Blackmores CMO: ‘Don’t get lost in big data, focus on the small data you already have’

The chief marketer of vitamins and supplements company Blackmores has told marketers not to be overwhelmed with ‘big data’ but instead focus on better using the ‘small data’ they already have.

Paul Di Vito, chief marketing and digital officer of Blackmores, told today’s Mumbrella Retail Marketing Summit how his brand had used mobile and data to drive better sales and engagement for the brand.

Paul Di Vito speaking at the Retail Marketing Summit yesterday

Paul Di Vito speaking at the Retail Marketing Summit yesterday

“We are using digital and data so much more cleverly today and it doesn’t have to big and scary,” said Di Vito. “I would love to start a big data program but I have to convince my board first.

“But everyone of us (retailers) has small data. There is so much information, be it within your social environment or within your website and it’s about what you do with that information.”

Di Vito went on to suggest that too many marketers were focused on hiring expensive data scientists or hiring analysis firms to assess their data when instead they could handle the first steps internally.

“I was asked by my boss the other day: ‘Of all the recruits of the last year who was the best?’

“I had to say our digital data analyst. This is university grad who crunches all our data … why is that important?

Paul Di Vito CMO Blackmores

Di Vito: email open rates have increased by more than 700%

“A lot of our initiatives have been phenomenally successful because we understand our data more and because we have (better) employed our systems.”

The chief marketer went on to to explain that the next stage of utilising the data is to get systems and technologies to more efficiently apply the information, and this often comes at a cost of several hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“That could be a big budget for some brands but it gives you the ability to re-engage your customers,” he said, citing Blackmores’ website relaunch as an example.

“We relaunched the website to be in line with our campaign but the problem was whether you were a pregnant female or a 56-year-old male you got the same website,” he said.

“Now we will serve you up a very different environment when you come to Blackmores.”

The Blackmores marketer said the brand had seen similar results with email personalisation.

“We also have over 300,000 consumers who we email monthly. Until only three months ago, when we sent an email you would get the exact same email but now we will change that based on what you have searched (for) in the time you spent with us online.

“Why is that important? Email open rates, since November, have increased more than 700%. You have this information but you have to deploy it.”

De Vito also spoke about the power of a mobile-first approach, arguing it was not just for younger audiences.

“If your website is not mobile enabled it’s a problem,” he said. “No one (at our business) wanted to make the website mobile enabled. The reason was the board said that our most loyal consumers were older and weren’t digitally native.

“However, since we made our website mobile enabled, 65% of people who visit (do so via) mobile and the age of those engaging has only dropped by five years.

“These are tools we all have and it’s just about putting the structures in place and just making the investment, and it’s probably a smaller investment than you think.”

Nic Christensen 


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