Originally published on businessinterviews.com.
Astound Commerce, the world’s most trusted independent digital commerce provider, empowers success through expertly created experience-driven ecosystems that fuse ever-evolving technology, data, design, and storytelling to build meaningful and lasting customer-brand relationships. With a strong global presence and a team of over 1,200 deeply passionate experts in the areas of digital strategy, commerce technology, experience design, and digital marketing, we’ve had the opportunity to partner with iconic brands such as L’Oréal, Under Armour, El Palacio de Hierro, Jimmy Choo, Lacoste and Versace.
Born in Silicon Valley during the digital revolution, we have more than twenty years of expertise and thousands of experience-driven ecosystems woven into our DNA. We know how to align business values with the latest technologies, personalized digital experiences, and the demands of mobile and socially connected consumers. We create unique and compelling experiences for customers across all channels and drive sustained business growth for our clients.
BusinessInterviews.com: Do you have any recent success stories that you’d like to share with our readers?
Vanessa Cartwright: The past 18 months have been an exciting time. As CEO of Fluid, a world-leading digital commerce customer experience agency, I led the merger of our business with Astound Commerce, another global powerhouse business. Bringing together our Strategic and CX capabilities with Astound Commerce’s strength in Technology as a leading Commerce Systems Integrator enabled us to deliver a vision that we both shared, creating the world’s largest independently owned, end-to-end digital commerce agency. Since the merger, we have been focused on establishing our go-to-market corporate strategy and messaging – and most importantly, made the decision to radically re-organize ourselves, truly becoming one unified company in terms of tools and systems, processes and people. We had seen other companies take a more-hybrid and half-hearted approach post-merger, and heard loud and clear from our clients and prospects that this often fails in execution.
We strongly believe that to provide our clients value from our partnership, strategy, experience, relationships, and technology are not separate siloed services, but must be combined into powerful solutions aligned to very real consumer needs and business goals.
This was challenging at times, as we were bringing together a company focused on driving consumer-oriented innovation through customer experience and relationship marketing, with a company fundamentally organized around reliable and risk-free technical development, and therefore, needed to rethink each aspect of how we work together.
The reward, however, is in the work we are doing for our clients; developing digital commerce strategies and roadmaps that drive the transformation of the entire experience-driven commerce ecosystem, and bringing together our incredibly talented team members to ideate, create and build solutions that get results.
BusinessInterviews.com: What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you/your Company?
Vanessa Cartwright: Our business is not only growing in terms of the depth of our relationships with clients and the range of solutions we provide, but we are also expanding into new markets, such as Latin America, and moving into categories such as health. We are also seeing our partner technology landscape rapidly evolve and innovate to enable us to bring our vision of a connected commerce experience ecosystem to life. Consumers are demanding a highly personalized experience from the brands they engage and transact with – and at the same time, insisting on high sustainability and ethical standards. Our business is always new, always changing and we are excited to be driving positive results for our clients.
BusinessInterviews.com: Have you had any mentors or role models that have influenced you? Describe the impact.
Vanessa Cartwright: I consider myself extremely lucky. I still stay in touch with all of my previous managers, from the UK, Canada and now, the U.S. I consider each great mentors, and often, friends. Sadly one of the finest leaders, Virginia Greene, the founder of Go Direct Marketing in Canada, is no longer with us due to ovarian cancer. Virginia took a chance on hiring me as an Account Director, when I arrived fresh off the plane from London in Vancouver, back in 1999. She taught me that to be a strong leader, you have to create a culture and environment you want to work in, and that decisiveness and intelligence can go hand-in-hand with joy, grace, and humor. Virginia led by example, and had a career that spanned being an entrepreneurial business woman and agency founder, to political positions within public office always with a passion for driving change through the non-profit causes that she supported so strongly. As a mother, grandmother, and wife, Virginia also showed me that a successful professional life is not at odds with a rich personal life. Virginia attended my baby showers, invited me into her home, introduced me to her friends and family, and gave me incredible career opportunities. I think of her often.
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