Case Studies

Programme Design

Robin  was the principle designer for the award winning Market Excellence Series (MXS) programme.  This was c. 40 different blended learning modules which used e-Learning alongside locally delivered workshops and on the job tasks to build marketing skills for a global Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) company. The programme was the basis for most training and development for 28,000 world wide learners – starting with an induction module and providing input relevant to every marketing function, process and activity – from brand building to key account management.

As well as accessing state of the art interactive learning on line, each individual had access to a coach and each coach had access to individual guidance for every module.  The platform for the programme involved recommendations by role alongside recommendations from other learners in an transactional network.

The programme won the 2010 e-Learning award for best distance learning programme in a major corporation.


When the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing wanted to differentiate themselves from other organisations offering specialist training for the sector, they contacted Robin and asked him to develop a strategy workshop for the management team.

Having run the management workshop and provided advice to the management team about how they could introduce blended learning, Robin was again called upon to design and deliver faculty training for the 70+ faculty members drawn from across the Digital and Direct Marketing industry.

The sessions modelled the approach recommended for future IDM sessions, using pre-workshop activities and reading; active learning exercises including team re-design exercises and post-workshop action plans to embed what had been learned in every day practice.


Induction for Managers
When a global FMCG company recognised that there was no standard induction for all new managers and management trainees joining the business, they decided they needed some help.

They turned to Robin Hoyle to design the first day and a half of the corporate induction programme, to be rolled out in every one of the 181 countries in which the company operated.

The programme was designed to include everything you would expect in an induction – but it also to include something you might not expect – fun!

By using pre-workshop activities, the interactive sessions reduced the sitting and listening and a series of games, quizzes, role plays and group activities covered heritage, strategy, products, brands and an overview of each function.  There was even time to incorporate localised information for each region and each country.

The programme was originally designed to be rolled out alongside a day and half manager induction – designed by internal HR specialists to introduce managers to the processes for performance appraisal, development planning, reward and succession planning/talent management.

When Robin Hoyle trained a group of trainers in Moscow to deliver the Induction – and then supported them as they piloted with the first group of new recruits – it became obvious that the internally produced materials also needed a bit of livening up to match the rest of the induction.

So a short while later, Robin was back in Moscow training a new group of inductees, this time using a brand new suite of active learning materials for the full 3 days.  IN fact, the redesign meant that the whole induction could be modularised and run as a series of short workshop sessions where releasing people for 3 days was not possible.

Each session was accompanied by pre-workshop reading and activity which reduced the lectures significantly and ensured a deeper and much more memorable introduction to the company and how it works.


When the Prison Service College at Newbold Revell undertook a review of the training and development activities for serving Prison Officers, they recognised that they had to make better use of technology.

But how?  Most prison officers didn’t have regular access to a computer and many were relatively unskilled in their operation, and besides, knowing how to deal with prisoners and their families isn’t something you can easily learn from a screen.

Just to complicate things, there was a desire to use e-Learning and other technology but differences of opinion about where to start and hardly any budget to investigate the best option.

In just 10 days, Robin created an e-Learning strategy for HM Prisons Service.  This included creating and analysing learner questionnaires, conducting interviews with prison governors, serving officers, and Prison Officer’s Association, trainers, course developers and managers within the Prison Service College and with external suppliers and partners.

The strategy was received warmly as a practical tool to help the Prisons Service embark on e-Learning despite the considerable barriers – such as access to technology, issues with computer security and time available for mandatory off the job training courses.  By recommending the use of an external computer training suite available just off site from each major institution and by looking at introducing blended learning techniques, the use of e-Learning to cover off some of the legal requirements traditionally delivered via lectures, potentially reduced time off the job and enabled each individual to cover as much or as little as they needed to achieve the standard required.

The strategy looked in detail at how this was to be paid for when budgets were under extreme pressure. One recommendation to re-design a single annual, mandatory programme delivered saving to the Prisons Service in excess of £3million per year.


If you’re the world’s second largest brewer, your reputation is pretty important to you.  Making and selling high quality alcoholic beverages means you have to be responsible to ensure that you don’t encourage irresponsible consumption or under-age drinking.

To ensure that marketers in every one of the 75 countries where SABMiller operates understand the company’s Policy on Commercial Communications, it was important to bring it to life.  Let’s be honest, if you’re a marketer in a fast moving environment, trying to beat the competition and gain market share, anything with the word Policy in it is likely to be so much yadder yadder!

But not if you have to play a game in which you expand your brand into different territories and roll out advertising, promotions and trade activities.  But wait.  In one country the legal drinking age is 16, in another it’s 21.  In one country the government is form a religious grouping in favour of temperance, in another, budget shortfalls are likely to be made up with increased excise on alcohol.  Suddenly managing your reputation and being a good corporate citizen means different things in different countries.  It also means that whatever you do in one country may be viewed very differently elsewhere.  In the specially designed Alcohol Territory Board Game, teams succeed or fail depending on how well they look after their reputation by marketing their brands responsibly.

Robin Hoyle designed the game in conjunction with internal specialists.  All the challenges to which teams needed to respond are based on true stories. Each challenge includes consequences for those marketers who ignore the reputational downside of their latest ad campaign.

The final ‘course in a box’ came with full facilitator guide, participant materials, board game, playing pieces and challenges, debrief materials and even recommended prizes for the winning team!