blu – Fontem Ventures
Growing digital from startup to scale up
Fontem Ventures, a subsidiary of Imperial Brands plc, is a leader in vaping technology and owns e-vapour brand blu, as well as a lifestyle energy brand Reon. My responsibility was to build the digital capabilities from the ground. The company objective was to setup a global, billion pound business with multiple brands.
15% of sales by building an exceptional end-to-end customer digital experience for 4 brands in 10 countries
When I joint Fontem Ventures, it was just founded and we were only with 10 team members. When I left the team had grown to over 400 employees. The company grew due to 5 acquisitions and mergers. The senior management changed 4 times in the almost 6 years I was with Fontem. The sales ambition for 2020 is 1.5 billion GBP. The ambition and speed of delivery was extremely high. I was responsible for setting up the digital business and online sales from scratch. The holding company no experience digital or B2C and we needed to do this stand alone. The plans were to role out multiple brands in multiple countries at high speed.
With a small team of motivated, hands-on and very skilled people and partners we started thorough selecting and building the future proof components for a brand flagship e-commerce. Followed soon by email marketing and subscription models for the Puritane vaping and Reon energy brands in UK. Soon after we launched the JAI vaping brand in Italy and France. We setup the end-to-end consumer experience, from website to fulfilment, payment, finance and customer service. E-commerce conversion was gradually improved to 11%. After the blu e-cigarette acquisition all vaping brands were migrated to blu.com and technology we setup. The UK site, customers, accounts and order were migrated in a record time of 8 weeks without a drop in conversion or sales. Migrating blu.com US with very localized legal requirements was a huge undertaking, but we were able to increase conversion within a week with 30%. In parallel we started building a customer 360 eco system (mostly Salesforce). The customer 360 set the foundations for personalized communication on site, in email and with display advertisement. We had 6 teams and over 40 FTE working in parallel to deliver the innovations in parallel with the multiple country roll out. The total digital ecosystem grew to 15% of total sales.
% of total
Shaping digital innovation for start-ups, scale-ups and cooperates
Patrick was a very loyal, customer-oriented and expert colleague, who did his work in a pleasant way, in good cooperation with his supervisors and colleagues and to his complete satisfaction. Patrick is a proactive, independent colleague and has shown his involvement at all times at our company.
In the 2 years that Patrick worked for Elsevier, he was instrumental in rolling out eBooks and Print On Demand in our markets. He covered all aspects of these complex transitions, including the operational, commercial and strategic activities to make this happen. His work and knowledge was not only crucial for HS EMEA/LA, but he was very helpful for other business units in Elsevier as well.
Patrick was successful in the following roles: Projectmanager logistics, Marketing Manager, Account Manager, Business Development manager and Manager Digital Products. Patrick proved to be very successful in launching new products like CB Online (B2B order and BI tool), Central Book House (wholesale) and eBoekhuis (ebook distribution). Patrick was part of the MT and was co-creator of the long and mid term plans and budgets. He has excellent knowledge and skills. He was very creative and dedicated to Centraal Boekhuis.