First Direct recruits Paul Say as head of marketing

First Direct has appointed experienced e-banking marketer Paul Say as head of marketing as the HSBC-owned bank brand looks to develop its digital marketing activity.

Say joins from HSBC Bank International in Jersey, where he was head of marketing and communication. He replaces Mark Mullen, who became regional head of marketing at HSBC Middle East earlier this year.

Say’s appointment comes in a year that has seen First Direct launch a number of social media initiatives.

In March, it launched a campaign using its own and other social networks to find out what matters to customers with the aim of improving customer service and drive word of mouth recommendation online.

Last month, it launched “Live”, a site that aggregates live comments about the brand from social networks in a move designed to increase transparency and trust in the brand.

A spokeswoman for First Direct says the online bank is looking to develop its social media activity further and explore “what it means for us as a bank”.

Say joined HSBC in 1999 as an e-marketing manager and helped to launch its television and internet banking offering.

Wood, who had been acting as both head of brand and head of marketing since Mullen left, will replace Say in Jersey.

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