Co-op hires BBC chief to lead data ‘centre of excellence’

co-op2The Co-op has turned to the broadcast industry to appoint a new head of CRM and customer experience, bringing in the BBC’s Phil Barker to spearhead a new “centre of excellence”.

The move is part of the retailer’s plans to build its data and loyalty team, following the refresh of its membership programme and launch of the Co-op app last year.

With over 15 years’ in the customer experience sector, Barker has been at the BBC since January 2015, responsible for customer relationship strategy and digital engagement across all channels and services.

Prior to that he worked in senior CRM roles at Orange, the Financial Times and Global Radio.

At Co-op, Baker will lead in developing a new data and loyalty centre of excellence – bringing data, insight, membership, CRM and customer experience together to deliver value to members, customers and communities.

This follows the relaunch of the Co-op’s membership offering and launch of its digital membership app in 2020 to 4.3 million members.

As part of its digital transformation, Co-op launched a mobile app in 2019 to give the 4.6 million members of its loyalty club access to weekly personalised offers and the ability to track their member reward balance.

The Co-op App allows customers to choose two offers every week to save money on “they might like to try or buy” before they come into store. Members can also digitally track their reward balance, removing the need for paper coupons.

To date, more than a million Co-op members have downloaded the app, while 2 million have selected a local cause to support through membership.

Barker said: “I’m looking forward to bringing my expertise to help develop their ambitious plans for membership and joined-up customer engagement across all channels and services. Co-op’s investment in data and tech, with a real commitment to the highest standards in customer experience, has really impressed me.

“Customer experience is an incredibly exciting space to be in right now as more and more businesses recognise the value of data-driven engagements.”

Co-op data and loyalty director Charlotte Lock added: “Championing communities through the Co-op customers and members that live in them is critical to our vision of Co-operating for a Fairer World.

“We can do that even more effectively by building meaningful relationships and rewarding experiences. We’re thrilled Phil is joining the team as his passion for insight and creativity really stood out coupled with a fantastic track record of leading teams to deliver rewarding customer journeys.”

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