Neiman Marcus found its new marketer across town at Fossil

Steve’s breakdown: Carrie M. Fisher will be responsible for the marketing and creative organizations for Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and Last Call.

DALLAS, TX: Neiman Marcus has named a new chief marketing officer, a key job in retailing responsible for talking to today’s all-knowing customer.

The Dallas-based luxury retailer said Friday that Carrie M. Fisher has been named senior vice president and CMO of Neiman Marcus Group.

Fisher starts on Oct. 3 and won’t have to travel far.  She comes from Fossil Group where she held the same titles at the Richardson-based fashion watch and accessories maker. At Fossil, she directed the company’s portfolio of brands across stores, wholesale, online and off-price outlets.  She will be responsible for the marketing and creative organizations for Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and Last Call.

It’s been a tough year for chief marketing officers. Several big retailers have hired new people to the post. Communicating to shoppers, who are increasingly doing their own homework on line, has made the top marketing job a hard gig and as important as it’s ever been.

The massive changes happening in retailing have made it less about the merchandise and more about engaging with the customer, said Maryam Morse, lead in Korn Ferry‘s consumer consulting business.

Retailing is more about creating an experience and more of that is falling on the chief marketing officer, Morse said. “The chief marketing officer is now in charge of brand equity and customer experience.”

She thinks retailers will be looking more to consumer products companies for that expertise. “They’re brand stewards. Who does that better?”

Macy’s, Nordstrom, Kohl’s and Target have had top marketing departures.  This month, Target’s CMO Jeff Jones was poached by Uber to become president of the ridesharing company. Jones is responsible for Uber’s operations, marketing and customer support globally.

Macy’s new CMO is Richard Lennox came to the department store chain from Toys R Us. Before joining Toys R Us he was chief marketing officer at the former Irving-based Zale Corp. and part of the team that turned around the jeweler before it was sold to rival Signet Jewelers. He replaced Martine Reardon, who left Macy’s in May after 32 years.

Nordstrom named a 31-year veteran of the Seattle-based department store, Scott Meden, to be executive vice president and chief marketing officer. He replaced Brian Dennehy in July. Kohl’s executive vice president of marketing Will Setliff resigned in April after two years with the Wisconsin-based retailer. He picked up the sponsorship of the Academy Awards broadcast after J.C. Penney dropped it.

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