This article is part of CMO.com’s November series about commerce and consumerism. Click here for more.
For this week’s episode of “Marketing Today,” I spoke with Douglas Zarkin (@DougZarkin), who has been vice president and CMO at Pearle Vision since 2012. Under Zarkin’s leadership, Pearle—one of the largest optical retailers in North America—won Effies in the Health Care Services category in 2015 and 2016. And in 2017, Zarkin and his team took home a Silver Clio for Pearle’s “Small Moments” equity campaign.
During our conversation, Zarkin touched on his drive to impact the trajectory at the companies he works for, the difference between the “need to haves” and the “nice to haves,” and how, despite the fact Amazon has a lot of retailers shaking in their boots, it’s the marketers willing to face that acid test who will succeed.
“Amazon is not a retail killer,” Zarkin said. “Amazon is basically a mirror that any brand that is doing a mediocre job meeting the emotional and rational needs of a consumer needs to be looking at themselves through.”
Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:
- How Zarkin came to understand the power of truly applying yourself. (1:34)
- It’s true: Zarkin was an Avon Lady. (3:29)
- In Zarkin’s words: “Retail is not dead—bad retail is dead.” (5:22)
- For Zarkin, it’s not that happy employees mean happy customers. It’s that valued employees mean valued customers. (6:53)
- Pearle Vision’s Effie and Clio success. (8:55)
- Why geotargeting is effective and efficient. (10:42)
- The right way to use digital and big data. (15:34)
- Delivering the marketing narrative. (19:36)
- Zarkin’s admiration for the NFL brand. (21:02)