The Lead Summit Speaker Spotlight:
David Baker, Beekman 1802

This week in The Lead Summit Speaker Spotlight Series we sit down with David Baker, the Chief Digital Officer, Beekman1802. Beekman1802 is an omnichannel Skin Health company, bringing the power of Goat Milk and Kindness to everything they do. In this spotlight, we speak with David about his road to becoming a Chief Digital Officer, his approach to vetting and testing new technologies, and get perspective on his upcoming session at The Lead Summit. Read the full spotlight below!

Thanks for taking the time to sit down with us today, David. Can you tell us about your journey to becoming a Chief Digital Officer? Is there a mentor, or experience that you can point to that set you on this career path? 

I started my career on the political campaign trail as “the digital guy” where I cut my teeth back when Digital meant a website and Google search. I quickly grew, ultimately landing a job at Google where I built new ads products and helped scale the Cause Marketing team to over 100M in revenue before leaving to pursue an MBA at the University of Oxford. One of my fierce mentors who helped me make the jump out of politics and non-profits into beauty was Professor Andrew Stephen who leads the Future of Marketing initiative at Oxford. He helped me accelerate my digital skills even further and translate the tactics from politics into corporations from start-ups like Bonobos to large enterprises like L’Oreal & Shiseido. Now over 15 years into my career I am proud to use my talents as Chief Digital Officer at Beekman 1802 leading our DTC and Amazon sales channels and driving our media efforts in order to fuel growth across the organization. 

It’s no surprise that you are continuing to think about technologies that can help you run a better business.  What technologies out there excite you as the Chief Digital Officer, and how do you approach testing new tech?

There is a perennial problem in marketing that has existed long before I started my career and I have to imagine will never be fully solved before I retire. Which 50% of marketing is working. The challenge of attribution and where to put your next dollar splits marketers between so-called “brand” and “growth” and drives any marketing-finance relationship. 

What excites me are new technologies and efforts that can help triangulate better answers to this question as the industry and marketing environment continue to change. Technologies that allow for real-time Multi-Touch Attribution, faster and more reliable Marketing Mix Models powered by AI, and fast incrementality testing working in concert allow for marketers to be able to better answer how to best spend dollars focused on driving incremental profit, not just topline market share. 

As for testing new technology I often investigate how a piece of tech can improve my ROI by either accelerating sales or reducing costs (my team’s time or $) to help drive us forward. Sometimes that is a new channel like TikTok that we test into see some positive effects and then expand the tests further, sometimes that is a creative visualization tool like Motion App that lets everyone on my team see which creatives are driving the best in-platform results so we can shorten the learning period.

At The Lead Summit in July, you’re speaking in the session, ‘New Frameworks for Marketing Measurement and Attribution’. Can you share your thoughts on this topic?

Clearly I am passionate s I teased a part of my answer in the previous question but I truly believe that there is no silver bullet in Marketing Measurement and anyone who tells you “we have the answer to IOs 14” or “We are the solution to the Cookiepocolypse” is selling you a bill of goods. 

In the current & further emerging marketing landscape we are becoming more and more fragmented. Gone are the days of “the duopoly” of Google and Meta – they still gain a large share of the digital spend but now we have TikTok, Amazon Media, Retail Media Networks, the rise of OTT/CTV and now Linear TV coming under digital in many brands. The international grocer Walmart acquired Vizio in order to serve ads better. And no one is going to share their data with a brand – even if you are P&G you are only going to get a portion of the data back into your ecosystem. 

So the only way we as marketers can move forward is to triangulate with the best tools available to us and see what is driving incrementality, and what has lifts and halo effects across other channels.

Instinctually we know that our Meta spend lifts not just our DTC but also our Amazon site and our Brick & Mortar retailers. Historically you would only see this 6-9 months later in a costly MMM or you’d have to do a geo-based holdout that would take 6-8 weeks to see any results and if you tried to marry this with your in-platform data it would more often than not contradict each other. 

By finding tools and partners that can rapidly produce MMM results, do multiple incrementality tests simultaneously in a stat-sig manner, and improving the signal data on your MTA you can start to triangulate a few key variables that narrows the risk profile of your next dollar and helps you make the case of the extra benefit of your marketing efforts.

Can you talk about a recent memorable digital shopping experience, and what made it special? 

I am a huge reader especially of speculative fiction and so was recently turned on to a brand called Juniper Books who makes beautiful book jackets for book series that present as a piece of art on your shelf as all the book jackets combine to tell a visual story of the series. The flow of their checkout experience and follow-ups as they prepare the order is tailored to the series you purchased so it includes cute quotes from the series which is a small but not quite so simple change to their flows that makes me feel like they care about me a bit more.

Join David at The Lead Summit, July 10-11 in New York City!

Brand and retail attend free!

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