First Movers: Kamela Warren

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KAMELA WARREN is a passionate commercial pioneer and leader of change management with over 14 years of digital and eCommerce leadership experience partnering and driving sustainable growth with brands and retailers.

She is currently the Amazon Account Executive at The Emerson Group, leading eCommerce growth and business management for a growing portfolio of brands. Prior to that, she led the Amazon business at the Kellogg Company with extensive experience in sales and joint business planning, customer marketing and strategic planning, insights and analytics, project management and operations, and more.

Why did you choose to pursue eCommerce in your career? eCommerce chose me actually…LOL😊 I was approached by senior management for a role that they believed would be building the foundation for future growth for the company, and I have never looked back. 

What is your biggest strength, and how have you used it for your success in eCommerce? I am passionate and creative which allows me to think more outside of the traditional box. I have learned that most people want to be a part of something exciting and when you are engaged in a project that can elevate the collaboration because it takes a team to attain your goals.

What is the weirdest skill or talent to come in handy in your eCommerce experience? I have a background in Forecasting factoring in trends, seasonality etc… and this tends to be an important skill as you work with brands to analyze and build comprehensive business plans that equate to growth goals. 

How have you most successfully influenced change within your organization (or with your clients)? I believe successful change begins with powerful insights based on relevant case studies and summarized with a monetized plan of building blocks that allows a brand to make meaningful decisions that impact the business.

What was your most “valuable” career failure, and why? In the world of eCommerce, it is important to understand as much as you can in all facets of the business. I have learned the hard way that if you have a question about something- ASK IT! Digital commerce expands across all departments, and although you do not need to be in expert base knowledge will allow you to have a holistic view and potential impacts down the line.

In the last five years, what new belief, behavior or habit has most improved your life? Life changes and you need to be flexible to move with it or it will be a constant battle. Digital commerce is extremely dynamic, and you will be constantly learning something new. 

What are you learning right now? Everyday I am learning something new including insights and trends for the HPC category, technical capabilities and enhanced dashboard reporting. If you are working on the Amazon business, there is always something that is changing on the platform that keeps you hopping.

What are the 1-3 songs that would make up your career soundtrack today?

  • The Road Less Traveled by Lauren Alaina
  • Warrior by Hannah Kerr
  • History by Lauren Alaina

What are the 1-3 books you’ve gifted the most or that have greatly influenced your life, and why? I went through my list of most gifted books I can see they center around spirit, mind and body as all of these are interconnected and have a major impact on happiness and success. My favorites are:

  • The Power of Moments by Chip and Dan Heath (I love this one as it can be applied to both professional and your personal life) Those extraordinary moments are never forgotten and cherished.
  • For spirit, I really like The Chosen by Dallas and Amanda Jenkins as this devotional is very inspirational but also direct and with questions that keep you engaged.
  • I also believe what you consume has an impact on your mental and physical wellbeing and I have gifted The Plant Paradox Cookbook by Dr. Steven Gundry many times. Our family has been cooking with these recipes for over a year now and love it!

If you could have a gigantic billboard for the world to see with anything on it, what would it say, and why? “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

What are the worst recommendations or advice you have heard related to eCommerce? “The eCommerce business is not incremental to our base therefore we will not invest in it.”

Incrementality…please do not get me started on that one. LOL 😊

What advice would you give to a future leader of change about to enter business, or specifically the eCommerce field? Core capabilities are very expensive to develop in-house and I would recommend reaching out to a strategic partner like The Emerson Group to leverage as you enter this extremely dynamic business.

What specific, industry-related change do you believe will happen that few others seem to see? It is common knowledge that there is a channel shift to digital that has jumped in 2020; however, I feel technical capabilities and supply chain will be the ultimate key to success. Retailers will need to rely on brands more in the future to manage the business. Many brands have a difficult time investing in this infrastructure to position themselves for future success when they are tied to an in-year P&L that is dominated by brick and mortar sales.

What is the last thing you bought online, and why? I am currently in the process of closing on our dreamland in Montana embedded by a beautiful creek in the mountains near West Yellowstone. I found the land online, visited in person and will be closing virtually!

First Movers is a change leader interview series featuring select industry pioneers who are boldly driving the evolution of digital commerce, the consumer and everything in between.

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