a company’s (or charity’s) survival”.  

The speakers disabused the audience of the notion that people behave rationally. A brand must appeal to both head and heart - demonstrating emotional connection, not just functional meaning.

Marketing Masterclass Cranfield Trust

Warning charities not to be over-reliant solely on financial reporting, Malcolm pointed out how an organisation’s marketing numbers could tell a very different story. Lose market share, and the business could collapse. A salutary reminder for charities of the importance of an excellent marketing strategy.


Delegates learned about optimising social media such as Linked-In, videos, tips on journalistic style and how to increase web search visibility through the use of ‘key words’. They even had a chance to  battle against the clock to pitch their own charity brands for a winning stash of “ intangible” cash (sadly Monopoly notes) and a handful of genuine sweets! 

Marketing Masterclass Cranfield Trust




"We have such a rich resource which the Third Sector and small organisations like us would never be able to access". Delegate Zarina Dossaji  Mediation Work MK.

We are very grateful to our volunteers and supporters for making these free classes possible: in particular, Janet and Malcolm, and our hosts at Aviva plc. A tip of the hat too to Stefan Lubomirski de Vaux for these photos.

If you or your organisation would like to attend one of these events, please look for details of upcoming events or follow us on twitter @CranfieldTrust.

To enable more charities to benefit from high-quality training that they would not otherwise be able to access, please contact us about sponsorship or read more about the different ways you can support us.

Marketing Masterclass Cranfield TrustMarketing Masterclass Cranfield Trust