NaturallyCurly Network Names First CMO

Steve’s breakdown: Wow – a social media outlet for people with curly hair. Who knew? Anyway, it looks like these folks are putting it into high gear with this hire. And because it’s a newly created position, his marketing plan is a work in progress and could probably use some guidance from a qualified marketing firm.

AUSTIN, TX: The NaturallyCurly Network, (NaturallyCurlyNetwork.com), the leading social network and community for people with textured hair and the professionals who service them, announced today that it has tapped Christopher Burkhart as its Chief Marketing Officer, a newly created position, to help the company continue growth in both reach and community engagement. Burkhart most recently was vice president, marketing, Callaway Golf Interactive.

According to the company, Burkhart will oversee all marketing strategy for NaturallyCurly’s network of sites which includes CurlStylist.com, a professional community for stylists servicing curly haired clients; CurlMart.com, an e-commerce boutique showcasing more than 60 different brands and 550 community-vetted products; CurlyNikki.com, a blog relating to the highly engaged natural hair community; and NaturallyCurly.com, the network’s original and thriving social brand and community site.

Collectively, the sites now engage nearly 1 million unique monthly visits, seeing overall growth greater than 30% during Q1 2011, and looking forward in Q2 to new mobile applications for iPhone and Android, the company reports.

“NaturallyCurly is a social network tapping into consumers’ need for product information and access, but also forming qualified and interactive connections among community members, professionals and brands who seek to engage them,” said Crista Bailey, CEO of NaturallyCurly. “With Chris on board, we gained a marketing leader who has guided branded and multichannel marketing relationships for another market that is powered by similar enthusiasm and affinity. Chris will help to ensure the best community and partner experience across our network. We already are the go-to place online for people who care about textured, curly and wavy hair — and, increasingly, this is a global audience.”

“This is a truly unique and challenging dynamic — the company does not define the brand, the community does,” Burkhart said. “It is important for retailers and brands to recognize the importance of listening to their consumers today more than ever — in all the channels where consumers are present. While consumers have always shared their preferences for products with their friends, family, and coworkers, with social media they now can share their opinions globally with people they’ve never met, and with mobile, they can gain access to relevant information quickly and easily. NaturallyCurly lets the consumers drive the discussion and allows our advertisers and marketing partners to be seen as valued voices and sources of information for our growing community. As CMO for NC, I love being a facilitator of these discussions and creating compelling content for our communities.”

Burkhart — a resident of Austin, a graduate of Rice University with a master’s degree in business administration, and an undergraduate degree-holder from University of Tulsa — has held senior marketing and business development positions with Callaway and Dell, with previous managerial experience with Advance Radio Telecom and Koch Microelectronic Service Company. At Callaway, he was responsible for demand generation, merchandising, and interactive design and production where he was instrumental in driving $50 million in sales via the company’s e-commerce sites and call center.

The NaturallyCurly Network is closing its most recent fundraising round at the end of this month — with investments allocated to new hires, a mobile platform and global growth across both reach and engagement.

About The NaturallyCurly Network The NaturallyCurly Network is a collection of sites that informs, empowers and unites a community of people brought together by a common interest — curly hair. The flagship brand, NaturallyCurly.com, attracts 600,000 unique monthly engaged, influential consumers creating user-generated content on a daily basis — boasting more than 30,000 photos, product and stylist reviews and 30,000 monthly forum posts. The network also includes CurlStylist.com, a professional community especially for stylists servicing the curly clientele; CurlMart.com, a boutique e-commerce site showcasing more than 60 brands and 550 community-vetted products; and CurlyNikki.com, the leading natural hair expert in the blogosphere, encouraging people everywhere to share their experiences, frustrations and triumphs of being naturally glamorous, with 230,000 unique monthly visitors. The entire network logs close to 1 million unique monthly visits, on average from more than 250 countries worldwide, all of whom have a common thread — a curl, kink or wave — that bonds.

Tags: NaturallyCurly, The Naturally Curly Network, chief marketing officer, social engagement, mobile, social network, community, curly hairstyle, Austin, marketing, social media

SOURCE: The NaturallyCurly Network

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