CHE Proximity creates planning department with four specialists

CHE Proximity creates planning department with four specialists
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Chris Howatson has re-jigged CHE Proximity’s planning department and appointed four specialist heads of planning instead of one to better supply omnichannel marketing.

The new team includes two appointments with Tony Chilvers to act as head of interactive strategy and James Needham as head of brand strategy.

Chilvers joins CHE from ANZ where he held a content marketing role and Needham joins from Whybin\TBWA Melbourne.

James Greaney, head of data insights, and Susan Lyons, head of customer experience, round off the team.

Howatson, managing partner of CHE Proximity and B&T’s Young Achiever of the Year, said omnichannel marketing will be a focus for brands this year – a trend he feels many agencies are ill equipped for.

“For that reason, we’ve broken down the planning function to service what we see as the four major specialisations required: data, customer experience, interactive and brand,” Howatson said.

“Over the next three to five years we’re going to see further explosive growth in the accessibility of data and unprecedented access to people through technologies like NFC.

“The traditional planning structure doesn’t necessarily provide for the exploitation of data and

technology in engineering modern customer experiences.”

Greaney, who has experience with Sainsbury’s and with SAS, runs a team of data scientists whose focus it is to identify “actionable data insights”.

Lyons will then take the insights and translate the “opportunity to a personal and intimate customer experience”.

“Her role recognizes that when engineering loyalty experiences, we have to balance emotional and functional satisfaction, not just rush for the customer,” Howatson explained.

“It’s going to be an interesting 24 months. Data and technology are rapidly changing the marketing landscape and presenting opportunities that previously didn’t exist.”

The Melbourne agency has recently won work for VicRoads Custom Plates, News Limited titles Eureka Report and Business Spectator as well as new projects for Foxtel, GE and City of Melbourne. 

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