What I do in data - Richard Dixon, knowledge management director, Black Sun

Q: What did you do before Black Sun?

I was head of CRM at O2. My role was to manage the 13 million pre-pay and pay monthly customers (consumers and businesses), to reduce churn and grow revenues. During my time there we were able to merge the customer and billing data, profile and understand the customers, and use this data to create the first loyalty programme in mobile. We then used this data to drive the communications across all our touch-points, including the various call centres, the web, direct mail and text messaging.

Q: Does having a client background help you in your current role?

Definitely. I think it helps to have an understanding of how companies work: the day-to-day pressures, budgetary cuts, changes in priorities, staff changes and so on. You can also provide a good 'reality check' for some of the more creative ideas.

Q: What did you do yesterday?

In the morning I completed work on a segmentation model proposal for a client, that will hopefully help it to improve the retention rates of its customers, and increase its product cross-sales. In the afternoon I was analysing another client's data, which will help us formulate a loyalty proposition and communications strategy to retain its existing customer base.

Q: What's the biggest data-related issue for clients?

That's a tough one, but I have noticed - across almost all the companies I have encountered - that none have a full single customer view, and very few use data to drive their communications strategy.

Q: What advice do you give them?

Creating a quality database, and using it to drive your marketing activity, takes time and requires significant attention to detail, but is hugely rewarding. I would counter against 'big bang' developments, as in my experience they end up taking longer, costing more and have a higher risk of failure. Better to prioritise your needs, establish your platform, and then grow the data from different sources over time according to your priority. Start using the data as soon as you can because you will gain valuable learning and payback straight away.

Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

Ex-Thomas Cook marketer Mike Hoban resurfaces at Morrisons
Barbour creates real-time illustrations of consumers' stories for summer campaign
Viral review: Samsung goes for Apple’s jugular but fails to connect
View from Brazil: why we didn't believe we could lose the World Cup
Heineken unveils ‘Open Your City’ drive with Metro for ‘men of the world’
Unilever continues portfolio 'reshaping' with Slim-Fast sale
Amazon to fight US authorities over in-app purchase claims
Google set to invest $100m in Europe's tech start-ups
Metcalfe's set to release quirky debut TV ad
Samsung pities the iPhone 'wall huggers'
Smirnoff campaign aims to make Formula One less elitist
Apple wins EU battle to register store layout as trademark
Marketing directors need to step outside 'marketing box' to earn seat on the board
Hottest virals: Burger King’s emotional gay pride Whopper ad, plus Apple and Guinness
Developer creates software enabling Google Glass mind-control
Kick-ass girl beats up shopping centre staff in music video
Top 10 ads of the week: Aldi's World Cup cider ad scores with consumers
Sony relives Germany's 7-1 victory against Brazil in Subbuteo Vine
Burberry credits 9% revenue hike on strong online sales and 'more targeted marketing'
Ritz returns to UK TV screens after 30-year hiatus
Mars creates chief health and wellbeing officer role
Brands make the most of Germany's dramatic victory over Brazil
Adios Justin King! Watch our video tribute as he leaves Sainsbury's after a decade
Nike calls time on 13-year Manchester United kit deal
Three TV ad banned over misleading 'free' call claims
GNM boss David Pemsel: 'The Guardian has got its mojo back'
M&S has missed a massive opportunity to put digital strategy at its heart
Google partners with the Barbican to show coders are artists
Samaritans encourages men to talk about issues with #DownNotOut campaign
Lego's partnership with Shell 'not awesome', according to Greenpeace viral