Ben Carter leaves Purplebricks to become Dunelm’s first CMO

Departing Purplebricks after just over a year as CMO, Carter will assume the newly-created role at Dunelm, reporting directly into CEO Nick Wilkinson.

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Ben Carter has been appointed CMO of Dunelm, a newly-created role with responsibility for accelerating the homeware retailer’s marketing strategy across all channels.

As Dunelm’s first CMO, Carter will join the executive team and report directly into CEO Nick Wilkinson. Starting at the retailer in mid-January, Carter’s remit will cover building the brand, enhancing performance marketing and driving both customer acquisition and retention.

Carter joins the retailer from his role as CMO of online estate agent Purplebricks, a position he assumed in November 2020 after serving as managing director of Just Eat-owned B2B food delivery marketplace City Pantry.

A member of the Purplebricks executive team, Carter was appointed to drive the transformation of the brand and accelerate growth, retaining responsibility for marketing, customer, pricing and brand strategy.

In September the online estate agent launched its biggest brand campaign for five years, fronted by TV personality and comedian Mo Gilligan. Speaking to Marketing Week at the time, Carter explained Purplebricks wanted to go live with a “very confident platform” to engage potential consumers and enable the brand to become part of the broader national conversation.

Since joining the business, Carter has been looking to tackle misconceptions by revamping the price promise through the introduction of the Purplebricks money back guarantee, while also teaming up with ITV on the broadcaster’s first short-term product placement partnership linked to a Coronation Street storyline.

Realising the brand was “too focused on broadcast” Carter sought to broaden the channel mix, shifting “a lot” of investment from broadcast into performance-driving channels.

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Named one of Marketing Week’s Top 100 Most Effective Marketers in 2021, Carter spent almost five years in senior marketing roles at Just Eat prior to joining Purplebricks, including as global director of restaurants and strategic partnerships. He joined Just Eat in 2016 from his role as marketing director at Notonthehighstreet, which was preceded by the position of digital director at Betfair.

Carter’s appointment at Dunelm follows a period of “strong growth” for the retailer, particularly through its digital channels. The business is focused on attracting more customers to the brand and increasing their purchase frequency, utilising digital content and performance marketing, while also offering more choice and greater convenience.

Part of this push has seen Dunelm hit screens in October with its ‘Dun Your Way’ TV campaign, encouraging customers to defy expectations when it comes to styling their homes.

“This is a really exciting time to be joining Dunelm and I am very much looking forward to working with the team and developing our strategy to expand and grow the Dunelm brand and proposition to enable us to reach more customers,” says Carter.

Calling out Carter’s “significant digital and brand experience”, Wilkinson notes the “exciting opportunities for continued innovation and investment” that come from uniting physical and online retail across the Dunelm business.

“We can maximise these opportunities by continuing to adapt at pace, embrace new capabilities and bringing in more diversity of skills and experience to achieve our purpose,” Wilkinson adds.

Carter’s replacement at Purplebricks is former O2 marketer Ian Cafferky, who will join the business in February from his interim role as chief marketing and communications officer at SailGP.