Former OgilvyOne chief Nigel Howlett has been appointed chairman of data specialist Cyance – succeeding Mike Housley – after taking a stake in the business as part of its expansion plans.
Housley, who retains a place on the board as an executive director, co-founded the company in 2007 with Shane Redding. After nearly 10 years operating as a data-focused B2B marketing agency, Cyance is moving away from its agency business model to focus on its predictive marketing solution, Nexus.
The scheme takes internal and third-party behaviour data from every customer touchpoint to predict what a customer is likely to buy and when.
Cyance maintains this helps to create better-targeted marketing campaigns that bring significant ROI improvements for B2B clients. Latest cases show a 200% increase in marketing engagement and 42% increase in sales, the firm claims.
Howlett said: Nigel: “Cyance has a superb, award-winning reputation in data-driven B2B marketing and it’s an exciting time to join the team as we take the business away from its earlier agency model to focus on the next generation of B2B communications targeting, powered by Nexus.”
Howlett started his career at WWAV Computing (now Rapp) in the late Eighties, joining Ogilvy & Mather Direct in 1991 as managing director of its O&M Dataconsult business. He subsequently became chairman and chief executive of newly formed OgilvyOne Worldwide in London, where he was also a member of the global executive team.
In 2002 Howlett was promoted to global executive vice-president for consulting and strategic development, as part of Ogilvy’s expansion into digital communications and analytics.
He left Ogilvy in 2008 to become president international at IRI Worldwide, a global business insight and big data analytics company serving the consumer goods, healthcare and retail industries.
In 2014, Howlett stepped down from IRI and now works closely with a number of businesses in the predictive analytics and data-driven marketing arenas, holding non-executive director and chairman roles and providing advisory services to a range of clients, including private equity firms.
Cyance chief executive Jon Clarke said: “Nigel has nearly 30 years’ experience in data-driven marketing and has been part of executive leadership teams for some of the largest global marketing agencies and analytics technology companies. We are privileged to have someone of his calibre on board.”
Housley added: “I’ve known and admired Nigel for many years and relish this opportunity to finally work with him. I can’t think of anyone better qualified to help lead the business as it moves into the advanced world of predictive analytics.”
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