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DataIQ Awards 2017 winner – Analytics and Insight Leader: Paul Ravenscroft, Walgreen Boots Alliance

Paul Ravenscroft, senior manager, personalisation and loyalty insights UK & ROI, Walgreens Boots Alliance

Who is he?

Paul has held his current role since mid-2012, having previously been loyalty campaign manager. His early career started at Boots as a marketing analyst for four years from 1998, before moving into a senior analyst role at RS Components. A move to Lands End UK followed in 2006, where he was customer database manager, leading customer and online analytics, before he returned to his current company in 2008.

The personalisation and loyalty insights team draws on data from Advantage Card holders as well as online activity in order to develop an understanding of customer behaviour. This is then applied to targeting in multi-channel communications. 

What does he do?

When Paul took responsibility for the three-strong targeted communications team in 2008, its focus was on quarterly and ad-hoc direct mail campaigns, then running to six million items each. Since then, its headcount has expanded to 32 and now supports all personalised one-to-one communications across every delivery channel, including email, the Boots app and direct mail. He also engages as the lead on bespoke insight projects.

As part of the development of the team, Paul has focused on hiring for diversity and innovation, looking to attract the best established talent as well as developing early-stage practitioners. This has seen CRM analysts, campaign consultants and data scientists employed, He has recognised the importance of career development and training, having nurtured many data professionals from the earliest stages of their careers. 

The team has helped to shape customer strategy among senior business executives under his leadership, while also delivering bespoke insights to both the business and external suppliers. Building stakeholder relationships as well as challenging the status quo has emphasised the need to develop soft skills within the team alongside its technical capabilities. As a result, it is now seen as a “go-to” collective of insight experts, setting it apart for its broad range of abilities.

Recently, the personalisation and loyalty insights team delivered a new customer segmentation using both business and market data, building new customer propositions with greater relevance and also shaping long-term planning. Paul has also led the development of advanced customer personalisation based on machine learning. As well as enhacing the capabilities of the team and the company’s marketing, customer response rates have also seen considerable uplift.

What did the judges say?

The focus on training and career development was singled out as a particular strength of Paul’s leadership of the team, with the rise in headcount seen as clear evidence of the confidence placed in the function by the business. The focus on diversity of skills was recognised as part of the long-term success over which he has presided. As one judge put it: “This one has it all!”

DataIQ Awards 2017
Year: 2017
Category: Analytics and Insight Leader

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