Ask The Expert: Data Digest with Alex Croker
Phrasee’s new Solutions Consultant, Alex Croker, climbs aboard the rocketship after almost a decade of pioneering data-driven personalization with Sainsbury’s and its associated brands such as Nectar. In our latest Ask The Expert he delves into what the future holds for modern marketers…
Phrasee: Hello Alex! Give us a quick tour through your background if you don’t mind. What brought you to where you are today?
Alex: I’m a Maths graduate from Cardiff, and I must confess: I stumbled into marketing from the data side. I spent nearly ten years with Nectar, part of Sainsbury’s (one of the UK’s leading grocery chains), and associated companies, including a brief stint down under, establishing my niche, which is helping true marketers bring their ideas to life. ‘Marketing operations’ is how I define this, and these days that means helping our clients use Phrasee as seamlessly as possible.
Phrasee: You’ve done great work for the email marketing teams of household brands like Sainsbury’s – do you see this area as your specialty? Tell us about your achievements in the email marketing wheelhouse.
Alex: I’ve worked on multiple ESP migrations, as well as implementing Phrasee into the flagship Nectar email programme. These were projects that pioneered data-driven personalization at scale – with an approach that really dug deep into statistics. Marketers are too simplistic sometimes with trying to measure the results of personalization – they draw a linear connection between a click on an email and a marketing outcome. Life’s more complicated than that: there are attribution windows, various channels, and control groups to think about. This means that every engagement opportunity is valuable as they will inform a customer’s intent with the brand. Maximising deliverability through strong email domain reputation management – which is founded in engagement statistics and is a crucial way of ensuring consumer trust in your brand’s email marketing – is one way I championed this.
“Marketers are too simplistic sometimes with trying to measure the results of personalization – they draw a linear connection between a click on an email and a marketing outcome. Life’s more complicated than that: there are attribution windows, various channels, and control groups to think about. This means that every engagement opportunity is valuable as they will inform a customer’s intent with the brand.”
Alex Croker, Solutions Consultant at Phrasee
Phrasee: How has marketing changed during your time in the industry, and how do you see the marketing landscape changing in 2022 & beyond?
Alex: The major shift during my time has been a shift towards digitisation, with a big shift away from direct mail. This has meant an increase in real-time personalization, with emphasis on meeting the right person, with the right message, at the right time, and on the right channel. This is largely being achieved via either a single vendor tech stack or a more best-in-class/horses for courses integration-heavy approach. Five or so years ago, there was a huge appetite for single vendors that would provide the entire marketing stack, from analytics to SEO and emails. Since then, there’s been a shift towards more specialist solutions, such as best-in-class push or email platforms like Braze or Phrasee.
Phrasee: What drew you to joining Phrasee?
Alex: The culture. As a client I had first-hand knowledge that the tech works, which certainly helps! But with every interaction I had with Phrasee, be it a quarterly review, ‘lunch and learn’ session, or its infamous birthday party… I knew this was a company with the energy and values that excite me.
Phrasee: What do you hope to achieve in your new role? Where do you see this rocket ship going?
Alex: I’ve joined at an exciting time, with the new investors coming aboard and following another year of incredible growth, and I only see us continuing on this trajectory. On a personal level, I’m excited to discover the creative ways in which our clients are operating, and helping them incorporate the power of Phrasee into more of their campaigns. I’m really proud to be here, and to play a part in this awesome success story!
Thanks a bunch, Alex – welcome to the Phrasee pham!
Looking for more industry expertise?
Check out the rest of our Ask the Expert series.