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Continuous learning, creativity and adaptability to change are driving Colgate Palmolive as the 200-year-old consumer goods company forges ahead in an increasingly digital economy.
That was among the takeaways that executives from the company shared on a recent webinar to highlight key initiatives in data and commerce that are helping brands in the Colgate Palmolive portfolio reach new audiences, and transforming how the company operates.
Here are three examples of innovation in how Colgate Palmolive sells products, and reaches consumers:
Digital shelf goes omnichannel
About 60% of sales in the U.S. are digitally influenced. That means brands must understand and ultimately master the digital shelf, just as they spent years focusing on the physical shelf.
The company isn’t only considering ecommerce. Colgate Palmolive believes that the digital shelf is critical for omnichannel commerce that stretches across both physical and digital stores.
It helps that there are plenty of learnings to apply from the planograms of the past.
“In-store considerations like being on-shelf and on-location, our beautiful packaging and our product reputation all have online equivalents in the digital and ecommerce world,” said Colgate Palmolive Chief Digital Officer Brigitte King. “For example, are we in-stock online with successful search placements, product detail page content and quality ratings and reviews? The consumer toggles between in-store and online shopping as a natural habit now, so we have to think about both all of the time.”
Digital tools unlock the ability to gather and analyze data on each part of the digital shelf. That’s why everything gets measured at Colgate Palmolive, King said.
When it comes to the digital shelf, King shared four key KPIs tracked by the company:
- Availability: Is the inventory available to order and in-stock online?
- Retail search: Is a product on page one and above the fold, whether organically or with paid search?
- Content: Is it connecting with consumers no matter where they are?
- Ratings and reviews: Are they plentiful, positive and recent?
Sharing data at Hill's
The ability to bring data together in one place can bring huge advantages to brands and retailers seeking to unlock key insights to grow their business. It follows then, that sharing data across organizations is even more powerful.
That’s why Colgate Palmolive portfolio brand Hill’s Pet Nutrition built a data clean room with a retailer partner.
Clean rooms are spaces where organizations can share data, while protecting identifying details about customers and proprietary information. They’re becoming particularly important as privacy-oriented changes in advertising are leading to a bigger embrace of first-party data.
This type of data is collected from purchases and loyalty programs, so it contains rich insights about customers and their purchase intent. However, unlike third party data and cookies, there are limitations on how it can travel and be used outside the walled garden of a platform or retailer’s marketplace.
The clean room is a space where brands and retailers can unlock insights from the data that can be applied to different areas of a business. Areas of interest to the team of data scientists and advanced analytics professionals at Hill’s have included purchase patterns, personalization in advertising and reaching new audiences with content.
One question the team has explored is how to increase household penetration of products by discovering or reaching audiences that may be new to a category, or likely to switch brands, said Diana Schildhouse, Colgate Palmolive’s Chief Analytics and Insights Officer.
“Given cookie deprecation and the growing importance of and investment in first party data, we see these types of strategic data part as important drivers of innovation and growth for Colgate as well as for our partners,” Schildhouse said.
The clean room approach echoes what executives have said is a key to innovation in ecommerce at Colgate Palmolive: Hill’s is piloting a new tool, and sharing learnings that can be applied to brands across the company.
TikTok skinfluencers boost EltaMD
During the pandemic, the team at the CP Skin Health division saw how people were paying closer attention to their skincare routine as a way to reduce stress and increase wellness. They also recognized the rise of TikTok.
These two trends ended up coming together as the company launched a presence for the sun care and skincare brand EltaMD on TikTok.
Through partnerships, they set out to provide content on the short-form video platform that was both educational and informational about skincare and sunscreen. A key to delivering the message was the ability to carry trust and credibility, especially as the brand sought to combat the misinformation that can spread on social media. So the team partnered with dermatologists, estheticians and other skin professionals, and amplified successful short-form videos with advertising.
As the content gained traction, EltaMD launched its own TikTok channel by the end of 2021 and soon scaled to 69,000 users in less than a year. A feature with Hailey Bieber that gained 25 million views helped to propel it further.
“By identifying and leaning into trends, ensuring that we align our digital experiments with the needs of our brands and then testing into that opportunity, we were able to reach new audiences, build brand awareness and drive conversion for EltaMD,” said Echo Sandburg, chief marketing officer at CP SkinHealth.
Trending in Brand News
On the Move has the latest from Amazon, Lovesac and more.
This week, leadership is changing at GameStop, Sorel and Beautycounter. Meanwhile, key executives are departing at Amazon, Wayfair and Lovesac.
