Gap’s new CMO on what’s hot in retail and the rise of the female CMO: Marketer’s Brief Podcast
It may seem a little early for holiday marketing, but that’s not the case for Gap, according to Alegra O’Hare, who joined the 50-year-old brand earlier this year as chief marketing officer from Adidas. This year, the brand is taking a more emotional route with its anthem spot, which will not air on TV, unlike previous years.
“We did a lot of analysis, return on advertising spend, ROI, marketing effectiveness across the board,” she says on the latest edition of Ad Age’s Marketer’s Brief podcast. “Digital is the broader medium and it comes across as one of the highest performing so we decided this year to go all in.”
In addition to examining the channel mix, O’Hare has spent recent months building her team to make sure the next two months, the most crucial time period from a sales perspective for all retail brands and struggling ones in particular—like Gap—are successful.
“We’re really set up for success now,” says O’Hare.
But success doesn’t necessarily mean going all in on trends like same-day delivery, for example. One of Gap’s biggest goals, in addition to reconnecting with its core customer, is building new connections with younger generations, O’Hare says, noting that the group is “one of the most anxious and stressed out consumer bases” out there. Her role at Gap involves creating experiences in stores so that such consumers aren’t stuck indoors all the time and completely dependent on delivery.
O’Hare, who joined Gap in February, is one of a host of women taking on marketing leadership roles in recent months. According to a recent report from executive recruiting firm Russell Reynolds Associates, women represented 48 percent of marketing leadership appointments made in the first six months of 2019.
“There’s still a lot of work to do across the board, but that’s really encouraging,” says O’Hare.
Hear more on the podcast above.