Jeff Knight (pictured) is director of marketing at Foundation Home Loans – he will be leaving the business this month

Vision over visibility. This is a line from a U2 song (Moment of Surrender) and most people who know me, know I am a bit of a fan of the band and have indeed got a lot of inspiration from them. I know they are not everyone’s cup of tea, but for me they are the bees knees.

So, what has this got to do with me and Foundation Home Loans you ask?

I joined in January 2017 and set out a vision of what was required to take the company on a journey of growth. I have now successfully fulfilled that vision; I have achieved what I set out to do and Foundation is currently experiencing record volumes. My work here is done is the best way of describing it.

Having a vision is vital, probably more so today than ever. It is not easy to do, as it needs a long-term view with the ability to flex the muscles in the short term to cope with market changes.

My vision was to build a modern-day marketing team; one that was not bound by traditional marketing approaches and thinking but one that was seen to be a revenue-generating function, not a cost base. And a team that can work closely with sales and products, rather than silos.

In 2017, the first thing to do was to start to build a team for the long term to deliver the vision. There was no marketing or product team, so the recruitment began and Foundation now has excellent teams in place, working with a first-class Sales team to boot.

My mantra has always been “no action without insight” and we have used insight to our benefit. Whether it has been strong intermediary research to develop Net Promoter and Customer Effort Score metrics, through to analysing web site data, insight and data has been the heart of delivering the vision and strong year-on-year growth. The research has helped Foundation build a strong brand and enhanced broker experience. Careful analysis has helped me develop simple advertising that delivers results.

Data is vital in today’s world and that is why it was so important to develop a powerful CRM system, one that integrates an advanced e-mail marketing system. This enables the business to be more targeted in its communication and approach

and will deliver long-term efficiencies. It means the marketing team have a better understanding of the sales funnel and how to talk to different brokers at different stages through the funnel and in some cases, in real time.

Alas I shall not go into the detail of how this works in case competitors are reading this, other than to say we now deliver real-time communication based on certain ‘triggers’ such as product guide downloads. It just makes the marketing pound stretch further.

So, with a strong team in place, systems up and running, progressive marketing being delivered, awards won, my vision has been fulfilled. Successfully. And now my strategic and creative mind must seek a new challenge.

Exciting times ahead.