Spotlight on... Rebecca Dibb-Simkin, Product and Marketing Director
It's Product and Marketing Director Rebecca Dibb-Simkin's turn in the Spotlight, and we're talking product innovation, development blitzes and deciphering deep code.
Why did you join Octopus?
Working for IOT business Hive opened my eyes to the revolutionary nature of technology in the home for consumer facing devices. Octopus takes that same hunger for innovation in a market, adds incredible proprietary tech and a market which touches every household – I was excited about what they might achieve, and wanted to be part of their journey.
What do you do at Octopus?
I lead Marketing & Product Development functions, working with a superb team of marketers, designers and front-end developers.
Customers have always been at the heart of what we do, and that means we really listen to them across all functions of the business, and make sure our marketing is responsive to the needs of people. The marketing team mucks in and answers customer emails and tweets all the time. And we always make sure that we're doing stuff because it's the right thing to do: fair for everyone, geared towards bringing bills down, or helping customers access green tech more affordably...
That results in stuff like our recent £1 million Winter Workout challenge to help the UK use less gas and stay cosy – offering simple, proven tips to use gas more efficiently. We've helped customers save over £1 million pounds in just over a month so far, and most homes taking part have reduced their gas use by 12% at least.
Or our billboard campaign to brighten people's days during the worst of the pandemic. As our marketing team does everything in-house, including media buying, we didn't want to renege on our billboard contract with a close partner during lockdown when low footfall meant many businesses were pulling out of advertising. Instead we chose to use the space to put out supportive, colourful messages to the wonderful essential workers who would still be out and about at that time.)
Making sure our website is designed to be inclusive for those with different access needs, from the hearing and visual impaired to those with anxiety. All the way through to fighting for crucial protections for customers like the Energy Price Cap, which we campaigned for relentlessly til it passed. We've been champions of price transparency ever since, and in 2022, with bills reaching new highs, our team have worked hard to make sure customers understand their options and know how to get help from us.
What are you working on at the moment?
Currently we’re in a Blitz known as 10 in 10: 10 sizeable improvements to self-serve functionality in 10 days. It’s rather a challenge (full dev loop daily anyone?!) but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
What's the most challenging part of your job?
For the first time, designers and developers work directly in my team. I love the opportunity to get into the detail, and I’ve learnt a lot, but sometimes I do have to ask for translation if a deep code chat gets a bit beyond my rudimentary understanding.
What's the best part of your job?
Having the capability in platform, people and good old-fashioned hard graft to deliver innovation like the Agile Octopus, the first ever 'time of use' tariff which uses the full functionality of a smart meter and grid to let customers know when it might be cheaper to use power.
The WhatsApp team banter is also pretty above par.
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