Virgin Media has overhauled its marketing operation by bringing its data, insight and analytics teams under the remit of former British Airways marketer Kerris Bright, who has been recruited as the firm’s new CMO.
The position has been vacant for 16 months, after previous incumbent Jeff Dodds changed roles following Liberty Global’s acquisition of the business; he subsequently left the company in April last year to join Tele2 Netherlands.
Virgin Media spends upwards of £200m a year on advertising and marketing, a large chunk of which goes on direct and digital activity, the bulk of which is handled by Rapp. Bringing the insight teams under the remit of the CMO is likely to bring an even greater focus on direct techniques as Liberty seeks to squeeze more money out of existing customers.
While it has fallen behind rivals Sky, BT and TalkTalk in terms of attracting new customers, Virgin Media’s deal with BT Sport and its “Big Bundle” packages have seen its churn rate fall to its lowest level since the company was formed in 2007.
In November, it revealed that the record low annual customer churn figure of 14.9% had contributed to a growth in cable customers of 35,000, representing the highest quarterly customer additions since Q4 2012. It also added 88,000 organic RGUs (additional customer product units).
Meanwhile broadband subscribers grew by 83,000, including 49,000 in Q3, to reach 4,464,100 subscribers. Some 2.5 million, or 56%, of these broadband customers took super-fast speeds of 50Mbps or faster.
Bright (pictured, right), who has been working in private equity since leaving BA where she led the airline’s ‘To Fly: To Serve’ brand campaign, joins later this month.
Commenting on her appointment, Bright said: “The best companies always find a way to combine science or technological know-how with a genuine human touch, which is why this role excited me. Virgin Media provides the best products and service and has an unrivalled brand that makes this a compelling opportunity.”
Virgin Media director of brand and marketing Richard Larcombe will now report to Bright.
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