September 21, 2016 @ 14:34 by Alison Cowie
One of the most respected companies in the North East creative services sector has successfully transformed its market offering and is looking to take on new staff.
Based in Gateshead, Hippo was established in 1992 to provide branding, graphic design and media services to clients in the public and private sectors.
Since that time the creative industry has changed out of all recognition as the digital and data driven world has grown and evolved to become the dominant force in many businesses.
Reflecting these changes Hippo has invested significantly over the last two years and now provides business intelligence hubs, data analysis, and predictive business insight to help mid-market businesses take advantage of their vast but disorganised sources of data.
The move follows the appointment by managing director and founder Brad Forster, of data scientist, Dave Jamieson.
So far this year Hippo has won projects with Stagecoach, Durham County Housing and Sunderland City Council and is now actively looking to train more data scientists and hire technology sales people.
Building a business intelligence hub involves pulling together data into a single customer view. That data might be from website behaviour, business CRM databases, social media, online payment baskets, finance systems, or from data collected directly by market research. Once achieved, data modelling is used and statistical algorithms predict what customers and prospects will do in the future. This allows real, actionable data driven decisions on anything from which product lines to drop or expand, to running more effective marketing campaigns, to accurately planning future strategy, all based on data insights.
The expertise required to manipulate the data and produce the analysis and insight is considerable and complex, but equally, the results can greatly improve response rates, levels of service satisfaction, return on investment and, ultimately, company profits.
Brad Forster, said: “In today’s fast-paced business world, companies need to be agile, fleet-of-foot and brave. In re-engineering the business we have demonstrated all of that and we are seeing the rewards with the contracts we have so far won.
“Our aim is to clearly differentiate our business in the market place and to offer clients the advantage of this sophisticated but increasingly affordable, predictive customer intelligence.
“Our research to date suggests that we are the only company offering a tailored end-to-end service combining technology, data, interfaces, analysis, modelling, design and marketing in the North East. Essentially, we are the glue that is helping senior managers join-up all the dots between their business data and their communications.
“While this is a bold move for the business, we knew that by bringing on board Dave Jamieson who has great expertise in this area and has held positions such head of performance and senior information analyst in the NHS, we had the ideal person to design and develop our market offering.”
Also spearheading the company’s growth plans is account director Nick Stevens, who has over 15 years agency experience working with a wide range of blue chip clients in both the private and public sectors.
The management team is joined by Jason Sullock who has a 23-year-career in marketing – 18 of which has been in the technology sector – and who previously worked as UK marketing manager for global medical supplies specialist ConvaTec and before that for nearly nine years as UK prospecting marketing manager with Sage.
Dave Jamieson said: “By pulling together all data sources – or building them if we need to -we provide decision makers with the ability to see and track their customers and prospects across all their business and processes for the first time. From this they can very accurately predict their future behaviour.
“And being able to predict what prospects and customers can do allows them to deliver highly effective marketing across multiple channels to achieve increased campaign effectiveness.
“We are entering the market at a very interesting time as business intelligence hubs which companies use to store and analyse data, have dropped dramatically in price in the last year and are now affordable for SMEs and mid-market companies. At the same time the vast majority of companies either do not wish to or cannot afford to hire data scientists on a permanent basis. So, Hippo is ideally placed to assist clients to take advantage of all the benefits that predictive, real time marketing brings.”