Karen’s expertise is in forging transformational business models to secure market differentiation and financial success. As a catalyst of change, she puts ‘the customer’ at the heart of the business and places marketing as a key driver of the commercial agenda and strategic business planning. Her business and marketing strategies have been award winning, having repositioned companies, turned round declining market shares and delivered strong and sustainable improvement to the bottom line. She brings a consistency of approach and intellectual rigour, underpinned with customer insight, and translates ideas into actionable programme plans across all elements of the marketing mix. Karen has an extensive Board/NED career that spans 30 years of marketing, strategic consulting and interim roles (the last 8yrs) in FTSE organizations in the UK and internationally, B2B and B2C, across several industries including early training in fast moving Consumer Goods – GSK/RHM, Financial Services- Direct Line, Aviva, HSBC; Advisory- PWC as a management consultant, Telco- BT, and the public sector – National Savings & Investment, NHS, BBC. She has had significant operational responsibility including P&L responsibility for turnover from start –up to £10bn, marketing budgets from a few thousand to £40m, to £250m+, teams a handful to over 100, for B2C & B2B, multiple products, channels (direct, indirect; media-digital, post, phone, retail) and customers to 26m in branded businesses. Relevant experience and achievements:
- Marketing Director – National Savings & Investment: Appointed to reverse long term stock decline and revitalise brand. Galvanised staff to create new, marketing partnership with Tesco, successful Sir Alan Sugar advertising campaign, price, product portfolio, customer delivery changes and new online product launches. Result: doubled awareness exceeded targets by 140%, generated +7% stock growth to reach £75bn with highest ever retention whilst reducing y.o.y marketing costs.
- Head of Strategic Planning & Marketing – BBC: Led strategy and marketing for collection licence fees across range of payment schemes and multi-channel( post, phone, online, face to face) ; outsourced back office ( Capita) and stakeholder management included – marketing agencies, debt collection 3rd parties, BBC, Dept Culture & Media ,consumer lobby groups. Result: transformed Customer Relationship Management and repositioned brand to grow revenue by 12% to +£3bn whilst cutting collection costs by 6%, particularly by targeting 60% of collection via web and achieving 46% year on year increase.
- Business development director- Aviva: Targeted to increase business with existing clients and capture new partners in new sectors (high street and on-line retailers, charities, membership organisations). Transformed business processes and operational delivery model to include customer insight, deal shaping, profitability sizing, competitive benchmarking, proposition and solutions creation and development of high performing teams. Result: generated 40% uplift in deal volume, securing £0.5bn income on 20% reduced costs & £100m of incremental new partner premiums.
- Marketing consultant – British Credit Trust: a PE backed company offering financing for car purchase, aiming for a fivefold increase in sales. Reporting to the CEO and working with the Board I orchestrated a programme of analysis to identify key customer insights including customer segmentation across existing and potential customers and distributors aligned with car dealers local market potential. Result: introduced new segmented marketing, service and distribution strategies, by-passing existing brokers with new direct sales to automotive dealers, an online capability for customers & partnerships with Banks & Building Societies; refocused effort to deliver 25% sales increase 1 year ahead of plan.
Karen holds a degree in B.A. Geography from King’s College, University of London. She is also a member of the Marketing Society, Worshipful Company of Marketors, and the Strategic Planning Society.