Joce Macdonald is Head of Growth Marketing at ecommerce accelerator Netrush, a company which provides everything from creative services to third party logistics.
I recently sat down with Joce to find out more about her role, her biggest professional achievements, and her predictions for how ecommerce will continue to evolve.
Tell us about your role – what does a typical day look like?
My day job is head of marketing at Netrush, which is a leading ecommerce accelerator that helps brands grow their sales, especially on Amazon.com. We have our hands in everything from supply chain and logistics all the way through media and creative. Of course, no two days are alike, but on most, I have multiple meetings with business unit leaders to support the growth of our platform. I also work with our CEO on strategic initiatives to support our partnership program. On days like this, which are less frequent, I have interviews with publications interested in learning about my personal brand consultancy (Call Me Joce) and my experience in the self-care and ecommerce industries.
Days can be pretty long, but by 6 PM, I’m at least winding down with my family. Like most people these days, email and administrative duties can feel endless, but I like to be present for my kids as well.
What will be the key differentiators for successful ecommerce brands in 2022?
It’s hard to be a successful brand in any year, but 2022 has had the added baggage of a Covid peak and a global supply chain that is still bent and twisted from the past 24 months. But I think the brands that will really shine will have three major priorities straight:
They get the foundation right. Retail dashboards lit up last year with wild variations in supply, demand, advertising, efficiency, and sales. A lot of brands found themselves out of their lanes and putting out fires rather than charting a strategic course. So, this quarter, tuning the system to get these fundamentals right is Job One. Brands will need to make sure they can get products in their customers hands (which was never an issue like it is now) as well as reach them with the right messages. It’s definitely time to reset and get back to basics.
They know their customers. Customer understanding will also be critical. In an increasingly omni-platform, cookie-less world, it can seem daunting to understand your digital customers. However, if you want it, the data is there, and you can use it to formulate the right go-to-market strategies for your brand.
They understand and leverage customer lifetime value (CLV). Brand managers today have a diverse set of levers to drive growth, including media, content, social media, influencers, fulfillment, brand protection, and marketplace management. CLV can be the north star in prioritising actions across these limitless possibilities. A CLV focus also helps answer important questions about the balance between acquisition costs and value in a marketing environment that is more expensive than ever. It’s important to know the answers to questions such as “Am I overspending on lower value customers” or “Am I focusing enough on high-value customers?” Do that, and you’ll be in a happy place.
What do you predict will be some of the biggest trends in ecommerce/social/digital this year? (either consumer or brand led)?
There are so many possibilities here. I’ll divide them into categories.
- Easy to spot: it’s going to be a sprint not a marathon. In this fast-paced, multi-disciplinary, omni-channel, data-driven modern commerce world, driving brand growth is a relentless daily pursuit.
- Out there: large influx of user generated content will bring a dose of reality to advertising and awareness. Magazine quality sheen will be replaced with homemade and on the street.
- Still further: metaverse commerce. Definitely this will be a talking point, though implementations will vary greatly.
- Way, way out there: commercetainment. E–commerce must compete for the same screen time as streaming services, YouTube, and social media. TikTok users know the thrill of swiping through engaging video, especially in a cable-cut world where channel surfing is going away. That said, live streams are showing that there’s a market for discovery, and brands have a role to play in it.
What ecommerce brands have impressed you in the past year and why?
Host Defense (full disclosure, a Netrush partner) continues to impress me with their authenticity, innovation and customer loyalty. This mycelium-based supplement brand continues to maintain its market leading position amid a rapid growth of digitally native and other competition. By maintaining an almost magical convergence of health, science, authenticity, sustainability, loyalty and innovation, they are seeing good things happen.
What are some long-term lessons Netrush has gained from the pandemic?
Our industry has been majorly disrupted by the labor market. It’s important to remember that people make your organisation thrive, and you have to invest in them, sometimes in creative ways, to succeed.
What’s next for Netrush?
We will continue to invest in the capabilities that brands need to make a meaningful and valuable connection with their customers. For example, we acquired the automated marketing and optimisation platform Sellozo in 2021, which allows our partners to invest with confidence in Amazon advertising. We are also continuing to extend our platform to help meet brands where they are – digitally native, naive, or mature – and enable them all to thrive and grow.