Q&A: Christopher Burkhart, CMO, NaturallyCurly.com

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Christopher Burkhart
Christopher Burkhart

NaturallyCurly.com's CMO Christopher Burkhart discusses his new position and the company's e-commerce growth.

Q: NaturallyCurly.com started off as a community where women with curly hair could come to discuss hair products and hair advice. You have since morphed into an e-commerce destination with more than 5,000 products. What initiated the change? 

A: The e-commerce business grew out of the need to provide those products to the customers. Our longer-term vision is to make the site a seamless experience for users to buy these products so users coming in who need information on a product know where to buy it.

Q: Which direct marketing channels work best for your company?

A: Email is a big one for us. We have a long-term plan in place for more segmenting with email. Our campaigns will be segmented by hair type. As people receive newsletters from us to find out about news stories, they'll be getting customized, served-up content created primarily by us. We don't do any direct mail or text messaging. We use Facebook ads, paid search, organic search, and we work with partnerships to drive awareness around our sites.

Q: Taking into account that NaturallyCurly.com is a social network, how do you use 
Facebook and Twitter to 
market the company? 

A: Facebook and Twitter 
are more of a referral for us to drive people to our site. 
Facebook echoes the features and functionality we have on the site. 
Do we need to make sure it's different content, or can we just echo? We are a social media company. Community is a big driver for us, and we don't want to take that conversation 
to Facebook. We would 
rather have that happen 
on our site.

Q: You're relatively new to the job. What are your short- and long-term plans?

A: The short-term and long-term plans are similar. We would like to be a scalable and sustainable platform. We're looking at our database infrastructure to make sure the databases we have are talking to each other so that we can aggregate data on users in order to know 
who consumers are when they come in.

Q: What does your ideal 
consumer look like? 

A: We need an engaged community. We would love to have a million people that buy a ton of products, write reviews and engage. But that isn't realistic. We need a solid base of that, but also consumers that don't write a ton of reviews. I don't, but I rely on reviews a ton. We need to make sure those people feel like valued parts of a community.

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