8:37am : Thursdays are usually heavy advertising days. Today is no exception. Normally, my DMM (divisional merchandise manager – a senior management level position in charge of major categories underneath their GMM. For instance, mine oversees 2 divisions – tailored clothing and shoes) holds staff meetings at 10am on Thursdays to review the past week’s business and go over upcoming projects that need to be completed. The buying teams for both divisions attend and then afterwards, the 4 buyers and the tailored clothing and shoe captains for the next ad that’s scheduled to style out to the GMM stay behind to discuss initial offers. Really, it’s like another styleout. Our marketing director and manager join us as well, providing direction regarding the overall concept of the ad. The captains present their division’s preliminary ideas to the DMM, walking him through initial offer proposals and sample selection. Since we’re scheduled to look at one of my ads today, I get in a little early to make sure I have everything ready before the staff meeting.
I went over offers with my buyer as well as the other buyer in my division, who is in charge of sportcoats, dress pants, overcoats, and raincoats, yesterday. When brainstorming offers, we consider several things. First, we look at the layout that our area has been assigned by Marketing. Usually, the layout will depend greatly on how your area performed in the same event last year. If you did well, you may be allocated more space. However, in this case, our allocation is flat to last year. Next, we take a look at what we’ve advertised recently leading up to the event to avoid repeating an offer we’ve just done. Then finally, we take into account any themes or specific guidelines provided by Marketing for the event. We came up with preliminary offers last night, so now I just need to grab the samples we decided we wanted to show as well as calculate sales projections.
11:43am : Meeting went okay. My DMM liked one offer, but criticized the other for being projected to do too little business compared against the performance of the offers that we had advertised last year. In fact, he feels so strongly that we should not only match, but surpass last year’s sales that he is appealing to our marketing director and GMM for more space. During our meeting, I explained that the lower sales projection was due to the fact that we’re probably going to own less stock this year at the same point in the season. The challenge back was either to include additional brands or continue tweaking the offer before styleout on Monday in order to raise the volume projection. I’ll get back to looking at that later, though.
Right now, I have to switch gears to another advertising task. Thursday afternoons at 2:30pm, the vicious advertising cycle sort of comes to an end in that whichever was the last ad to style out to Jeff Gennette and Martine Reardon is finalized when it’s presented to Marketing, Copy, and Traffic. Similar to TV turn-in, the assistant buyers must attend print ad presentations on Thursdays to explain their department’s offers to the copy writers so that all the wording will appear correctly. Traffic is present to confirm that samples have been turned in to be photographed and Marketing attends to oversee the whole process. Before the meeting, I must fill in all my department’s offers into an online ad presentation grid that lists the details of our offers as well as the merchandise we have chosen to shoot. I complete this now so that I’ll have time to print copies for the meeting and grab some lunch before presentations.