Chief Marketing Officer

Creating Collaboration Between Marketing and E-Commerce

Cathey Curtis, Vice President of Global Marketing for Billabong Women’s at Billabong International, examined the relationship between brand marketing and e-commerce professionals during her keynote presentation at the 2018 Leadership in E-Commerce Forum in Los Angeles on June 19. In her presentation, “How Brand Marketing & E-Commerce Teams Come Together to Create Strategies That Win Consumer Attention and Create Conversion,” Curtis offered tips to drive collaboration and communication between brand marketing and e-commerce professionals.

Brand marketing and e-commerce may seem very different. Yet both of these departments can help a company stand out from the competition, boost its revenues, accelerate its growth and achieve its immediate and long-term goals. In fact, if brand marketing and e-commerce teams prioritize collaboration and communication, both groups can become key contributors to a company’s success.

Bringing the Teams Together

At Billabong, the company’s brand marketing and e-commerce teams initially worked independently. There was limited collaboration between the teams, and as such, both groups missed out on opportunities to improve customer engagement. “Our e-commerce and marketing teams weren’t connected,” Curtis pointed out. “And the consumer experience wasn’t as strong as we thought it could be.”

Billabong fostered collaboration and communication between its brand marketing and e-commerce teams. Together, Billabong’s brand marketing and e-commerce teams explored ways to help the company achieve long-lasting growth. They examined the company’s pain points and brainstormed potential solutions to these issues. Then, Billabong’s brand marketing and e-commerce teams implemented a strategy to help the company accomplish its goals.

“We wanted to determine our goals for long-term growth,” Curtis said. “Once we had those goals set, we tried to create a new way to work … to grow our business.”

The Billabong brand marketing and e-commerce teams were positioned in the same area of the company’s office. That way, these teams were physically integrated, and brand marketing and e-commerce professionals could remain in constant communication with one another day after day.

“We physically integrated our marketing and e-commerce teams. We sit together in the same office and we basically involve each other in all meetings,” Curtis noted. “We also determined shared resources … and put e-commerce KPIs against our brand marketing team.”

Billabong wanted to showcase its apparel and accessories to consumers worldwide. To accomplish this goal, the company’s brand marketing and e-commerce teams developed a customer-centric strategy built around Instagram. This plan enabled Billabong to engage with its target audience like never before and allowed the company to further extend its global presence.

Put the Brand First

Billabong prioritizes a brand-first approach in its everyday efforts. Now, the company’s brand marketing and e-commerce teams support this approach. The teams use shared resources and tools to help Billabong promote its brand effectively. As a result, Billabong’s brand marketing and e-commerce teams have helped the company boost its revenues and differentiate the business from its rivals. “If we believe in a brand-first approach, then we know that the commerce will come,” Curtis said.

In addition, Billabong’s brand marketing and e-commerce teams deliver timely, relevant and engaging content to consumers. This content promotes Billabong’s mission and highlights its brand differentiators. Perhaps most important, Billabong uses this content as part of its efforts to provide consumers with unforgettable experiences. “We want our e-commerce team to empower the brand to be the main content provider,” Curtis indicated.

The Billabong brand marketing and e-commerce teams regularly update the company’s consumer marketing calendar, too. These teams understand consumer expectations continue to evolve, and both groups maintain flexibility and are ready to make adjustments as needed.

The combination of brand marketing and e-commerce is powerful for companies of all sizes and across all industries. Both brand marketing and e-commerce teams can help a business foster positive relationships with customers and get the most out of the resources and tools at its disposal. Plus, brand marketing and e-commerce teams that work together can connect with a company’s target audience and ensure consumers get the service and support they need at all times.

“Sometimes, we lose sight that at the end of everything we do is a human being,” Curtis stated. “Ultimately, it is our job to make that human being feel great.”

Visit Argyle Executive Forum's CIO/CMO DINNER: Closing the Gap Between IT and Marketing to Get Superior Actionable Customer Insights- New York in New York, NY on Jan 29, 2020

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