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PROFILE: Dawn Baker - Head of Marketing, Sage

  Dawn Baker, head of marketing -
 small business division, Sage
There's nothing like a marketer that understands her customers. And Dawn Baker, Sage's head of marketing of its small business division, is one of those. With a background in running her own small business, Baker is driving her department – the largest within the highly successful software company – to another level with an innovative marketing strategy.

Targeting small businesses employing primarily one to 10 people, but with some reaching 50, her department is responsible for marketing Sage's range of business management software and services, designed to make it easier for companies to manage their business processes. Under Baker's leadership, the past year has seen the division working behind the scenes alongside McCann Erickson Manchester on clustering its small business customers. Although this in itself isn't new, what is different is how the company is using the information. Once the owner of each one has been profiled and divided into sectors, each individual within Sage's sales team of 200 is also being profiled into a personality type with a view to matching them up to individual customers.

“Some people immediately click with each other and some don't – and it's not always clear why that is,” says Baker. “We're trying to put some science behind what's driving these similarities and differences between people. It works a bit like pyschometric testing and we look at a number of different factors. For example, one customer might be driven by a quick deal or a bargain, so we would match them against a sales person who's a bit of a deal-breaker – or another customer may need more reassurance and more involvement in a dialogue. In which case, we'd match them with someone who is more nuturing.” She adds, laughing, “We don't go into quite as much detail as to whether they like or dislike football, but conversations may well end up going that way.”