Marketing Director – High Street Retailer


Our client is a highly recognizable, established high street retailer. As a long-established brand, the organisation had a number of antiquated systems and processes to improve across the business, but particularly in marketing, which was a highly fragmented part of the organisation. Having grown through acquisition, the organisation had struggled to standardize the marketing message throughout their 200+ stores portfolio. This was the first role we recruited for the company, after proving ourselves on this we have enjoyed working on a number of their senior and board level roles.


A new role for the organisation, they recognized that marketing needed a presence at board level. Key areas of focus for this role included an enhanced strategy around their communications to loyalty card customers, enhanced online presence, a standardized marketing message that is managed centrally, more structured internal communications and a full website overhaul. As the senior management team were all long established in the business, there was also the desire to bring someone into the business from a different background, with new ideas and the ability to ‘challenge the status quo’. 


Working closely with the HR Director of this organisation, we identified a number of organisations within commutable distance to our clients head office. As the desire was to bring someone in from outside of retail, Collingwood’s consultants were able to identify organisations with a strong marketing presence and message from industries such as engineering, manufacturing, healthcare, etc. to form our target list. Having identified the Marketing Directors in these organisations, Collingwood’s consultants set about making confidential approaches. As this role was in a different industry, the consultants were faced with the challenge of getting people to ‘buy into’ the idea of radically changing sectors, however through a combination of explaining the business benefits and looking for synergies in the sectors this was achieved very effectively.  


After a comprehensive search and interview process, a shortlist of 4 candidates was presented to our client. These candidates were from very varied backgrounds, however all fit the key competencies that Collingwood had initially identified with the client and so were able to offer variety in the interview process whilst still fulfilling the brief. Two of the four candidates progressed to a second stage interview and 1 of those was then selected for a final interview, consisting of a number of store visits with the organisations Managing Director. Behavioral assessments were conducted on the preferred candidate and on the strength of the results an offer was made to the candidate. Collingwood managed the contract negotiations on our client’s behalf and were able to develop a long-lasting relationship with the client.