Ian Glen - 2017 DCA elections candidate
I’m a born and bred direct marketer with 23 years’ experience in direct commerce – both offline and online.
After joining 288 Group (The Westminster Collection) straight from university in 1994, I worked as a product manager developing and marketing collectible coins and stamps, before running the marketing team and finally becoming Managing Director in 2002.
My experience ranges from the coal-face (I still get actively involved in key campaign planning and nothing gives me more pleasure than sitting down to write some sales copy) to the strategic and whilst my key focus is marketing-led, I have considerable operational experience to boot.
I have developed telemarketing systems, specified e-commerce systems, bought companies and, most importantly, returned year after year of profitability. Over the last 5 years, I have also overseen a digital transformation in the business that has generated new customers; different buying patterns and significant growth.
Privately owned and based in Dorset, 288 Group is the holding company for The Westminster Collection and Coin Portfolio Management. Together they sell over £35 million of commemorative coins, stamps and medals. We also operate Change Checker® a social media centred business targeted at people collecting and swapping the 100+ different UK circulating coin designs. In 2015 we featured in the Sunday Times’ “Profit Track 100” listing – second in the South-West.
Our 150 people enable us to operate all core functions in-house, including customer service, fulfilment, telemarketing and web development. Our marketing team numbers 30, ranging from product managers to creatives; direct marketing managers to digital media gurus, and each year we introduce 4 fresh graduates to the industry through our Graduate Marketing Training Scheme.
We use nearly every direct marketing and digital medium, including press, TV, door drops, direct mail, telemarketing, email and digital advertising, as well as having a pro-active social media presence.
We despatch over 1 million items a year, ranging in price from £3.99 to £10,000+. Our customer service team handle customer contacts ranging from post and phone to Twitter and Facebook.
In essence, direct commerce is our business and has been for over 70 years of trading.
Despite 23 years in the business, few of you will know my name. That’s because we focus on keeping our heads down and making sure we’re successful. What it does mean is that I am heavy on experience and light on industry politics.
So here are the top three things I hope to bring to the DCA.
1. Genuine, practical hands-on experience of all aspects of direct commerce.
2. Proven track record transforming an offline business to a successful blended offline/online business.
3. A real interest in ensuring that the next generation properly learn what direct commerce is all about – not just pretty websites but nuts and bolts that help you sell.
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