City Tour Thought Leadership Series: Claire Gordon

Jim Young

Bronto’s City Tour has already visited London and New York City and is on its way to Los Angeles on Thursday. As we make our global trek (Sydney will be our fourth and final stop in November), we’re highlighting the commerce marketing expertise of our speakers and participants.

Claire GordonToday we talk with Claire Gordon, VP of Marketing at Smith & Noble, the Southern California-based manufacture-direct window treatment company. Claire will be part of the commerce marketing panel at City Tour Los Angeles.

What do you see as the future role of email in commerce marketing?

We’re going to continue to leverage data and technology to deliver more relevant, personal emails that will drive conversion, sending the right message at the right time. People have talked about this idea for years, but I don’t see it done very well out there.

It’s less of a data/tech question than it is a marketing one. Assuming you have the right products and services to offer, what is the best sequence of messages to get a conversion? Especially at Smith & Noble, where the products are expensive and somewhat more difficult to purchase, people have lots of reasons to put off buying. So what do I, as a marketer, need to do to get them to give us their money?

What do you think of the revenue-generating capability of social media platforms?

For us, social media is very much a top-of-funnel driver. It’s not a big revenue generator. That said, I think it works very well for awareness and engagement, since media is more fragmented than it used to be. Done well, it’s a great way to build your brand and bring new people to it. For some categories, I do think it can be a revenue generator.

What will be the biggest breakthrough in omnichannel marketing in 2016?

I don’t know if there’s really a breakthrough idea as much as there will be breakthroughs in finally getting omnichannel on the road to completion.

We know what to do – we just have to muster the resources and the skills to do it right. By now, everyone should understand that people will shop with smartphone in hand, look at your website and then come to your store, and so forth. People shop where and when they want to shop, and channels are additive – online enhances in-store, and vice versa. It is not and should not be a contest for sales dollars.

We have an in-home channel, but we also take orders by phone and online. We are always thinking about how to make the experiences consistent and deliberately push our salespeople to use the online tools we build for them. We want the customer to buy where she is comfortable and don’t care where the dollars come in.

I think most people do get that, but for various reasons, they have not executed. For example, it is ridiculous that some very large retailers still do not offer in-store pickup or returns.

Want to learn more about the best and brightest in commerce marketing? Join us for the City Tour event nearest you. And keep checking the blog for more posts from this series. In the meantime, you can find a collection of other recently published Q&As here.

To learn more about Smith & Noble, visit their website.