Skip to Content

Digital Trailblazer at Close Brothers: Tips to Accelerate Innovation

Digital Trailblazer at Close Brothers Shares His Top Tips for Accelerating Innovation

Trailblazer at Close Brothers shares how better collaboration & analytics can transform new ideas into successful business initiatives.

From cake recipes to business dashboards, Jonathan Dytor loves trying out new ideas. As Head of Digital for the Asset Finance and Leasing division at Close Brothers, Jonathan gets to harness his passion for innovation to benefit both the company’s colleagues and customers. We talked to Jonathan about how greater collaboration and smarter analytics can help transform new ideas into successful business initiatives.

Tell us about Close Brothers Asset Finance and Leasing and its digital journey

Our purpose is to help the people and businesses of the UK thrive over the long term. We do this by providing a range of financial services and funding options, including asset finance, leasing, and lending for small and medium-sized enterprises. From portals to analytics, we are investing in a range of digital initiatives that will transform our processes, empower our colleagues, and strengthen our customer relationships.

How are you supporting the company’s digital transformation?

I help to optimise customer and prospect engagement on key digital channels, including our websites and social media platforms. I really enjoy being creative, but my role is also actually quite scientific! We use Salesforce to capture a lot of data about the customer journey, which we analyse and visualise in Tableau. These analytics enable us to test new ideas as part of our digital transformation and understand their impact on the customer experience and revenue generation.

Tell us more about how you are using dashboards and analytics

We want to get smarter at harnessing data to make better decisions and drive better outcomes. And that means being able to track results in real-time. With Salesforce dashboards, our people have quick and easy access to the insights they need to keep improving and innovating. For example, I used Tableau to build a dashboard that links marketing campaigns to converted leads, which enables us to track the ROI from different digital channels. I want to be able to put a value on every digital interaction and action – even if it’s something as simple as changing the colour of a website button to generate more clicks. With Tableau, I can see how new ideas and initiatives impact performance in real time.

Why are you so passionate about innovation?

I love helping people make their ideas become a reality – and so does the rest of the marketing team. At our meetings, we challenge each other to come up with solutions that will help address business needs. For example, we created a ‘tea and biscuits’ campaign to improve customer retention, which helped to double renewal rates. Collaboration is a great accelerator for innovation.

What’s next on the innovation radar?

Close Brothers Asset Finance and Leasing prides itself on building personal relationships with its customers, and we want to bring this personalisation to our digital interactions. We want to introduce digital journeys that map to different stages of the lifecycle of a customer’s contract. This will enable us to personalise email communications, online campaigns, and even website landing pages. I also want to develop more dashboards that unlock the insights my colleagues need to help the business and our customers thrive.

How did you become a dashboard pro?

When I was given access to Tableau, I didn’t know where to start. So, I hit Trailhead and completed every module I could find. Within four weeks, I had built and launched my first dashboard. I love the gamified approach to learning and now have 28 Trailhead badges. I’ve completed modules on a range of topics – from public speaking to Pardot, which we use to automate lead generation processes and marketing campaigns. I’ve also learned a lot from attending Salesforce events and education sessions both in person and online. They are a great opportunity for asking questions and sourcing expert advice on any problems.

Why is upskilling important?

To be successful, everyone needs to keep learning and innovating. The digital team often takes time out on a Friday to complete some trails on Trailhead; we then share our experiences at our Monday team meeting. I’ve created a personalised Tableau Trailmix for my colleagues to help them harness the power of analytics. Everyone in the marketing team wants to keep developing their skills; blocking time out in the diary every week makes sure learning is prioritised.

What advice do you have for other Trailblazers?

Listen to the data and learn from it. There are so many amazing analytics tools; you don’t need to rely on gut instinct anymore. Even with these additional insights, it’s important to realise that not every idea will be a success. If something doesn’t work out as planned, you will be able to build on it next time. Every failure is a new lesson learned.

By tapping into richer insights, Close Brothers Asset Finance and Leasing will be able to accelerate its digital transformation as well as future growth. Find out more about how the company’s Asset Finance division is empowering its teams and optimising its processes here.

Get our bi-weekly newsletter for the latest business insights.