That manifested in the form of a pyramid loosely based off of Maslow’s classic Hierarchy of Needs. The base of the pyramid, product availability, represents the first step toward winning in e-commerce, followed by content; ratings & reviews; product placement and search marketing; price promotion; and, finally, paid media at the top.
In application, brand teams move up the pyramid only when they feel confident that they’ve hit a minimum viable threshold on the prior step. “We’d have goals for content, ratings and reviews, search marketing, price promotion – and if we had everything lined up and we had budget with our company and our brand teams, we’d get in paid media where it made sense,” he explains.
Yeadon’s “Educate and Inspire” presentations provided an active approach to bring core colleagues in brand, sales, finance, operations and innovation up to speed with Clif Bar’s efforts in e-commerce, and to share with them best practices to online success.
“We built a mental model in 2019, but did a lot of evangelizing of it in 2020, to the point where many colleagues across the company fully understood and internalized the message,” he says. “I think that really helped people focus – and focus was kind of missing.”
One major improvement realized under Yeadon’s leadership last year was heightened visual engagement across retail platforms. Yeadon pioneered the use of AI technology from Vizit to assess and improve the brand’s e-commerce product detail page content. The visual intelligence insights helped his team better understand the impact of the brand’s visual content across the digital shelf, giving them the power to measure and optimize their images. Populating product pages with the highest performing carousel images led to elevated page traffic for key products and resulted in more than a 100% increase in conversion rates during the test period. The insights were subsequently carried out across the brand’s portfolio.
“We expanded, populating our retailer platforms with what we call our ‘Gold Standard’ content so everybody had the best stuff,” Yeadon says.
Clif Bar also expanded retargeting efforts using Amazon Advertising from search to programmatic, upper funnel media, and evolved its retailer advertising strategy to an “always on” approach. The moves led to significant growth, driving sales not only on Amazon but across the whole retail network, with a recent campaign driving cross-channel return on average spend that was 10 times higher than previous results.
“We did a follow-up marketing mix analysis and it was clear that this advertising was really strong and drove a ton of results. So that was a really good add-on to things we wanted to do and had the data for – really proved the case there,” Yeadon says.
Additional improvements included the start and expansion of search marketing campaigns and programmatic advertising across various retail platforms with the help of another partner, Flywheel. New software tools also enabled the brand’s consumer affairs team to initiative monitoring and response to online reviews across most major retailers.
“There is so much we did, and so many small wins that ladder up to large and substantial changes to the organization and its performance,” Yeadon says.
After two years as head of Clif’s e-commerce marketing, Yeadon in April was promoted to senior manager of innovation.