Magazine article Marketing

Profile: Playing the Loyalty Card - John Sheekey, Marketing Director, Nectar

Magazine article Marketing

Profile: Playing the Loyalty Card - John Sheekey, Marketing Director, Nectar

Article excerpt

With its partners losing market share, and customers' brand loyalty as a whole at a 10-year low, convincing shoppers to use a Nectar card has never been more of a challenge. John Sheekey, the loyalty scheme's marketing director, is watching customer trends closely.

'Consumers value their points more when times are tight,' he says. 'But we are yet to see a rise in consumers redeeming points due to the economic slowdown.'

Sheekey previously oversaw Nectar's direct marketing efforts. He led a pounds 7m relaunch of the scheme last year, including a rebranding to shed its image as a discount programme and reposition it as a rewards scheme. The relaunch introduced the slogan 'You deserve it' and retitled rewards as 'treats'.

Nectar, which began as a basic rewards scheme with Sainsbury's, Barclaycard, BP and Debenhams as partners, is now the biggest such loyalty programme in the UK with 12 partners.

However, there has been significant turnover of tie-ups in recent years. In 2006, Vodafone quit the scheme, followed by Threshers, while this year founding partner Debenhams did not renew its contract.

Following his promotion to marketing director in 2006, Sheekey set about improving the brand's image and widening its target audience.

He joined Nectar in 2002 as a member of a 14-strong team under its owner, Loyalty Management Group (LMG). The team was led by AirMiles founder Sir Keith Mills, who launched the business from a small office in London's Victoria.

'It was all hands on deck and we worked it out as we went along,' says Sheekey. 'It gave me a great understanding of data-driven marketing.'

Sheekey's career began with Unilever in 1995 as a graduate marketer working on its butter and spread brands, including Flora and I Can't Believe It's Not Butter. Later, he acquired valuable start-up experience as part of the Capital One UK launch team, which debuted the card in 1998 during the dotcom boom.

In 2000 Sheekey became head of marketing at mobile technology firm Xtempus, where he adapted web content for mobiles. This year, his digital experience will undoubtedly prove valuable as he promotes Nectar's online strategy.

'We need to be prepared for more consumers going digital, whether they are doing it for ethical reasons or for ease,' says Sheekey. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.