Farfetch CMO John Veichmanis: ‘Data is the new marketer’s currency’

Farfetch CMO John Veichmanis: ‘Data is the new marketer’s currency’ 1024 427 C-Suite Network

As Farfetch’s newly appointed chief marketing officer, John Veichmanis is at the helm of a small army of 130 creatives, data scientists, editors and artificial intelligence specialists on the marketing team at the company’s London headquarters.

Veichmanis, formerly the company’s svp of digital marketing, took over the post at the beginning of June from former CMO Stephanie Horton. Now, he’s in charge of guiding Farfetch’s marketing strategy as the company pushes for profitability and preps itself for a forthcoming IPO, which is expected to be valued anywhere from $1.5 billion to $5 billion.

Veichmanis explained his data-driven approach to building brand awareness, the looming threat of Amazon and how the company’s recent $397 million round of funding will help drive market growth.

You didn’t have a background in fashion when you joined Farfetch in 2015. How is that beneficial to your role?
Ultimately, the marketing discipline is becoming increasingly appreciative of technology and how it can enable you to build a richer dialogue with consumers. That’s really important, and that’s what I bring to the party: an ability to build meaningful customer propositions, but then figure out how we can use technology to actually reach the audience and tell stories online more effectively.

Still, the meaning of luxury keeps evolving. How do you approach that sector, specifically?
The challenge for Farfetch is that we want to build a globally recognized brand. But if you want to build a brand in the luxury space, you have to make sure you’re telling your story to the right people, otherwise there’s a tremendous amount of waste. A real focus for us is to use the data on our platform — the rich profiles of visitors and existing customers — to find more customers. We’re using technology to do that. We, in effect, reduce our reach so we can target those who love luxury and fashion, and then increase communication with those people. That’s the role of the modern-day CMO in luxury: not just to use technology to target the right people, but to then build a dialogue and an evolving story over time for inspiration, ideas and then purchases.

Can you get more specific about the technology you’re using?
Over the course of the last two years, we’ve invested around $4 million in our marketing technology platform. It was built in house. On the demand side of the equation, so we’ve invested heavily in marketing technology, as well as artificial intelligence and data science. A quarter of my team…