How Online Fashion Brand Pomelo Enhances its Digital Experience: An Interview with Pomelo CMO Jean Thomas

Laurent Billieres, Growth Manager of Southeast Asia at Branch, recently interviewed Pomelo CMO Jean Thomas on digital transformation, retention, Pomelo’s COVID strategy, and more. Jean Thomas discusses the importance of deep linking and attribution in Pomelo’s marketing stack, how Pomelo resolves the issue of cross-platform identity and attributes user activity over multiple touchpoints, and how digital transformation is key to survival — in this new world and beyond. Read the full interview below:

Laurent Billieres: Hello Jean, could you tell us a bit about yourself?

Jean Thomas: I’ve been working in marketing throughout my entire career, starting at a performance marketing agency, and then moving onto leading marketing efforts across APAC at various e-commerce companies, including Lazada and RedMart.

LB: Because we cannot avoid a COVID question, you see this as a drawback or opportunity? Is online making up for retail?

JT: As an omnichannel company, we’ve been able to tap into different ways to leverage our e-commerce platform and further enhance the customer experience. This does include our online business, and we’ve been adapting to the situation by launching an initiative to support frontline workers called Pomelo Cares, creating stay-at-home content with our new #PomeloGirlsAtHome.

LB: What channels are you leveraging for growth and retention at the moment? 

JT: As a company that is focused on engaging its community, Facebook and Instagram remain a major source of growth for us at Pomelo, and we’ve been experimenting with new ways to attract new customers and create more brand awareness. We’re also in the process of developing an amazing loyalty program coming out soon that should help us increase retention, as well as providing what we hope will be an even better customer experience for our shoppers.

LB: Pomelo is digital-first, can you tell us a bit about your marketing technology stack? How do they fit together?

JT: We place a lot of emphasis on data and experimentation, so it’s important to us that we use what we believe are the best-in-class platforms for our industry. We run paid acquisition campaigns with Smartly and Partnerize and we use for deferred deep linking, app tracking, and channel attribution. Branch is plugged into Segment, which is used for data management and event tracking. Braze completes the trio as the CRM platform. These platforms are all integrated with each other, which enables us to deep link, build, and track personalised marketing strategies. Lastly, we use Looker for Data Visualization. We’re constantly on the lookout for tools that can help us shape our marketing strategies and help us better tailor them to our customers.

LB: How important is support from those providers?

JT: As a fashion technology company, we pride ourselves on being a company that always experiments, using data to gain insight into what our customers want, and continuing to improve on what works well and experiment some more.

We always strive to continuously improve, so it’s important to get constructive feedback from partners with strong expertise. Support service is one of the key aspects we look at when signing new tech tools. We make sure as a marketing team to always work with teams who are equally dedicated and driven as ours.

LB: Who is using external tools in your team? 

JT: The marketing team at Pomelo consists of creative teams handling everything from graphics, to editorial copywriting, to catalogue images, brand marketing and PR, performance marketing, and campaign management. As a very data-driven, analytical team, our performance marketing and engagement teams use external tools the most, in collaboration with other tech teams in the company.

LB: What should a company never outsource?

JT: Performance marketing should never be outsourced. This function is at the core of every e-commerce business and needs constant review from the management side.

LB: What is your biggest challenge at the moment?

JT: Similar to other e-commerce platforms, our biggest challenges at the moment are cross-platform identity and multi-touch attribution. But as is core to our DNA of constantly experimenting and innovating, we’re currently integrating Branch Cross-Platform-ID data into Segment to alleviate this pain point.

LB: What marketing KPIs should CEOs always look at?

JT: New Customers, DAU, MAU, CAC, Retention, Traffic, Website/App Conv Rate, Orders, Revenue Gross/Net.

LB: Is there any strategic project you’re working on to be better prepared once the economy opens up?

JT: We’re working on lots of new initiatives during this time. A lot of these will be launching very soon as, ultimately, our goal is to create a seamless customer experience across all customer touchpoints, and we want to do that now rather than waiting for the economy to open up first. We’re very excited by the upcoming launch of our loyalty program – we think this is a great way to forge a stronger consumer-brand relationship and enhance brand engagement. To further build our community, we’ve also been increasing the frequency of our livestream shows, creating tailored content for different markets, and working with a variety of different influencers and personalities across different countries to create more brand engagement and love.

We’re also in the process of developing a new contactless shopping experience. We understand that there will definitely be a transition period as we move towards a “new normal”, and we want to do what we can to give our customers peace of mind when shopping with us, whether online or in person.