Meet the Marketer: Daniel Head from TOMS Shoes

It's another edition of Meet the Marketer and we were excited to speak to Daniel Head, Director of Digital Marketing and CRM at TOMS Shoes. We spoke with Daniel on the importance of using relevant, real time data to measure the success of marketing efforts, the democratization of data, and how TOMS shoes are helping people all over the world.

Hi Daniel. We're interested to hear what made you want to become a marketer?

I got into marketing because I like stories. Everything we do or say is part of a story and we are all storytellers. I had no idea it was going to be much more than that and such a quantifiable effort. It turns out that the planning and analytical side is what gets me the most excited now. Working at TOMS over the past six years with so many smart people has taught me more about storytelling, people, and the world we live in than I could have ever hoped for as well. I can’t wait for all that’s ahead. 

What’s one funny marketing mistake you made early on in your career?

Hit “reply all” first day a new job to an all-staff email. We’ve all been there and at least now everyone knew who I was.

Daniel likes...

  • The smoked mozzarella, tomato and jalapeño pizza at Gjelina, the restaurant in Venice, CA
  • George Harrison’s guitar solos
  • Madrid, Spain

Daniel dislikes...

  • Living far from a coast
  • Checking in luggage
  • Last-Click Attribution

What do you see as the value of the traditional CRM? What do you think the next generation of CRM will look like?

Traditional CRM is a database; it can often sit in IT. You need SQL queries and three day lead times to extract any insights about your customers. A direct-to-consumer business moves way faster than that. Brands are all competing for the attention economy. There are just so many brands big and small in your inbox and newsfeed now. So we need to see stats about our marketing efforts very quickly to make sure we are communicating well within our community—not weekly, but daily or, even in real time. A platform like Custora synthesizes our data and helps us move faster. I cannot spend hours in Excel doing v-lookups and pivot tables. I need to be able to act more and Excel less.

What customer insights are most meaningful for improving the customer experience?

We’re customer-obsessed and people-obsessed at TOMS. Every purchase helps someone else in the world. We want to know what connects with people and what they care about. TOMS gives shoes, sight, and water in over 60 countries. Understanding how people engage with that part of story is really important to us.

At the same time, our product line keeps evolving and growing. This spring we are launching some of the coolest shoes we have done yet, including our TRVL LTE collection and a collaboration with LA based handbag designer Clare V.

How you engage with our story, what products you’re interested in, and how long you’ve been shopping with TOMS are all important insights for us that inform how we engage with you. It’s all part of a continuous conversation with our customers.

"We also always talk about democratization of data. We have skilled analytics people on the team, but having only those people owning all the data and the insights is a total roadblock."

How do relevant and actionable customer insights change how the marketer behaves/interacts with the “customer”? Think outside the box?

Speed is number one. When I get to work in the morning, I want to have all the insights I need to do my job that day.

We also always talk about democratization of data. We have skilled analytics people on the team, but having only those people owning all the data and the insights is a total roadblock. We need platforms that everyone can understand — from our merchandisers to our UI/UX team to customer service, so they can have easy access to insights.

What’s on the roadmap? What are the new use cases for advanced segmentation you hope to put in place over the next 1-2 years?

I am more excited about our products than ever and I am looking forward to getting them out in the world on people’s feet. The segmentation of messaging around those styles and who they appeal to is just as exciting. We have some new designs that are some of the best we have ever had, so be on the lookout!

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