Over your 30-year career at Macy’s, how did retail marketing transform?
MR: Marketing plays a major role in how the consumer makes their choice about where to shop. Marketers are placing more emphasis on innovation and improving the customer journey than ever before. What was once a print driven industry for marketers has now transformed into a digital and data dominated environment. Increasingly, marketers are using Mobile, Social Platforms and Influencers to deliver marketing messages vs. static traditional advertising.
Marketing is more consumer-centric than ever before thanks to the use of data. We now make decisions about what to market and where to place marketing based on the consumer. Data is also vital to improving the effectiveness and efficiency of marketing, driving ROI.
Retailers are under more pressure than ever before. What are the greatest challenges facing the industry today?
MR: The greatest challenge for retailers today is the amount of choice a consumer has. The competitive landscape in retail has increased exponentially with fierce competitors like Amazon and Off Price. Retailers need to figure out how to compete and be better than them. The consumer must be at the center of every decision a retailer makes and as their needs change, retailers must adapt quickly to keep up and stay ahead of consumer demands or risk losing them.
In addition, another challenge facing the industry is understanding the importance of mobile in easing/improving the shopping and purchasing experience.
And last but not least, how do you stop people from thinking that retail is dead? We must change the narrative on this.
What advice do you have for retail leaders looking to leverage digital technology?
MR: Be fast! Invest in it.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and innovate with new tech. Digital tools help retailers to personalize the consumer experience, surprising and delighting the consumer. For example, new technology can improve the ease and speed of a transaction, delighting the consumer whilst increasing conversion.
You recently join NRF to serve as a Senior Strategic Advisor. What do you think is likely to be the next big disruption for retail marketing?
MR: There are several trends I’m keeping an eye on. Firstly, the use of Artificial Intelligence to predict and personalize marketing messages. Innovations in Augmented and Virtual Reality are changing the consumer experience. I also believe Mobile and Social shopping will continue to disrupt the space so it is important to continue to invest and innovate around this.
Visual Recognition is an incoming trend that I am also looking at.
“Phygital” is a huge topic at Digital Retail Transformation Assembly. What advice do you have for brands looking to bridge the gap between the digital and physical worlds?
MR: You have no choice but to embrace this concept and think of digital and physical as one. Those that do, will win with the customer.
What technology are you keeping an eye on?
MR: Artificial Intelligence and machine learning, mobile and social commerce technology, and visual recognition.
With only a few weeks until you keynote the Digital Retail Transformation Assembly, can you tell us what you’re looking forward to discussing at the event?
MR: I am looking forward to discussing what retailers are doing to transform the shopping experience both in store and online to make more exciting and gratifying experiences for the consumer.
What do you see as the benefits for C-Level executives attending an event like ours?
MR: The benefit for C-Level executives is to interact, network and learn from each other. They will find that they are all struggling with the same issues regardless of their industry. Great minds can work together to find solutions to transform and innovate the retail business to make it the most exciting and thriving industry in the world.
You speak at multiple events, what stood out to you about the Digital Retail and Digital Marketing Transformation Assemblies and encouraged you to attend as the Keynote Speaker?
MR: Retail Transformation is a very important subject that I think about every day. Digital plays a very important role in transforming retail and the consumer experience so to be speaking at this conference and meeting some of the best minds in the industry is very exciting for me.
Thanks to Martine for joining us on the Digital Diary.
DIGITAL RETAIL & DIGITAL MARKETING ASSEMBLIES
There is still time to join us at the Digital Retail & Digital Marketing Assemblies featuring Keynote Speaker Martine Reardon, Former CMO Macy’s and Current Founder & CEO at Reardon Consulting, and Senior Strategic Advisor at NRF.
Martine Reardon is best known for leading the multi-faceted world of marketing at Macy’s, from 2012 through 2016. In her role at Macy’s, she captained the company’s 1,300-person marketing organization, including advertising, creative, and brand development, social, mobile and digital media, public relations, cause marketing, media planning and consumer insights for more than 800 stores and macys.com, the sixth largest internet business in the country.
Brendan Witcher, Principal Analyst, Forrester, will be interviewing Martine during the Keynote Fireside Chat. Event attendees are already submitting their questions! Sign-up today for the chance to ask yours.
It could not be easier to sign-up! Simply, visit the website for more information >