Macy' Trickle-Down Effect Of Bad Search Strategy

Optimize & Prophesize , Wednesday, May 28, 2008 12:45 PM
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In a recent Wall Street Journal interview, Macy's CMO and Chairman of the online division Peter Sachse gave a vague response to the question of how the retail giant was measuring the effectiveness of its search marketing efforts.

"It's not as precise as we would like it to be," Sachse said. Then he used the example of a shopper searching for "perfume," and said that Macy's could track back to search if the consumer bought it online, but not if they'd actually come into the store.

His ambiguity sparked Jonathan Mendez' curiosity--after all, shouldn't the head of marketing (and online marketing at that) for a shopping behemoth have a better understanding of how to leverage search analytics?

So Mendez did a dive into Macy's' search strategy, taking Sachse's example of the word "perfume," and found that the retail giant dropped the ball in a number of areas. First off, Macy's didn't even bid on the term "perfume"--which seems like a no-brainer, nor did the store seem to be bidding on its own branded keywords. And a trip to Macy' in search of perfume turned up a "server busy" page, as well as errors in the tracking and analytics source code.

"According to the interview it seems Mr. Sachse is pouring millions of dollars into online marketing initiatives yet Macy's doesn't even have the basics down," Mendez says. "You can build a beautiful house but if it's on a poor foundation eventually it will crumble."

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