Through our Spotlight Series, we delve into the minds of our colleagues to find out more about their roles, what motivates them, who inspires them and much more.
What originally attracted you to BGL Group?
I started my career in live events, working agency side in London, with a lot of my time spent travelling overseas. Whilst I loved the travel, I was ready to make the move out of London, but wanted to still have the opportunity to work on big creative events, and for a company that understood their value.
Financial Services wasn’t a natural fit, but I was attracted to the culture at BGL and the fact that I could see staff engagement, and events, were pivotal to this. Never did I think that the world of Insurance would offer me the opportunities it’s since offered!
Tell us about your journey through BGL since you joined the Group
I joined BGL to set up the team which would deliver its events programme. As Senior Manager I was responsible for all BGL and BHL events. During my seven years we established the much-loved Fun Days, the Awards Ball and a number of other events that continue to still run across the Group.
My role gave me the opportunity to work with so many people around the business, and to build a great network, many of whom are now friends for life. My life changed dramatically in 2014 when I became an overnight mum to two young children, and my work-life balance needed to change quickly!
BGL provided me with the support and opportunity to change direction, and after a six-month secondment in our Motor & Home business, I moved across to comparethemarket.com in 2015 with the launch of Meerkat Movies.
Tell us about your role as a Partnership Manager
My role as Partnership Manager has changed a number of times since the launch of Meerkat Movies. Initially, I took responsibility for setting up the operational requirements, ensuring our customers could redeem their codes and that we had robust processes in place.
As the programme grew, I then moved to managing the day-to-day relationships with our cinema partners, tracking performance and finding ways to offer great deals to our customers. More recently I’ve moved back to managing the operational side, and looking after all our Rewards suppliers and contracts.
Tell us something not many people know about you
In my past agency life, I worked for both the Royal Household and the Foreign Office for a number of years, once working as a lift operator for the Royal Family, and having the great privilege of meeting Nelson Mandela, so I’m not a bad storyteller on a night out!
Which other businesses do partnerships well?
As a music fan, it would have to be O2 Priority, as I love the breadth of offers and the ease of access. Likewise, Merlin Entertainment, in a similar vein to ourselves, focuses on offering rewards that enable customers to enjoy times with family and friends, making memories whilst also helping them to save money.
From a loyalty perspective, Boots spring to mind - their app is really intuitive, and as a mechanism for saving, it’s so simple. In my opinion, businesses that do partnerships well tend to be those that have taken the time to really understand their customer base and then fully immerse themselves in the industries they’re partnering with; mutual respect and an understanding of each other’s priorities is fundamental to a great partnership.
Highlights and lowlights from 2020
Do you even need to ask… as a lifelong Gary Barlow fan, it has to be Meerkat Music! Take That aside, being part of the team that delivered Meerkat Music, which involved so many great examples of teams going the extra mile and working together was fantastic to be part of, and something I’m incredibly proud of.
Closely followed by the launch of Pizza Delivery in May with Papa John’s coming onboard in July, making Meerkat Meals even more popular amongst my family, and then the launch of Sleepy Oleg, who we can see has really helped us attract a high percentage of new customers, which has been great to see.
Lowlights - it’s been a really tough year for many industries, but for our cinema partners and the live events industry in particular, it’s been catastrophic; and whilst there is light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccine, for our cinema partners, there are still turbulent times ahead.
We know from research how important Meerkat Movies is to our customers, and through our ‘Back to Cinema’ campaign last summer and our continued commitment to the programme, we know we’re well positioned to support the film industry when the time comes.
What does 2021 hold for our rewards proposition?
We have really exciting plans for Meerkat Meals in the not-too-distant future, which will be great for our customers whilst coronavirus restrictions continue. We also have some exciting conversations ongoing with our cinema partners, as to how we can really get behind the industry with Meerkat Movies, helping to get our customers back to the big screen as soon as the Cinemas are able to reopen.
And finally, what’s your favourite Take That song?
I have to choose only one? Then it’s got to be Never Forget - it features in my will!
Interested in joining BGL? Take a look at our current vacancies