The Psychology Behind Successful Marketing with Dan Ferguson from Adore Beauty | #390

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Dan talks app strategy, SMS marketing and babies with teeth!


Dan Ferguson joined Adore Beauty in 2018 as Chief Marketing Officer, doubling returning customer growth and revenue in his first six months. Responsible for marketing, brand, retail media and loyalty, Dan has led high and sustained rates of customer acquisition and retention alongside new income growth through new channels and markets, the launch of retail media, and audience platforms including Adore Beauty’s Top 5 ranked Beauty IQ podcast. Dan has over 20 years’ experience in e-commerce and digital marketing. Prior to joining Adore Beauty, Dan had extensive roles growing and leading e-commerce, multi-channel and online retail business in Australia for local and global brands, including Vistaprint, Officeworks, Dell with consistent average 2.5x business or portfolio growth across his tenure in these roles. Dan currently serves as Board Advisor for Preezie and holds a Bachelor of Arts/Psychology (Honours) from the University of Sydney.

In this episode of Add To Cart, we are joined by Dan Ferguson, Chief Marketing Officer at Adore Beauty

You could say my guest is ‘relationship goals’… the ‘JayZ and Beyonce’, the ‘Posh and Becks’, the Rob Godwin and Olivia Carr of brand – customer connection.  Dan Ferguson is Chief Marketing Officer at Adore Beauty. He has over 20 years’ experience in e-commerce and digital marketing. Prior to joining Adore in 2018, Dan had roles leading e-commerce for brands such as Vistaprint, Officeworks and Dell. In this chat, Dan shares everything you need to know about app strategy, including how to avoid deletion, the dos and don’ts of SMS marketing and what matters most in the game of ideas.

“In that moment, you have to have been relevant enough and relevant enough to avoid deletion”

Dan Ferguson

Adore Beauty – The Eras Tour

“I think I’ve had big personal growth. There’s been quite a few of my own distinct Swift-like eras. There was just this mad incredible growth and change in the initial years where it was just about being really single minded and making and taking decisions and leading with urgency.   And then moving to sort of courting investment, talking to private equity and selling our value to it, just countless times to a whole new audience. 

And then sort of directing and driving our response to COVID and the massive tumultuous changes there. And then listing on the ASX, balancing priorities, being accountable in smaller timeframes and a revolution aside from top-line growth, how to revolutionise or how to really address margin and profitability. 

(I take delight in) finding new ways to make us more profitable, in finding ways that stand out as well, that allow some great leaders in our business to step up and imprint their own vision on that.”

Babies with teeth

“Be aware that if you’ve got great ideas, innovation pouring out of your ears and your team’s coming at you with all sorts of thoughts.  There are unlimited ideas, but you need to give birth to babies with teeth, I like to say sometimes. Pretty rarely. I don’t like to say that too often because it’s not a really great phrase!

The thing is you can come up with a great idea, but it’s not actually justified and clear on how it will deliver value and clear on how it can rationally use resource and be executed in a way that’s viable. Then you’re kind of just throwing it out to be cut down. 

And you’re also kind of just valuing the novelty of the idea rather than the combination or the clash of an idea and the execution of that, because both are intrinsically important.”

Savvy app strategy

“We led front and centre with our content, so when you opened our app, it’d be all about content. That was significantly driven by the concept I have of a limbo bar on apps. When you download an app, there is a limited period of time before even your phone starts suggesting to you that maybe you wanna delete it, if you don’t use it frequently enough. 

There’s the phone reminding you, Apple reminding you, hey, you haven’t used these for a while, do you wanna delete them? 

And all the apps are like, don’t pick me, don’t pick me! So you have to, in that moment when they go searching with an iron rod looking for who to delete, you have to have been relevant enough and useful enough to avoid deletion. And I think that doesn’t just, If you are out there thinking, should I make an app that allows people to buy? I already have something that allows people to buy. There’s no additional value it can provide, then I think that that’s a significant factor to consider because if your customer at that three, six month mark will just delete you, then the app isn’t gonna add much. 

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