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Josh Blacksmith

Josh Blacksmith

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TRENDSETTERS: Kimberly-Clark's Josh Blacksmith Discusses a Pivotal Moment for Consumer-Packaged Goods Companies

The Internationalist Trendsetters is written by Deborah Malone, founder of The Internationalist.

Josh Blacksmith, Senior Director of Global Consumer Relationships and Engagement at Kimberly-Clark, is championing a relatively new endeavor for most Consumer-Packaged Goods (CPG) companies: global first-party data collection and how it can be used to impact meaningful, lifetime customer relationships. This has been an area of significant focus for him from the beginning of his career.

Traditionally, the packaged goods category has relied on external partners, largely retailers, as sources for customer buying information. However, the explosive growth of e-commerce and other direct-to-consumer services during the pandemic is dramatically reshaping concepts of purchasing behavior, first-party data and even the use of media. "It's such a pivotal time for CPGs right now. Amid all these shifts, we recognize the importance of owning the consumer relationship," said Josh Blacksmith. "We need to consider more of a portfolio lens, rather than a focus on the next transaction. And that means asking what role our brands can play in providing customer value over a lifetime."

He also asserts that there are too many headlines now about the bad aspects of data. "With proper stewardship, transparency and explicit consent like our 'privacy by design,' first-party data can provide a better customer experience through better marketing. And this generally leads to better business outcomes."

To hear more from Josh Blacksmith, tune in to our Trendsetters podcast as he discusses a range of issues on data-led marketing and creating a better consumer experience CLICK HERE.

In our conversation, we discuss the following:

  • Can privacy and personalization coexist?
  • New levers to offer value exchange for consumers in a direct brand economy.
  • How marketing and sales are working together and breaking down departmental silos by using data more efficiently.
  • How a consumer-centric viewpoint enables a brand to find key moments of receptivity.
  • Why better orchestration of all media channels is so critical now.

Josh Blacksmith joined Kimberly-Clark in April 2019 to help global, regional and local marketing teams build and scale best practices in digital execution by accelerating innovation and disruption throughout the organization's omnichannel, data-driven marketing efforts.

Before his responsibilities at K-C, he spent seven years at FCB Chicago in a variety of roles—the last of which was SVP, General Manager of CRM working with such accounts as Toyota/Lexus, PACCAR, Anheuser Busch, State Farm, Brown-Forman, Samsung, Chicago Public Library Foundation, Allergan, Stericycle, Clorox, Dermira, Kimberly-Clark, and Zilretta. Prior to his agency career, he worked at Meredith and Ames Publishing.

Josh holds an MBA with an emphasis in Marketing from the University of Iowa and a BA in Advertising from Iowa State University.