Q&A: Aaron Shockey, VP of advertising and digital marketing, Neiman Marcus

Aaron Shockey, VP of advertising and digital marketing at Neiman Marcus, discusses the retailer’s online strategy. 

Q: What is your social strategy? Is it more about branding or making offers? ?

A: Social is central to what we do. We use it to engage customers and enthusiasts to establish our voice. We use social to reach out to provide insider access that a lot of people won’t get to. Social isn’t necessarily a driver of sales, but they can be engaged in social. If you compare it to something ?like paid search, you can’t ?draw those parallels. But ?engaging customers is ?really important.

Q: Is your e-commerce site geared more toward selling or branding??

A: Our site is focused on reducing friction for customers and enabling them to find what they came to shop for and check out. But our brand is paramount to everything we do. You’ll see that in emails, banner ads and on-site. We’re aware of the brand and how we’re communicating that to customers. You want to provide a seamless experience with brand top of mind.

Q: How important is direct mail, and is it still an effective channel??

A: We will continue with direct mail. It really resonates with consumers; they really respond to it. As long as we keep seeing those positive indicators, we’ll continue with it. People love having something come at home. We’re aware of our brand and creatively how we lay it out. It’s a beautiful experience and they love interacting with it in a ?tactile manner.

Q: How does Neiman Marcus generate customer loyalty? ?

A: We have a loyalty program called InCircle. Consumers accumulate points for purchases. We take that concept and it runs all year long, and from time to time we hold events where there are bonus point thresholds.

Q: Does Neiman Marcus work with ad agencies? Which ones and for what channels? ?

A: We have a social agency [we work with called] ?Morpheus Media. They ?help us with our social strategy, such as what we do on Facebook and Twitter. They also provide competitive information and help us with our roadmap for where we want to go.

Q: What is your mobile strategy??

A: We’ve tested quite a few different things. We have an iPhone app and a tablet app up on the iPad. We’re also up on Google Catalogs. We have a mobile site right now, optimized for all mobile devices. We’ll continue to look and follow the trends so that when people come to the site, we provide them with that experience to be able
to navigate what they want.

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