Nick Baker, CEO of Bakehouse Communications, is an expert in branding and customer experience with over 30 years in the financial services environment of customers and institutions. He has held senior positions in marketing for life, retirement and investment companies. He was marketing manager at Irish Life UK and head of communications at Barclays Investments before having a successful marketing agency. He has been responsible for bringing countless new products and over 14 brand new financial companies to market, including recently operating as a NED for the Retail Housing Investment Fund. He is the founder and CEO of a simplified online protection trade, called Simple and Open. Putting the customer at the heart of the customer's business has been his business adventure.
MEDIA 7: What inspired you to get into marketing? Please take us through your journey.
NICK BAKER: I started in the financial services industry in a technical underwriting role, which fortunately led me to distribution and marketing teams. I enjoyed the sales environment more than sales insurance, but did not want to go into a pure sales role, I went to my first start-up company of many, early in my career. The start-up environment of entrepreneurs gave me the opportunity to help design and distribute new products and services so that my marketing career was born. I then started to manage the entire market sector to the end with various types of companies in financial services and helped to bring some new companies along.
Finding my creative and innovative side was to be happier, I left the business world to help run a marketing agency and set up their digital business in the early days of the internet, before I started my own organization. Over the years, I have worked with about 100 different companies, helped to launch more new start-ups and have joined the circle and helped a new brand called free2, as one of the founding teams.
M7: What marketing channels do you use and which do you consider to be the most promising for your customers?
NB: I use all available channels and am constantly mixing the mixture to achieve the right business results. I start with customer insights to define key channels but then use a very powerful test and learn the process to optimize plans. The new free2 brand is aiming to break with the preconceived notions of older demographics, and this extends to the media and transmission methods we use.
M7: What is your approach to market research, both customer and competitor?
NB: Market research to gain valuable customers and competitors is essential in everything we do. I enjoy looking for innovative ways to gain insight to keep knowledge fresh, secure and deliver an edge. One of the best experiences I remember was spending 3 days in a hotel with a group of consumers. It was certainly a deep dive into how they were thinking.
M7: How do you ensure that your sales team understands and introduces the products in an interesting way?
Note: I create a communication policy that links the brand to the product and service proof and is then substantiated with the same and consistent message. I'm looking for ways to get the message across through innovative formats and channels, digital and non-digital. For example, in this "world of attraction" I have presented interactive brochures that are far more attractive than traditional linear ones.
M7: What do you think are the top three product marketing challenges of the COVID-19 era?
Note: In financial services, where human contact is important in many areas, digital channel delivery needs to influence consumers' need for humanity.
Being relevant is a major challenge as the minds, attitudes and behaviors of consumers have changed significantly. Not all marketing messages used for kovid will continue to resonate in people's hearts and minds. For example, long-term planning proposals may seem like a target when people are more focused on modern times. Keeping your finger on the pulse of people's thinking is even more important than ever.
Understand that after COVID-19 life will be fluid for many consumers, so products and services may need to adapt to new patterns of income and expenditure, working and unprofitable. This will create increased business pressure in product and service design and delivery to meet this new pattern of residence and work.
M7: How are promotional methods changing regarding products and services starting during these periods?
Note: The Internet has benefited greatly in recent times, accelerating with COVID-19, while retailers have taken a beating. Television has played a very important role in targeting certain objects during the lock and will continue to do so. Social media continues to grow with the advent of new forums. Video is an essential presentation technology, whether it's a pure campaign or part of a deeper content marketing strategy. Overall, understanding the performance metrics of a multi-channel strategy is the key to delivering each company's business goals.
M7: A word of wisdom for marketing professionals?
NB: Be fresh, experiment constantly, say everything and do not forget to talk to the customer.
ABOUT BACKHOUSE COMMUNICATION
Bakehouse Communications helps customers meet today's marketing needs as well as tomorrow's strategic challenges by building and delivering the brand's purpose. They do this on all channels for B2B and B2C customers and set themselves the goal of bringing everything they do, fresh, challenging and innovative thinking.