The Data Dialogues: Cheri Selva of Hawke Media

J.D. Crabtree
September 27, 2020

Here at Yaguara, we are interacting with commerce teams and partners daily that are pushing the industry forward. One agency we’ve had the pleasure getting to know (and learn from) is the team over at Hawke Media. Hawke Media is a full-service digital marketing agency that serves as an "Outsourced CMO" for its clients, providing the guidance, planning, and execution to launch, grow, and invigorate eCommerce businesses of all sizes. I had the opportunity to speak with Cheri Selva about their approach to eCommerce marketing, data, and the future of the industry.

Hello there Cheri, excited to have a fantastic exchange over a number of topics. Let’s kick this off with some backstory, do you mind sharing how your professional journey brought you to Hawke Media? And your role and responsibilities there today?

J.D. Crabtree

Hello J.D. so nice to be here with you today, and thank you so much for this opportunity.

Of course. A little bit about my journey, I started with Hawke Media in January of this year as the VP of Lifecycle Marketing. I currently head up a fantastic team of 8 Lifecycle experts and we are growing! We handle everything from setting up a foundational email marketing strategy, to running your loyalty programs and everything in between. SMS is a growing focus of ours as well, and we're really doing some great things in that space.

Prior to Hawke, I led the Email Department at Wpromote and was there for 5 years. I have extensive past experience in corporate marketing leading email efforts for both B2B and B2C verticals. I was offered the opportunity with Hawke through a fellow colleague I worked with, and am very excited to be here today!

Cheri Selva

Hawke is definitely a great place to land, and I’m excited to hear about the expansion of your team. Congrats!

Let’s dive right into your marketing expertise: The Lifecycle.

Do you mind sharing how your team introduces and structures this critical process for brands? Let’s say you are starting to work with an ambitious early-stage team with an awesome product that is taking off, but hasn’t quite attempted or cracked the code on this front. Does this take a lot of coaching from your team? Or do you prefer to simply take this off their plate and come back with the real-world results?

J.D. Crabtree

Great question, we jump right into action taking this off their plate from the start. When we are introduced to a new brand, we perform a Lifecycle audit to see where there are some immediate wins for us to implement to get the ball rolling. That process entails ensuring that a brand has what we like to call, the foundational set-up. For us that starts off with ensuring we have a captivating lead capture (a light box) set up on the site to gather all of those amazing leads from their paid channels, as well as all that wonderful organic traffic. Then we go in and check to confirm they have their automations set up for success. This includes looking at the ‘Welcome Series’, cart and site abandonment, post purchase and win-back automations, along with anything else they may have running. Then make sure all the strategy is triggering correctly, and see if there are any adjustments that need to be made.

After we have that foundational process set-up, we’ll take a look at the numbers and have the data tell the story. Now we can start examining what's working and what's not. This gives the opportunity to perform some A/B testing and creative fine-tuning to make sure our engagement rates are top notch!

Cheri Selva

The foundational set-up, I love the sound of that. I am sure with any new exciting partnership or client there is a natural tendency of wanting to start on a number of flashier things, but as their guiding light you have to resist that temptation. I appreciate the process of laying the foundation, building up initial success, then using that to apply to more complex projects.

What trends do you typically look for when upgrading a lifecycle marketing strategy?

J.D. Crabtree

We look at the data very carefully, it paints an accurate picture. There are always opportunities for growth, but in lifecycle that can mean many different things. Maybe we need to set up a new strategic automation that will require additional emails in order to increase retention around a specific segment. Or now the client is at the point where they want to expand into SMS marketing, so we need to implement a strategy for both light box and automations.

Another great growth opportunity for our larger clients is upgrading into a loyalty program that can take things to the next level. Loyalty helps with both retention and ROI for the clients, as well as gathering product reviews, implementing a points system and more!

Cheri Selva

Let data be your Picasso! I think that analogy worked.

Thanks for explaining the journey. I know the Hawke team is a fan of Postscript, so that helps me paint a picture of what a successful growing client can expect as your team keeps bringing in the positive results.

As you continue to dive deeper into leading marketing and strategy initiatives for internal and external teams, where do you think is an area you could further grow?

J.D. Crabtree

With the pandemic, we saw a large jump in two very telling areas: Email Marketing and Desktop. It's been fantastic to see, but I feel as we come out of this and go into 2021 we will have a great growth opportunity in both loyalty programs and SMS marketing. Loyalty programs will help retain all of that desktop growth that came in while we were all at home on our desktops shopping and sitting in on daily zoom calls!

SMS will be a big player as we go back into the world visiting our favorite stores and restaurants, depending more on our phones once again.

Cheri Selva

I appreciate the insight.

Alright to wrap this up, do you have any predictions around your industry in regards to advertising and eCommerce?

J.D. Crabtree

I think as we grow into a more personalized digital space, we are going to see that reflect more and more in the ads we are served. It's already happening, all you have to do is go from Facebook to your gmail and you will see that reflected. But as our technology grows, our ability to serve the right ads at the right time will get better.

Cheri Selva

Thanks Cheri. And thanks for the conversation, I’m excited to watch the Lifecycle team keep evolving.

Lovely readers, before you go I advise everyone to check out Hawke Media and their services to better understand all the great marketing wizardry Cheri referenced in our discussion. It’s a-la-carte, it’s for all shapes and sizes, and as one of the leading marketing agencies in the country they know how to have a great conversation.

J.D. Crabtree

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