Markey exits TSB for Boots’ data-driven marketing blitz

markeyTSB marketing chief Pete Markey has quit after three years with the bank to join Boots UK as CMO to spearhead all of the retailer’s marketing activities, including its desire to embrace the power of new technology and drive forward an integrated mass-personalisation strategy.

In his new role, Markey, who will report to Walgreens Boots Alliance global CMO and chief customer officer Vineet Mehra, will lead the strategic and creative marketing activities across the retailers’ customer facing channels.

This includes the design and execution of Boots brand experiences, the Boots Advantage Card loyalty programme, the Boots multichannel media strategy, and the overall execution of marketing plans across physical and digital touchpoints.

In addition, he will be responsible for deploying the WBA partnership with Adobe and Microsoft, struck earlier this year, across the Boots marketing organisation.

This partnership lays the cornerstone for delivering new customer experiences by connecting Boots customer data with Microsoft’s cloud-based data platform and Adobe’s customer experience management solutions.

Markey’s time at TSB has been defined by the bank’s disastrous IT upgrade which sparked accusations that its acronym actually stood for the “Truly Shambolic Bank”. Even so, he battled on and was responsible for brand, data, analytics, communications, digital, content and sponsorship. He recently committed to rolling out the Adobe Experience Platform for the company.

Prior to that, Markey was brand communications and marketing director at Aviva, where he led the marketing team in Aviva’s ‘Digital Garage,’ a technology and innovation hub for advanced data and analytics.

While there, he also helped implement the Adobe Marketing Cloud as the business shifted towards a more data driven and digitally led marketing function. His previous roles include CMO at the Post Office, CMO at RSA Group, and head of marketing operations at One Tel.

Mehra said: “Pete is a world-class marketer, whose deep understanding of consumer analytics and innovative approach to engaging with customers will help take the Boots marketing approach to the next level.

“This is a pivotal role for Boots and his extensive experience will be invaluable as we seek to achieve our vision to become a truly modern, digitally native marketing organisation, while advancing our mass personalisation strategy.”

Markey succeeds Helen Normoyle, who has left after nearly four years as marketing director. Boots vice-president of brand and marketing communications Adam Zavalis has also quit following an 18-month spell to return to Aldi as director for global business co-ordination.

Unusually, for Markey at least, he appears to have been unavailable for comment.

His appointment comes as WBA works to accelerate its digital transformation, build truly differentiated omnichannel healthcare and retail offerings for customers who no longer expect a “one-size-fits-all” approach.

With consumer behaviour changes greatly accelerated by Covid-19, WBA is investing in and relying on marketing leadership across its brands, including Boots, to create a singular, unified view of our customers – powered by modern technology platforms – to help create experiences at every step of their journey.

The company recently retained WPP as its global marketing and communications partner, with a brief to implement the “mass-personalisation” marketing strategy.

WPP has handled the account since 2017 and set up a division called Team WBA to service the business. It also scooped the Advantage Card brief out of Lida (now M&C Saatchi), after nearly a decade; the loyalty scheme has been pursuing a digital-first strategy since last year.

Following the six-month review, launched in May, WBA and WPP will now extend their relationship until the end of 2022, with an option to further extend until the end of 2024.

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