Our Digital Marketing Strategy — in conversation with Julie Roehm

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Julie Roehm, Chief Marketing and Experience Officer at Party City, was a guest at the High Stakes Forum, a series of webinars organized by the C-Suite Network. Throughout her career, Julie has held challenging leadership positions and has successfully transformed the way organizations think about and engage with their customers. Julie has a track record for innovation, collaboration, and driving great results.

Jeffrey Hayzlett, the CEO of the Network, and Julie discussed several topics relating to current-day business challenges. One of the topics they discussed was about Party City’s digital marketing strategy.

You can listen to Julie’s response, or you can read it here.

Julie, how would you describe your digital marketing strategy?

“One of the significant opportunities for growth at Party City is our online shopping experience. For those of you who have shopped with us before, I would tell you that we’re incrementally better now, although our online customer experience leaves much to be desired. We’ve got to move from being what I would call a catalog shopping experience to an aspirational and inspirational experience. We are making strides, but there’s still a ton of work to do on the back end.

“A lot of our digital effort, to answer your question specifically, has been focused on pulling back what’s been happening on our website. We are dialing back to discussing and defining: what is our strategy? And what are our KPIs to know that we’re delivering on them? We’ve got the typical KPIs that you would expect, but we also have these higher-level KPIs. Our internal focus is on ‘making it EASY,’ ‘customer first,’ ‘people matter,’ and ‘celebrate.’ But how do I know that you as a customer believe or experience that? So, we’re creating a customer effort score (CES), which is different from a customer satisfaction index.

“As a customer, it’s more important whether or not the process was easy versus merely saying yes or no to a checklist of functions — so, was it easy to find what you wanted? Do you trust us to get you what you need and to help you be successful at this super important event in your life, or your family’s life, or your friend’s life? Were we able to create joy for you?”

“Having been in this marketing world for a long time, I have found that digital strategy is not only super important, it’s also more challenging because of the myriad of vendors and technologies, which can send you down a series of rabbit holes. We must have guardrails in place that allow us to focus and to understand what it is we’re here to do, what role we play. We are in the process, right now, of cleaning that up, reformulating, and resetting. We’re making incremental improvements, and we’ve still got a lot to do — it is our central focus.”

“It’s essential in every aspect of what we do, even when we talk about BOPAC (buy online, pick up at curbside), which is our new buy online pick-up at the curb, or SDD/same-day delivery. A lot of these shopping experiences originate online. Even if one ends up at the store, their experience probably began online, which is why it is extra important. Why? Because that might be the only place where we interact with you since you’ll be picking up your products at the curb.”

Thank you for sharing, Julie. It’s interesting to learn more about your approach to digital marketing.

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