118 118 Plots ‘information portal’ role

The new marketing director of The Number 118 118, Mark Evans, is planning to transform the brand into a “multi-channel information portal” in a bid to move beyond the directory enquiries market.

Evans, who was promoted from his role of innovations chief to marketing and product director last month (MW last week), says the company wants to be “about more than just numbers”.

He adds the brand’s product development, including recent additions such as a train timetable service and the PriceFinder shopping comparison system, and the advertising will be brought closer together to highlight the wide range of information on offer.

Evans plans to continue with the brand’s iconic 118 118 “runner” characters, created by WCRS, but the characters will be “evolved” over forthcoming campaigns.

He adds: “In a confusing ‘Google world’ of ambiguous search we can be a broader information portal. We get millions of people calling for train and cinema times, and we have the capability to answer questions via SMS.

“We are looking at what’s hot online and taking that as a starting point for scoping out possibilities. Ultimately, we are looking to be a voice, SMS, online and mobile portal; a one-stop shop for accessible information.”

Evans was appointed as head of marketing following the departure earlier this year of Alex Lewis, who left to join BSkyB. Evans had previously worked with the company on a project basis and will report to UK chief executive Mark Horgan.

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