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3 Questions with Weyco Group's VP of Marketing (Inflation, Logistics, & D2C)


The current climate for marketers is, to put it lightly, incredibly complex. Consumer demand is through the roof, but so are customer acquisition costs and the challenges that have come with rising commodity costs and logistics challenges.

Jeff Douglass is currently addressing these challenges head on as the current Vice President of Marketing at Weyco Group. Weyco owns footwear brands like Stacy Adams, Florsheim, and BOGS to name a few, so Jeff has a firm pulse on the current state of direct-to-consumer in light of the challenges.

To survive and thrive through these unique circumstances, Jeff says marketers will need…

  • TONS of content to optimize and personalize customer journeys

  • Dedicated, even fanatical first-party communities to drive up LTV

  • To take full advantage of buyer intent right when it’s displayed

Jeff recently joined us on the Reel It In podcast to share his unique perspective. Here are 3 of Jeff’s takes from the episode:

Cohley: If a marketer is listening to this and in the unfortunate circumstance of having some of their most popular items out of stock (with no real direct line of sight on when they'll be able to restock those shipments) - what would you recommend to that marketer?

Jeff Douglass: Consumers will continue to become increasingly open to substitutes. If a person can’t find that product they knew was going to be the perfect fit and it's not there anymore, they’ll move to the competing option that’s readily available. Marketers will be asking, “How do I defend my space? How do I connect with people to make them feel better about the unavailability of certain products?” They’ll want to have some systems in place, whether it's near real-time or on the website, t to say, “Hey, we don't have this right now, but check out this.”

Cohley: Customer acquisition costs have certainly gone up within media. On top of that, the death of the 3rd-party cookie is coming at some point. To address those challenges, we're hearing a lot of our clients talk about the importance of loyalty programs in trying to maximize LTV. What are your thoughts there?

Jeff Douglass: Those acquisition costs can only rise so much before your contributing margin goes to zero. No smart marketer is in the business of breaking even or losing money. They’re in the business of making money. So the savvy marketers will get creative and quickly transform the way that their tech stack works to be able to efficiently continue to market and drive value. You’ll start to see a lot more personalization within marketing messaging, all the way from email to SMS to community building.

Cohley: What specific strategies will the brands that come out of this unique period as ultimate winners employ? What will they have done better than their competitors?

Jeff Douglass: In the short term, the most nimble marketers that are able to connect with the right people at the right time will win. Being able to look at various channels with a keen eye and adequately answer questions like, “Are customers jumping ship? Where are they jumping ship to? How are we able to bring those people back?” will be vital in the short term. In the long term, the winners will be the marketers who really understand customer needs and are able to provide a digital experience that addresses those needs. Additionally, the marketers that really focus on conversion optimization will likely be the winners. Not only in acquiring new customers, but also in nurturing past customers to come back.

Listen to the full episode of Reel It In with Jeff from Weyco here.