Q&A: Mark Krebs, VP of marketing, Kirkland's

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Mark Krebs
Mark Krebs

Mark Krebs, VP of marketing at Kirkland's, discusses his company's integrated marketing media mix.

Q: As a specialty retailer, what does Kirkland's integrated 
marketing media mix look like?

A: We've moved completely away from what I would [call] traditional marketing. We do not do any direct mail anymore. We focus completely on email, and we've built our email list to be almost three times the size it was back in 2008. 

Q: What else does your marketing entail besides email? 

A: We use Facebook primarily from a promotional standpoint, telling people what's going on in our stores, and what's going on with merchandise and promotions. MyKirkland's [the community site] is really more about learning. We have our customers who are very passionate about decorating come and learn. We have designers there that are able to answer their questions and provide quick tips. Our e-commerce site is like a bookstore.

Q: What did you learn from last year's holiday campaign that will inform this year's?

A: The key is going to be around store selling. The focus is to drive traffic and customer acquisition, because we know there are a lot of customers that come during the 
holiday time period, primarily for gift-shopping and seasonal purchases, that we don't necessarily see in the first half of the year. 

Q: Is that why email had such prominence last year? 

A: Correct. When we acquired those new customers, we only lost roughly 7% of the customers that were acquired.

Q: Other than email and social media, what channels will you be using for the holiday campaign?

A: The only other piece is our mobile strategy. That would be the other component, but the size of that component is very small in comparison to Facebook 
or email.

Q: How will you be using mobile?

A: Mobile is used primarily to talk about our promotions.

Q: Will you be running mobile display ads?

A: No, not at this time. The piece we're working on is geotargeting. If you're driving by a Kirkland's, we'll be able to send you [an SMS] message. Other than that, we're trying to build the mobile list and allow that group to know the promotions that are going on in the stores. 

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