BSkyB appoints Capgemini chief to front customer drive

BSkyB has appointed Capgemini vice-president William Mellis to oversee the broadcaster’s direct sales operation as it begins to target consumers with increasingly refined messages designed to overcome barriers to take-up of pay-television.

Mellis’ appointment to the new position of direct customer acquisition director coincides with a move by BSkyB to introduce a more segmented marketing strategy. At Capgemini he led a consulting team in the fields of marketing, sales and service effectiveness. Mellis will report to managing director of sales, marketing and interactive Jon Florsheim, who says: “His expertise in segmentation will be a valuable asset as BSkyB tailors its direct marketing activity to address the motivations and attitudes of discrete groups of consumers.”

BSkyB has been dogged by disappointing subscriber growth figures and is increasing its marketing effort to drive new subscriber uptake and to reach its target of 8 million satellite pay-TV subscribers by the end of 2005 and 10 million by 2010.

As part of this strategy the broadcaster has appointed Dunnhumby to develop a database containing information on all non-subscriber households in the UK, which will be used to create marketing messages tailored to persuade them to overcome their prejudices towards pay-TV. The broadcaster is also increasing its above-the-line advertising spend for 2005 to &£75m, up from &£49m.

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