Posted by Jon Gelberg on 19 June 2013
Macy’s Chief Marketing Officer Martine Reardon doesn’t mince words when it comes to the impact of digital in her world.
“Digital is the most powerful disruption to hit retail in 50 years,” she told the audience during her recent keynote speech at Integrated Marketing Week.
Under Reardon’s leadership, Macy’s has pulled off the remarkable feat of not only embracing and mastering digital, but adding digital to the Macy’s traditional marketing efforts and finding creative synergies between digital and traditional.
Macy’s approach to marketing, Reardon said, is “omnichannel.”
When she says “omnichannel,” Reardon means it. Macy’s laundry list of marketing and advertising platforms includes television, magazines, newspapers, outdoor (everything from billboards to busses), social, desktop, tablet, smartphone, flyers and catalogs.
“Wherever our customer is, that’s where we’ll be,” she said. “We are media agnostic. I don't care where our customer comes in, either way they are engaging with the Macy's brand.”
All of these marketing efforts have generated volumes of powerful data.
“We have really rich data,” Reardon said. “Data really informs our decisions. We rarely make a decision without thinking about the customer. We use that data in one real time cloud that helps us offer more relevant content to our customer.”
Not only are they looking at data, they have an analytics team dedicated to quickly get to 'now what' decisions.
Among the things they’ve discovered is that their customers are regular people, not exactly trendsetters, but people who care about style and are looking to be influenced.
While those are the similarities, data mining has shown Macy’s that there are very different tastes in clothes depending on where you are in the country. What wasn’t surprising was that people in Texas liked brighter colors. What was shocking, though, was the taste of people in San Diego.
“San Diego was all about black, black, black,” Reardon said. “We would expect that in New York, but with all the sunshine in San Diego? We never would have guessed it, but the data showed it.”
In social media, Macy’s is extremely active with more than 13 million “Likes” on Facebook and more than 190,000 followers on Twitter.
For their in-store experience, Macy’s created the “Backstage Pass” program, where users snap QR codes in different departments and instantly get expert advice from Macy’s celebrity partners.
Macy's has long been a leader in event marketing, including the iconic Thanksgiving Day Parade and the massive Fourth of July Fireworks Show.
Most recently, Macy’s is getting into the entertainment business with “Fashion Star,” a reality series and a comedy series currently in production.
Reardon said her marketing team, like much of the rest of the world, is focusing heavily on mobile. Those who are not thinking about mobile will not survive.
“It's a mobile, mobile, mobile world,” she said. “When we started in the digital space, we focused on desktop. Now, we start with the mobile device and then branch out to other devices.”