Costa Coffee hires Child for global data analytics role

costa_coffee2Costa Coffee is aiming to ramp up its customer insight operation and put data at the heart of the business with the appointment of its first global head of consumer data and digital analytics.

Ed Child, the former Asda and Walmart insight and analytics chief, has already taken up the new role at the company, which was sold by Whitbread to Coca-Cola in 2019 in a deal worth £3.9bn.

Founded in London in 1971 by two brothers Bruno and Sergio Costa as a wholesale operation supplying roasted coffee to caterers and specialist Italian coffee shops, the business has grown to 3,401 stores across 31 countries. It has 2,121 UK restaurants, over 10,000 Costa Express vending facilities and a further 1,280 outlets overseas.

ed childThe Costa Coffee Club, which is believed to have about 6 million members in the UK and 4 million in China, sits at the heart of the firm’s data strategy.

It is understood that Child will take on some of the duties of Arslan Sharif, the former global digital and loyalty director, who left Costa last April to join Pizza Express in a similar role.

Sharif spent nearly fours years leading the digital, loyalty and data transformation at Costa in the UK, Europe, China, Middle East, US, and Japan across 2,500 retail stores and 10,000 Costa Express machines.

He also led the consumer data strategy to unlock commercial value and rolled out the Costa Coffee Club app in Poland, Kuwait and UAE.

The company has managed to avoid the worst excess of the Covid pandemic, having launched mobile ordering digital propositions (click and collect, order at table) across the UK as well as delivery services in the UK and Poland. Costa also recently teamed with US start-up Starship Technologies to launch robot coffee delivery in Milton Keynes.

Child (pictured) started his career at Callcredit and then joined Asda in 2007 as customer insight manager for Asda.com. He posted on LinkedIn: “Costa is a brand I’ve admired for a long time and to now play a key role in leading and building our consumer data capability globally is just awesome.

“Huge amounts of ambition, great products and amazing backing to put data at heart of the business.”

Last month, Costa launched its first TikTok campaign “The Costa For You” (pictured), in which it became the first brand to ‘hack’ TikTok’s algorithm and innovate on the platform by using the For You Page to target its audience.

The activity, which serves up individuals’ perfect Costa experience based on their TikTok browsing history via in-feed ads, was created by independent digital agency AnalogFolk.

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