Coles partners with marketing professor Mark Ritson to upskill workforce

Supermarket giant Coles is teaming up with renowned academic and marketing professor Mark Ritson to increase in-house marketing capability, through the delivery of his ‘Mini Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Marketing’ course.

Ritson has over 20 years’ experience teaching MBA programmes at universities including Melbourne Business School and London Business School, and as a marketing consultant for the likes of Unilever, and PepsiCo, Westpac, Unilever, KPMG, Johnson & Johnson and more.

Marketer and professor Mark Ritson

The 12-week program, designed to broaden marketing skill and develop high-level strategic thinking, will be completed by over 160 Coles marketing professionals, with 130 already finished and a further 37 underway now.

The group recently announced Samantha McLeod would join the marketing team, working as part of the leadership team in the role of general manager brand, digital and design.

Coles chief marketing officer, Lisa Ronson, said: “Our team are our most important asset and investing in their skills is central to our ambition to be the best marketers in the country by being customer obsessed.

Ritson delivers the course through online videos and Q&A sessions

“We’re partnered with one of the most revered marketing professionals in the word to offer a Mini MBA in marketing course designed to fit around work schedules and equip our team members with best-practice industry knowledge,” Ronson added.

Professor Ritson said he was delighted to partner with one of Australia’s largest businesses to consult on best-practice marketing strategy and process.

“When I created the Mini MBA in Marketing it was apparent that we needed forward thinking, advanced marketing companies to partner with. I was delighted when Coles emerged as one of the first Australian businesses to express an interest in training their people on the program,” Ritson said.

The marketing modules can be accessed at anytime online

“Because we ran the whole team through the program at once it was possible to take a more specific focus on their business and to ensure the whole team came out with a common language and a common approach to marketing.”

As part of its Win Together team member engagement strategy, Coles has made several investments in team member learning and development, including the funding of up to 1,000 Coursera scholarships with some of the world’s top universities including Yale, Duke and Stanford, and a mini-MBA in Strategic Category Management in partnership with Deakin University.

Coles is one of Australia’s largest private-sector employers with more than 120,000 team members.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.