Rob Laurens was hired on a six month contract as Interim Communications Director with a brief to drive digital transformation and revenue growth, in addition to running the day to day marcoms for the renowned gallery. He created a new organisational design for the marketing, digital, design and PR team of 30, which was approved by the executive board and managed the transition to the new structure. He also led the development of the web site and a number of other digital initiatives and partnerships across the gallery. Particular areas of focus were increasing revenue from special exhibitions and the launch of a membership scheme, as well as developing the tracking, reporting and optimisation capability within the team.
Rob provided consultancy to a successful B2B business, SK Chase, as they planned the launch of a complimentary B2C online business, Whatireallywanted.com - from the development of a marketing plan through to going ‘live’. He helped the team develop the value proposition and commercial model, alongside a customer relationship management strategy. He coached them on the direct marketing metrics and clarity on the numbers and KPIs as the key drivers of success. Rob was also able to offer practical advice on execution as well as strategy.
Rob was hired as a consultant to work with other agencies in the development of a new marcoms strategy for the launch and ongoing marketing of the new National Army Museum in London. Working with redefined Vision, Mission and Values, my role focused on the development of the always-on digital marketing strategy and capability development, including content marketing - as well as establishing the requirements for the website redesign. He was also asked to help the Museum define the KPIs and metrics that would be used to measure ongoing performance and the reporting formats and dashboards required at different management tiers within the organisation.
Rob spent 7 years as a eCommerce Board Director for the TUI Travel Specialist & Activity Sector, comprising 105 companies with 130 websites, serving 1.5 million customers annually in fifteen source markets. Reporting to the Managing Director, Rob had overall responsibility across all geographical markets for e-Commerce, digital marketing, mobile web and social media strategy. This international leadership role focused on driving business transformation from traditional sales and marketing models to an online driven, direct-sell distribution and marketing model. To support the implementation he set up a Sector hub team of digital business experts and developers. Rob also served as a 5 year member of the TUI Travel plc Group Digital Steering Board.
Rob was asked to set up a full service digital agency from scratch in the City of London for the Collinson Group, a leading loyalty and customer relationship marketing agency. Rob ran the agency for 3 years, growing the team to offer market leading expertise in SEO, Paid Search, Content Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, Usability and web design and development. Clients included Columbus Direct travel insurance.
Rob was hired as Marketing Director for five subscription model travel brands, with a membership of over half a million people in 200 countries. The role was B2C and B2B focused, as memberships were sold direct through direct marketing and through partnerships with major insurers and credit card companies. Rob drove the transition from traditional B2C direct mail acquisition methods to digital channels, succeeding in dramatically reducing customer acquisition costs, improving membership experience, increasing retention and growing customer lifetime value.
As eCommerce Director, Rob built the Group's first digital team and successfully developed the web as a new sales channel with P & L responsibility. He led the development and launch of one of the UK's first flight booking engines and added rich functionality and content to create the UK's leading student travel website. Rob led the integration of online into a multi-channel distribution strategy for the Group with customer contact centre and national retail network of 50+ branches and pioneered new customer services such as click and collect. He also developed marketing partnerships and launched affiliate travel channels for several major brands, including Orange, NME and the Ministry of Sound.