Key Contributors

   Professor Merlin Stone

   Merlin is Head of Research at The Customer Framework, one of the UK’s leading specialist consultancies in  
   customer relationship management (CRM). Projects are generally for large companies in industries such as
   airlines, banking, insurance, telecommunications, media, pharmaceutical companies, retailing and packaged
   consumer goods. Merlin is also an Associate of Valcon Consulting in Denmark, where he works on projects 
   in the environmental, financial services and telecommunications industries.
Merlin is well known for his work on thought leadership and public relations – improving clients’ communications to the media
and customers, including explaining complex propositions and conducting media interviews. This includes conference speaking (especially for client events) and thought leadership research, which focuses on clients’ customers and prospects, the issues
they face, how they handle them, and where they need help. Most of his work in this area has been for financial services companies.
Author and co-author of many articles and thirty books on CRM. Merlin is also on the editorial advisory boards of several
academic journals.
In parallel to his business career, Merlin has pursued a full academic career, holding senior posts at various universities,
such as Kingston University, Surrey University and Henley Management College. Now a visiting professor at De Montfort,
Oxford Brookes and Portsmouth Universities, he also teaches economics for the Open University. Merlin joined Exeter
University in 2011 to work on various marketing teaching projects.
Merlin has known and worked with Jamie for over 10 years


    Professor Yuksel Ekinci

Yuksel (MSc, MSc, MA, PhD) is a Professor of Marketing at Oxford Brookes University. As an international  academic with a strong interest in the practical side of marketing he is passionate about finding answers to new marketing problems and challenges.

 Yuksel believes that practitioners need academic input for improving business performance in an ever increasingly competitive business environment. His key research interests are customer satisfaction, services branding, scale development and the dynamic interaction between front line staff and consumers.

Yuksel's career – incorporating two Masters' degrees and a PhD from the University of Surrey, all in services marketing – has been in the academic world, in both Turkey and England. Yuksel's practical experience is derived from working in the hotel and tourism sector, and through his consultancy work. This has broadened to cover other service sectors, such as telecommunications, call centres, banking and public sector services.

In an even earlier existence he sold books to help finance his undergraduate business studies and worked in sales and marketing for international companies. It was this very direct experience of personal selling that first interested him in the whole issue of how companies interact with their customers and that in some sense is becoming his life's work.

He has a strong track record of working with companies on market – oriented solutions and also of publishing the results – both in academic papers and in more practitioner-focused journals. He suggests that this adds more value – both by helping businesses to solve market research problems, and by promoting them through appropriate trade publications.


    Professor Bryan Foss
    Working independently from mid 2005, Bryan previously led an IBM business providing and
    integrating Customer Insight and Front Office Customer Management solutions for Financial
    Services companies globally, also leading the development and adoption of IBM’s new business
    solutions  strategies for hyper-growth which would later be deployed across all other industry
    sectors and throughout all geographies. 
Bryan is currently a board NED and Audit Chair with Motive Television PLC , has recently completed a 3 year role as a
non-executive director of The UK Government Department foWork &   Pensions and has started another with the 
Government Office for the South East (GOSE, NED and Audit & Risk Chair). He retains his on-going board advisory
roles with the social investment fund, customer management consultancy Customer Essential 
and online market research  company The Halo Works.