Prior to his current role Gelbak was Managing Director – Commercial and Partnerships, for Latitude Financial Services, Australia & New Zealand, based in Melbourne. In that role, he had commercial responsibility for Latitude’s full product portfolio, including Sales Finance, Credit Cards and Personal Loans, as well as commercial functions including Product, Business Development and Marketing and Digital. We asked for his perspective on both sales and marketing.
They say that what gets measured gets done, but while sales and marketing are all about the numbers, there’s a very personality-based, gut-feeling aspect underpinning both fields. How can retailers find the right balance between these two poles?
I think retailers need to have a foot in both camps, namely understanding their customers quantitatively, what motivates them, how they shop, preferences,
what makes them unique and you need to interrogate your data whether it be through simple off the shelf CRM tools or more complex data science. If you can take those insights and then apply that personality qualitatively to the service or product experience then you have something special.
Can you share any sales and/or marketing insights which are well-known among larger companies, such as Latitude, but tend to be ignored or missed by SMEs?
For our company it’s really been about customer data and the ability to take our partners data and/or our customer data and turn that into meaningful actions,
be it marketing campaigns, inputs into product design or changes to our servicing processes.
We always start with the data but then marry that with real customer insights often sourced qualitatively through feedback, social forums, and research that we do. More recently we have developed our own proprietary customer panel where we are able to take a hypothesis or a merchant partner opportunity and research it within a matter of days and deliver back a validation or otherwise in a matter of days. That’s the way I think you need to iterate now, get things out in beta mode, listen and be prepared for your hypothesis to be disproven (and don’t take it personally!).
To find out more about Gem, visit www.gemfinance.co.nz.