Tradition, Innovation and the Samba at Macy’s

Marketing Masters with Martine Reardon

In our latest installment of Marketing Masters, we spoke to Martine Reardon, the new Chief Marketing Officer of Macy’s, to find out more about the retail giant’s brand’s past, present and future.

In her role at Macy’s, Martine Reardon is charged with guiding an iconic American brand into the future. It’s a big responsibility, but it’s also a job that feels like “being a kid in a candy store.”

“I almost feel like I should be paying Macy’s to do this job because it is so much fun,” says Reardon. “It’s got a great deal of history, but it is also the brand of today. It’s very progressive and very fashion forward so it’s got a great mix of nostalgia and of what’s to come.”

You probably already know that hundreds of thousands of people come to meet Santa Claus at Macy’s Herald Square each December and that millions more watch the legendary Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and July 4th fireworks display. But you might be less familiar with the groundbreaking work that Macy’s has been doing with technology and social media.

Macy’s has over 5.4 million likes on Facebook and has been infusing mobile technology into its in-store experience. Sales to its hallmark web sites is up dramatically this year and it’s done a remarkable job of making the brand’s marquee initiatives resonate to new customers.

The company is also in the midst of launching a groundbreaking marketing campaign that will highlight the music and fashion of Brazil while raising money to benefit the Amazon’s rain forest.

But even as it brings a new global sensibility to its marketing, Macy’s manages the delicate mix between national and local. “It is quite a balancing act. It is really important for us to stay very connected to the local community,” she says, citing the example of the Kentucky Derby where Macy’s will bring in derby hats to Kentucky stores, but not necessarily offer those hats in New York’s Herald Square flagship store.

And local radio is a really important part of the Macy’s communication mix during such targeted efforts. “Radio is a part of every event that we do in some way, shape or form,” she says. “More times than not it’s the combination of national and local,” where radio can really make a difference.