Tell us about your journey with Croud so far? When did you join?
I joined Croud back in 2012, which was obviously a very different era for the business. It’s quite crazy to people when I say that when I joined it was just me and Jon Ditch (our Chief of Global Operations) in the midlands and I worked from home for the first six months because we didn’t have an office, and me and ditch used to meet up down in London and literally sleep in the office – which thinking back now, was absolutely crazy. And it just shows because a lot of people don’t realise exactly how much we’ve grown.
I was actually the first employee outside of the board for Croud and I was brought in as head of paid search and have developed and evolved my role here ever since, most recently towards Croud’s commercial team, focusing specifically on emerging channels starting with our Comparison Shopping Service and most recently moving towards Amazon and e-commerce in general.
So what does your current role at Croud entail?
The main part of my role which has developed over the last year is identifying emerging channels and building them into robust service offerings. Any example of this is our comparison shopping service which I helped to build up. Currently, I am focusing on our Amazon and e-commerce services, particularly with the appointment of Andy Siviter as our Director of Ecommerce, we are really accelerating this.
Why do you think brands should consider advertising on Amazon?
The growing trend is that more and more consumers are starting their searches on Amazon now. For example, two-thirds of searches in the UK start on Amazon. If consumers are searching for your brand in that space, then it only makes sense to be making sure that your brand is being represented in the right way, and visible for the users.
What are the biggest challenges facing Amazon?
Amazon continues to be a bit of an unknown space for a lot of retailers, with many perceiving it as suited for low budget products and unaware of how to approach it. This provides an opportunity for sellers masquerading as any certain brand, who take advantage of this to essentially misrepresent them.
What do you think the solutions for this will be for your clients?
One of the main things we focus on is providing our clients with advice and support to build their brand visibility across Amazon. For example, making sure they have their Brand Registry in place and protecting their brand. But beyond this, helping them increase the visibility of their Amazon Storefront, thereby nullifying any potential masqueraders.
Where do you see Amazon advertising moving over the next decade?
I think brands will start to see Amazon as more of an acquisition tool, especially as a way to test and expand towards new markets. There is vast scope to drive incremental growth across this platform, even with the commission you pay, particularly as the user ratings continue to soar.
What are your predictions for the digital marketing industry over the next decade?
We are definitely moving further away from defined service offerings and closer to consultancy approaches. So from an agency perspective, we’ll have to start evolving our service offering to match the developments towards automation. This would mean shifting towards advisory services, giving clients support on business transformation and how they can expand into new markets.