TUI’s UK CMO Katie McAlister is broadening her role to take on responsibility for sales as the business looks to achieve a coherent strategy across customer sales and brand marketing activity.
In her new role as sales and marketing director, McAlister will be accountable for customer experience across all channels, including its website, retail outlets and contact centres, working alongside the company’s marketing and customer experience teams.
McAlister, who sits on the TUI UK & Ireland board, took over as CMO when longstanding marketing and customer experience director, Jeremy Ellis, stepped down from his role earlier this year. She has been with the business for 19 years, and was digital director prior to taking over from Ellis.
TUI UK & Ireland managing director Andrew Flintham says McAlister’s new remit allows the business to “increase our focus on delivering for the customer, maximise sales opportunities and improve the pace of delivery through streamlined governance”.
The fact TUI is bringing responsibility for sales into the marketing role follows the business’s attempts to better align the two teams around customer objectives. Before his departure, Ellis told Marketing Week about the brand’s investment in customer segmentation, which has helped the marketing and sales teams to collaborate from a brand and customer experience perspective.
He said: “We call it ‘sales through service’ and actually you can deliver stronger sales if you deliver a great service based on who your customers are.
“So it’s not about the hard sell. We find sometimes soft sell works even better because your customers are more likely to be receptive if you treat them in a way that’s consistent with the brand. That is an important discussion between sales and marketing, and strengthening that relationship makes a big difference.”
Meanwhile, commercial director Richard Sofer will become commercial and business development director, with his focus on identifying development and growth opportunities.