We wanted to know more about what makes our marketing community tick. In the first of a series of short interviews with leading financial services marketers, we get to know Alastair Pegg, Marketing Director at The Co-operative Bank.
Please introduce yourself
I’m Alastair Pegg – a marketer who is passionate about customers and brands after failing to make it as a radio presenter in the 90’s.
What is your career history?
I’ve worked for lots of great consumer brands, learning what to do and, more importantly, what not to do. I’ve worked for NatWest, PowerGen, Goldfish, The AA, Norwich Union, Virgin Money, RAC, Vodafone, Nationwide, Npower and now I’m at The Co-operative Bank. In the most part I’ve had a ball. Some moments weren’t so fun but that’s another story.
Honestly - I wanted to make an impact. I wanted to have my ‘stuff’ seen, but I was also fascinated by customer behaviour and I wanted to understand it.
What excites you about the future of Financial Services?
Democratisation – I want to see the barriers to Financial Services lowered and the removal of the worst excesses so that FS businesses can offer products and services that truly meet customer needs. The data-driven future will help customers see what is right for them from the myriad of products and brands available. I’d also add that the more insight and transparency we have, means the worst traits of the Financial Services industry can be removed, and consumers can develop trust where there is little today.
What worries you about the future of Financial Services?
That the industry hasn’t learned and still takes its customers for granted. Also, that the current maxim of ‘big is best’ continues to deny customers choice.
What’s the best advice you have ever received?
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
What advice would you give a marketer starting out today?
Remember digital is important, but the customer doesn’t exist in a solely digital world. Also, brands can be destroyed in an instant, so treat them well and treat them carefully.
If you could have any mentor, who would it be?
Sir Clive Woodward
What’s the key marketing skill you will be developing over the next few years?
How we can utilise A.I. / machine learning to optimise the customer journey and the creativity we all strive for.
What lessons could financial marketers learn from other sectors?
Not to take customers for granted. Inertia runs through our industry, but the democratisation of the financial world will empower customers and help them seek out the right options for themselves.
If you would like to take part in our “Meet the Marketer” interviews, please contact Lynsay.