Do you work on the customer lifecycle and wonder what it would be like to be on the supply side or in charge of strategy?
Jill Brittlebank is senior director for strategy and analytics at Zeta Global, a CRM technology company, and is the latest of our Day in the Life interviewees.
Let’s see what she gets up to every day…
Don’t forget, if you’re looking for a new career, check out the Econsultancy Jobs page.
Please describe your job: What do you do?
I’m Senior Director for Strategy and Analytics at Zeta Global, which is a fast-growing acquisition and customer lifecycle marketing company that recently acquired eBay Enterprise and Acxiom Impact.
I lead our planning, analytics and creative teams, who are focused on helping our clients to grow customer value by developing, testing and measuring different elements of their CRM programmes.
Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?
I report into Juliet Schuler, our country manager who in turn reports to Zeta CRM’s President, Anil Krishnan.
What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?
Being data-driven and numerate is the bread and butter of my role.
But a whole host of other skills are equally important, ranging from the ability to understand analytic outputs and convert them into client recommendations, to explaining CRM best practice to clients in a way that makes it relevant to the specific business challenges they face.
Communication skills are critical, particularly when it comes to getting to know our clients and developing a thorough understanding of their objectives, so we can drive the value that they need.
And as well as managing multi-functional teams, I have to work collaboratively with the client service, technical and marketing operations teams who are spread across our UK, USA and Indian offices.
More generally, as part of the leadership team I need a good understanding of the general management functions, such as operational efficiencies, organisational culture and development.
Finally, a strong commercial focus is an absolute must.
Tell us about a typical working day…
My first priority is to read the emails that have come in over night from our clients and colleagues in different time zones. We work with over 500 brands right across the world so it’s good to start the day with a clean inbox.
We have a daily morning scrum for the planning, analytics and creative teams to check in on how client projects are progressing and make sure we are all on the same page.
I try to keep a portion of my time free for ‘drop ins’, so I can respond quickly to any last minute client requests. But the rest of the day can vary wildly, taken up by anything from project kick-off meetings to peer review sessions.
I work with the team here and with our clients on creating channel development plans, on quarterly or bi-annual reviews with clients and key stakeholders across their business, as well on strategic projects to address specific client needs.
We’re keen to share learnings across all our clients so they only invest in activities that truly drive results, and right now we are investing a lot of energy into creating client case studies to make this sharing as seamless as possible.
I’m working with our Planning and Creative Directors on the best ways to capture and share those learnings across the organisation so that we all have a similar level of appreciation about how we work with clients, the projects we undertake and the results they deliver.
What do you love about your job? What sucks?
I love the mix of data analysis and human behaviour. I love drilling down into a piece of analysis to identify the key behaviour trends that will help us develop brilliant insightful programmes for our clients.
And the fact that the channels we work in are measurable in real time means we can be nimble in tweaking client projects to drive the best results.
If I could change one thing, I’d add more hours to the day – there’s always more that we want to do. I’d like to have a pause button on time so I can get ahead of the to-do list!
What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?
Our goals are primarily centred around growth – both for our clients and our business. For clients, it’s about understanding their engagement KPIs and how they have a direct relationship to ROI.
We’re focused on preventing attrition and creating growth in customer volume and value, and making sure we understand their performance relative to the industry and over time, so we can identify any factors that are impacting performance – for better or for worse.
Although we’re lucky that the channels we work in are very measurable, softer internal metrics of success are important as well.
These include things like staff retention and development – if teams are motivated and committed, they will deliver better work for our clients.
And by ensuring that we work effectively and efficiently, we create space for innovative developments that can, in turn, be used by our clients.
What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?
A whiteboard and a marker. I find it much easier to explain ideas and work out solutions when I can draw them out.
And a calculator – in some ways, I’m very old school!
How did you get started in the digital industry, and where might you go from here?
I started off working in offline CRM, but the increase in focus on digital from our clients led me to where I am now.
And digital is constantly changing, so as a team we’re focusing on continuing to develop our proposition across the emerging digital channels that are important to our clients.
In terms of where next, I’m not planning on moving away from CRM planning and insight… but maybe in another life, I’d be running a tea and cake shop – so focusing on a different kind of cookie!
Which brands do you think are doing digital well?
John Lewis is approaching digital in a way that’s been really successful. It does a great job of joining up its online and offline store proposition.
And of course I’m slap-bang in the middle of their core demographic…
Do you have any advice for people who want to work in the digital industry?
Understand the technology but don’t let that be your only strength, because technology changes all the time.
And never lose sight of the fact that, more than ever, it’s all about the consumer, their needs and motivations and how well we are addressing them.
Your competition is only ever a click away, so every interaction has to count.