National Trust hires new marketing boss ahead of £30m digital revamp

The National Trust has hired RAC marketer Jackie Jordan as its new marketing boss, an appointment that comes as the charity ups its focus on digital with a planned £30m investment.

Video: The National Trust’s latest campaign

Jordan replaces Clare Mullen, who left 4 weeks ago to move to India. She will take over towards the end of the year, although a date has not yet been set. Harry Heeley, previously commercial director at the Trust, is running the marketing department in the interim.

Jordan’s appointment comes as the National Trust renews its focus on digital. It will relaunch its website and mobile app at the start of next year to shift away from just providing information about its properties to offering more engaging content personalised to visitors based on where they live and their previous visits.

The National Trust is also looking for a permanent head of digital, having previously employed Howard Scott on a consultancy basis.

Heeley says: “We are shifting digital strategy to tell the story of our properties and countryside through content. We want to put the audience at the heart of that, offering the right content to the right people at the right time.”

The National Trust is also upping its marketing spend as it returns to TV for the first time in “a number of years”. Heeley says there has been an “incremental increase” as it looks to the reach of TV to support its move to broaden its message beyond its properties to the 600,000 acres of countryside and 700 miles of coastline it also owns.

Its recently launched campaign, created by 18 Feet and Rising, features activities from its “50 things to do before you’re 11 and three-quarters” initiative and aims to “reconnect people with nature” and capture the sense of fund and adventures of the outdoors. It also hopes to motivate children to look after the countryside for future generations.

“We are trying to become more relevant to today’s audiences, moving away from overtly promoting visits to trying to reflect and grow people’s connections with place. We want to broaden the message and follow our work on opening up properties with opening up the outdoors,” Heeley says.

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