Seeking to both stem its losses and reassert its position in the retail industry, Macy’s is rethinking its approach to both marketing and promotions. The retail giant is cutting back on its sea of coupons, sales and discounts in favor of seasonal sales, emphasizing digital platforms and retooling TV ad strategy to favor shorter and localized messages.
Those are just some of the changes unveiled by new chief marketing officer Richard Lennox, who joined the company last year to lead its turnaround.
Speaking at an investor conference, Lennox said the retail giant is changing its media plan, introducing a revamped loyalty program later this year to improve its position in the fashion ecosystem.
“The cornerstone of the new marketing model is a more effective and efficient use of our investment,” Lennox said, according to Ad Age. “If you like the brand, you will listen to the messaging.”
Macy’s is a top radio advertiser, although it is unclear how Lennox’s plans will impact the brand’s radio marketing. In Q1 2017, Macy’s was the No. 11 overall radio advertiser, running 190,322 spots, according to tracking by Media Monitors for stations it covers. JC Penney was the only retailer to run more radio ads, ranking as the No. 5 advertiser with 303,176 spots, Media Monitors said.
Overall, Macy’s spent $591 million on measured media in the U.S. last year, down 18% from 2015, according to Kantar Media data, Ad Age said. The retailer has been working with Figliulo & Partners since 2016 and recently recruited agency veteran Jim Reath from BBDO New York to be its senior VP.
Like many retailers, Macy’s has been reeling from significant declines in sales as consumers opt to buy online and traffic declines at malls, where Macy’s is often an anchor retailer. In its most recent quarter, Macy’s listed a same-store sales drop of 4.6% and a 39% decline in net income, and Amazon is expected to soon dethrone Macy’s as the No. 1 clothing seller in the U.S., Ad Age said.
As it repositions the brand, Lennox plans to create a new ad campaign shot in Mexico that will have an emotional tone and show off an improved Macy’s product line-up, Ad Age said. The company also planned to introduce a loyalty program open to any shopper, not just those with a Macy’s card. By joining the club, shoppers would get access to sales, coupons and promotions, which would be organized in their profile.
“The idea is not to pull back on promotions, it’s to make sure the different species of promotions we run are clear and distinct—one-day sales aimed at deal hunters, or friends and family aimed at fashion spending,” said Lennox.
Macy’s also plans to improve some of its digital extensions, such as the option to purchase online, and pick up in-store or at a physical location. “We’re committed to getting double-digit growth online,” Macy’s CEO and president Jeff Gennette said, according to Ad Age. “All things are on the table with respect to keeping the digital growth going.”