Lowe’s Companies has announced that Jocelyn Wong has been named chief marketing officer, effective immediately. She now reports to Michael McDermott, the home improvement retailer's chief customer officer, and succeeds previous CMO Marci Grebstein, who has left the company.
Wong, who had been senior vice president and general merchandising manager for the seasonal business at Lowe's, now oversees its integrated marketing and communications strategy, including efforts to create a seamless omnichannel customer experience. She also is charged with leading customer experience design, content strategy and development, customer relationship management, advertising and media.
Wong has been with Lowe’s since September 2015, and has more than 20 years of experience in marketing, merchandising, brand management and product innovation. Prior to joining Lowe’s, she served as senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Family Dollar.
This move comes just a few days after Lowe’s announced sweeping organizational changes, including the elimination of 2,400 jobs and the promotion of longtime employee Marshall Croom to the job of chief financial officer.
In making that announcement, Lowe’s talked about the cuts being driven by efforts to better align its staffing and productivity strategy with customer demands. Wong’s appointment similarly suggests Lowe’s is looking for some new energy in how it appeals to, approaches and interacts with customers. Though the home improvement sector has a positive outlook for 2017, Lowe’s may be taking the opportunity to go on the offensive to try to elevate its market position further, rather than just sit back and reap what a healthy market will provide for it.
The job cuts are unfortunate for those affected, but overall the changes, including new names at CMO and CFO, could prove to be just what Lowe's needs. Through its Lowe's Innovation Labs, the retailer has been pretty aggressive experimenting with new technology, including augmented reality and robotics. (We're looking forward to hearing more about the LoweBot's adventures in 2017.) The adventurous spirit for innovation could pair well with a new overall marketing approach.
Although, Wong at the end of the day may be judged more on her ability to turn Lowe's into an omnichannel experience machine for customers more than anything else.