Here’s a look at the latest shuffles:
GameStop CEO fired
GameStop announced the termination of Matthew Furlong as CEO on Wednesday. A brief statement did not provide a reason for the firing.
With the move, Chewy founder and activist investor Ryan Cohen was named executive chairman of the video game retailer. Cohen will be responsible for capital allocation and overseeing management.
It came as the company reported a 10% year-over-year decline in net sales for the first quarter. Meanwhile, the company’s net loss improved by 62%.
In an SEC filing, GameStop further added this “We believe the combination of these efforts to stabilize and optimize our core business and achieve sustained profitability while also focusing on capital allocation under Mr. Cohen’s leadership will further unlock long-term value creation for our stockholders.”
Cohen was revealed as GameStop's largest shareholder when he disclosed a 10% stake in the retailer in 2020. GameStop went on to become a leading name in the meme stock rise of 2021.
Sorel president steps down
Mark Nenow is stepping down as president of the Sorel brand in order to focus on his health.
After rising to the role in 2015, Nenow spearheaded a transformation of Columbia Sportswear-owned Sorel from a men’s workwear brand to a fashion-focused brand that led with a women’s offering of boots, sandals and sneakers.
“Mark led the brand to sales of $347 million in net sales in 2022,” said Columbia Sportswear CEO Tim Boyle, in a statement. “His leadership has been invaluable to this company, and we wish him the very best.”
Columbia will conduct a search for Nenow’s replacement. Craig Zanon, the company’s SVP of emerging brands, will lead Sorel in the interim.
Beautycounter appoints interim CEO
Beautycounter appointed board member Mindy Mackenzie as interim CEO, succeeding Marc Rey. According to the brand, Rey and the board “mutually decided to transition to a new phase of leadership for Beautycounter.”
McKenzie, a former executive at Carlyle, McKinsey and Jim Beam, will lead the company as it conducts a search for a permanent CEO. Additionally, former Natura & Co CEO Roberto Marques will join Beautycounter’s board as chair.
As part of the transition, Nicole Malozi is also joining the company as chief financial officer. She brings experience from Tatcha, Nike, and DFS Group Limited.
Amazon’s North America fulfillment chief departs
Melissa Nick, a VP of customer fulfillment for North America at Amazon, will leave the company, effective June 16, CNBC reported. Nick joined the company in 2014, and oversaw a region that included nearly 300 fulfillment centers. After doubling its supply chain footprint during the pandemic, Amazon recently reorganized its fulfillment operations to take a regional approach, as opposed to a national model that often resulted in items shipping across the country.
Wayfair’s chief commercial officer to retire
Jon Blotner (Courtesy photo)
Steve Oblak will retire from the role of chief commercial officer at home goods marketplace Wayfair. With the move, Jon Blotner will be promoted to chief commercial officer.
"Steve has served as a critical part of our leadership team and played a pivotal role in Wayfair's growth, helping us grow from a $250 million business when he joined to $12 billion in net revenue today,” said Wayfair CEO Niraj Shah, in a statement. “He oversaw countless milestones, from helping to launch the Wayfair brand as we brought together hundreds of sites into a single platform, to launching new categories, business lines, and geographies while overseeing our North American and European businesses, to leading our debut into physical retail.”
Blotner previously oversaw exclusive and specialty retail brands, as well as digital media at Wayfair. Before joining the company, he served as president of Gemvara.com prior to its 2016 acquisition by Berkshire Hathaway.
Lovesac announces CFO transition
Furniture retailer Lovesac said Donna Dellomo will retire as EVP and CFO, and move to an advisory role, effective June 30. Dellomo was with Lovesac for six years.
Keith Siegner was appointed as the next EVP and CFO. He brings experience as CFO of esports company Vindex, as well as executive roles at Yum! Brands, UBS Securities and Credit Suisse.
Additionally, Jack Krause will retire from the role of chief strategy officer, effective June 30. His responsibilities will be divided between CEO Shawn Nelson and president Mary Fox.
“Since joining Lovesac, Jack has played an instrumental role in transforming the Company into a true omni channel retailer by helping expand our physical touchpoints and digital platform as we continue to disrupt the industry,” said Nelson, in a statement.
NRF adds board members
The National Retail Federation announced the addition of five new board members. They include:
- Marguerite Adzick, founder and CEO, Addison Bay
- Harley Finkelstein, president, Shopify
- Ian Kahn, partner, PwC
- Sharon Leite, CEO, Ideal Image
- Carrie Tharp, VP, strategic industries, Google Cloud