Macy's transformation

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Martine Reardon, CMO of Macy's
Martine Reardon, CMO of Macy's

The company's embrace of digital channels has streamlined nicely with this fashion and entertainment focus. This spring, Macy's will be launching a tribute to Brazil, creating several in-store shops to showcase the style, music, art and design of the country, including a major party to launch the event, featuring Brazilian stars and live streaming across the country.

The retailer is also using the events as a way to attract domestic and international tourists, encouraging visitors to go to the company's site to plan a customized personal trip, and download a Savings Pass Voucher good for a 10% discount for out-of- state or out-of-country visitors.

Online, Macy's mstylelab site offers an online destination specifically for teens. The microsite features fashion trend videos and online shopping. It also includes m.mix, where visitors can find information about new bands, music downloads, events and the Web series Wendy, which ran last year.

The live streaming effort, allowing in-store events to be seen online as well as in other Macy's stores, was launched in September of last year for New York's Fashion's Night Out with 14 different cameras filming the Herald Square flagship, compiling roughly an hour-and-a-half performance of music and entertainment.


At the center of all of these marketing efforts, Macy's puts particular focus on gathering data and learning about its customers. Macy's boasts a customer database of more than 30 million households, many of which have been shopping with Macy's for years.

This allows for an exceptional level of tailoring of the company's messages. During the National Retail Federation's Big Show in mid-January of this year, Macy's Sachse described how the company personalized its materials to the point that it might send out 500,000 unique versions of a single direct mail catalog.

“If you think about a 32-page or a 64-page book, my book might look very different from [someone else's],” Reardon says. “I'm not such a great homemaker, but I am a cosmetic, shoe and jewelry person, so what you might see in my book would be all of those categories,” she explains.

This data mining is aided by the analytics company dunnhumbyUSA, which Macy's has worked with for the past three years, particularly on the My Macy's localizing efforts.

“With a business this size, the data they have on their customers is mind-boggling,” Capeci says. “They're one-to-one marketing.”

While Macy's had been doing this with direct mail, it has now launched it in the digital space as well, under “Intelligent Display.” Macy's can track what customers browse on the company website, what categories they are most interested in, then have a display ad in that category appear as they are browsing on another site.

“We know she looked at something. There was a category she loved. She wanted to look at a watch, maybe she didn't buy it that minute because she had to go and do something else, so we'll remind her, ‘You know you liked this watch,'” Reardon says. “The more that we can learn about her, the better off she is, because now we're giving her the things that are important to her.”

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