Will a New Marketing Chief Take Sears in a Digital Direction?
Sears, similar to most brick and mortar retailers, has traditionally
made the marketing case for shopping in its stores primarily through traditional
print and broadcast media. But, will all that change now that the company has
hired a digital expert to run its marketing operations?
This week, Sears Holdings
announced it had hired David Friedman, most recently president-Americas at
Razorfish, to run marketing at the company’s Kmart and Sears units.
"What’s intriguing in my view is that a company like Sears, which has
invested so much into offline marketing over the years, tapped someone from
a digital agency," one unnamed industry executive told Advertising
sense is that Dave is going to inject a strong dose of digital savvy, especially
helping Sears integrate its in-store experience with digital platforms like
Bruce Johnson, interim CEO and president of Sears Holdings,
said in a press release, that Mr. Friedman "brings to our company a proven
track record of assisting numerous retail and consumer organizations in building
strong brands through focused digital, online and in-store customer experiences.
Under his leadership, Sears Holdings will have the opportunity to enhance marketing
efforts for engagement programs that give customers more reasons to shop with
us everyday, such as Shop Your Way Rewards, Layaway and Sears Chef Challenge."
Friedman, who will have the title of senior vice president and president, marketing,
will start with the company on Sept. 13. He is the third head of marketing
at Sears Holdings since Edward Lampert, the company’s chairman, took control
in 2005. As a Chicago Tribune article pointed out, Mr. Lampert
has been cutting back on capital investments in stores and redirecting more
dollars to online for both Sears and Kmart.
Discussion Question: Do you expect the marketing at Kmart and Sears to
go in a dramatically different direction under David Friedman? What words
of advice do you have for Mr. Friedman?
- Sears Holdings Taps Razorfish Alum – Advertising Age
Holdings Names Marketing President – Sears Holdings/PRNewswire-FirstCall
- Sears Hires Top Marketing Exec David Friedman – Chicago Tribune