Stephen McCreath is a fairly new addition to JML.
Recently appointed as the TV and online retailer’s new commercial director for consumer sales, McCreath’s is best known as the man who led the campaign that made the Nutribullet a huge success in the UK.
As he settles in to his new role, the Retail Gazette had a chance to catch up with him to find out more about his career, and what he hopes to bring to JML.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your background before JML.
In my career to date I have worked across a number of direct response TV (DRTV) businesses in the home shopping space, as well as TV, film and publishing media businesses.
Immediately before joining JML I worked at High Street TV, where I had been since its inception in 2008. I ran the entire UK Direct and International Sales divisions of High Street TV, so essentially anything that was direct to consumers. That covered television, direct marketing, social media, campaign production and all online, digital, ecommerce and marketplace channels. Oh, and that old-fashioned one called print, which actually still generates a return if executed correctly.
My career highlight would probably be bringing the Nutribullet to the UK market. It ended up becoming the one of the most successful ever DRTV promotions in UK history.
What got you into the retail sector in the first place?
Before working in TV and specifically direct response marketing, I spent a number of years in the corporate sector working at The Thomas Cook Group for its tour operations arm.
It was never a career decision to work in retail – quite the contrary. I preferred the direct response marketing field, which used TV and then latterly ecommerce to drive products. However, DRTV has evolved so quickly during the last decade that retail became an integral and far greater part of the cycle.
So I’d say I now find myself working in retail more by default than design.
Describe your responsibilities as Commercial Director for Consumer Sales at JML.
I am responsible for making sure we exploit every single possible direct-to-consumer sales and marketing channel. Specifically, that’s using TV as the main form of marketing spend and catalyst to generate product and brand awareness and ultimately drive sales orders via telephone to our call centre up in Tyne Dock up in the north east… to our own website platform… to our marketplace listings, and with additional promotion using paid print, digital social media, and PR marketing.
In addition to that I also oversee all original infomercial production, so basically all original television production – and creation of all in-store retail videos will fall under my remit as well.
How has your previous experience aided your current job?
At High Street TV I had to devise and implement a major restructure of the business-to-consumer and business-to-business divisions, which saw turnover grow from £5.2 million in 2012 to over £25 million in 2015.
I’m hoping to bring some of that ability to identify areas for growth in addition to implementing some necessary and proven processes to streamline the operation in order we are growing both sales volumes and profitability.
Can you explain the concept behind JML?
JML actually has a defined concept, which is right on its logo: “Every day easier!” JML’s products are in seven out of every 10 homes in the UK, so this is a focus that they’re good at.
It is also in a position of running nearly every element of the business, from its