Meet the Client: Michael Bates, Morrisons

Michael Bates is marketing director at supermarket chain Morrisons

Michael Bates, marketing director, Morrisons
Michael Bates, marketing director, Morrisons

Brand controlled?

What are your main priorities over the next 12 months?
Increasing our reputation for value and fantastic fresh food in an intensely competitive market.

Agencies used?
Mediaedge:cia for media, DLKW for creative, Candi for digital and Result CC and Billington Cartmel for below-the-line work.

What are the main criteria you use when selecting an agency?
Intelligence, with a grasp of our business, our customers and the challenges we face.

Any advice to agencies pitching for new business?
Get to know their business and their market inside out. For a retailer that is easy - spend time in their stores and their competitors.

What role has marketing played in the growth of Morrisons' share of the competitive supermarket business in the past year?
Econometric analysis has proven that more than 40% of our growth is directly down to marketing. Over and above that, marketing has repositioned our business to the 10 million customers that visit our stores every week.

How will your strategy adapt to the economic slump in 2009?
Continue to invest in Morrisons reputation for unbeatable value-for-money quality food at low prices.

How has your career background prepared you for your current role?
Having started out in a large fast-moving consumer goods' business for six years, I moved to retail marketing at Morrisons. The experience of working in retail as the business has grown, combined with the days in FMCG, prepared me well for the challenges we now face.

Which medium can't you do without?
Mobile phone.

Best/worst thing about working with the media industry?
The worst is the intransigence of some media owners, while the best is the ability to make things happen very quickly.

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