Fifth & Pacific Companies, Inc. CEO Bill McComb On Why the Customer-as-CMO is Great

Nordstrom iPad app

Nordstrom is among the retailers McComb cites for its successful bridging of the gap between mobile and brick-and-mortar sales.

Bill McComb, the CEO of Fifth & Pacific Companies, Inc., believes that consumers becoming the new, de facto Chief Marketing Officers for brands and retailers is a wonderful thing.  If that sounds odd, fret not — McComb makes crystal clear the benefits that companies have already, and can continue, to reap from this paradigm shift.

Before you can take advantage of this fact, though, acknowledge that the shopper is now in charge — they decide where to buy, whether it’s from a tablet or at a store, how to compare prices, and in what ways they’ll interact with your brand over social media.  Now you, the retailer, just need to innovate to accommodate these habits and practices.  If you approach it the right way, McComb notes, you might even have some fun while you’re at it.

McComb offers four tenets to get the job done: seamlessly offer your brand across all channels (in both brick-and-mortar form and online), integrate and train your sales associates to be able to digitally access all aspects of your brand (that includes all products and media) for your customers, and give those customers essentially equal access to your products (both in and out of season) as the salesforce.

In particular, this last point is where McComb sees a real chance for excitement and engagement.  A great example is the recent partnership between Kate Spade Saturday (which is owned by Fifth & Pacific Companies, Inc.) and eBay, which produced eye-catching outdoor virtual stores in downtown Manhattan.  It’s 2013, and if customers want to shop off a wall as they stroll through their city, why not make that possible for them?


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