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Inspiration

2020 Retail Change Agent Spotlight: Q&A with Tim Ellmann, Jockey

By Sharon Shapiro

The 2020 Retail Change Agent Award honors 10 retail marketers who have successfully advocated for change within their organizations and tied those efforts to positive business results.

Today, we’re excited to spotlight one of the winners, Tim Ellmann, Manager, Email Marketing at Jockey.

Tim Ellmann, Hammacher SchlemmerTim was selected as a 2020 Retail Change Agent for his efforts to continuously find new ways to expand and optimize Jockey’s already mature email marketing program. For Tim, this effort involves keeping an open mind about new opportunities and never resting on past successes. Additionally, Tim has led such effective change within his organization by taking a test-and-learn approach to fully understand what works (and what doesn’t) and then let the data speak for itself. 

Sharon Shapiro: Tell us about your role at Jockey.

Tim Ellmann: I am the Manager, Email Marketing for Jockey.com. If you’re a fan of riding figurative “waves,” the email world at Jockey definitely provides some pretty epic ones. I manage Jockey’s full email and trigger based programs, while also optimizing our email list with the most relevant messaging.

SS: What are you most proud of in your work with Jockey?

TE: Growing our email business into an integral part of our company. Working with a great group of designers that execute our brand message and a leadership team that understands and backs our approach to email is also inspiring. Honestly, I’m just proud to be a part of Jockey’s rich history.

SS: How do you think marketing tech and email are evolving, and how do you expect those changes to affect your role?

TE: If you attended email marketing conferences five years ago, common themes were “is email dying” and “how can we save email?” Flash forward to today, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. Consumers rely heavily on email messaging from their favorite brands, whether it be window shopping, product launches or even brand awareness. 

It is up to us as marketers to keep our subscriber list engaged with our brand and email is key in doing so. We must continue with personalization, relevant messaging and informed sends so we can maintain our complete list and drive continued growth. All of these factors play an everyday feature in my role.

SS: How do you get buy-in from leadership and your peers to make changes? For example, your efforts to help optimize Jockey’s email program.

TE: Extensive and continued testing throughout all campaigns is critical. As I mentioned earlier, the email world is a wave of change and opportunities. The key way to navigate these waters is by testing and retesting. With the comprehensive data this testing will help you collect, it’s hard for leadership to ignore results. There will be wins and there will be losses, but as long as you continue executing based on those results, the easier it is to get buy-in from leadership.

Tim is a Data Guru Change Agent. What type of change agent are you? Take the quiz to find out!

SS: What is your top priority for the coming year?

TE: My top priority is email list growth. But not just adding emails to our list for the sake of adding them. The key is to add quality emails — ones that we can count on to grow with our brand. Along with that, another top priority is continued optimization of our current email list.

SS: What is your advice to other marketers looking to enact change in their organizations?

TE: Don’t settle. Many times in the email world I’ve heard “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But that’s completely false. Email can always be better, and this circles back to testing. I’ve heard: “Wow, our abandon cart campaigns are doing phenomenal!” and they could be, but there are always ways we can optimize them further. For example, are we cross-selling with other categories to help grow our brand? Are we engaging our consumers?

On top of that, it’s essential to pay attention to the consumers of your brand because they will tell you if you are truly “innovative” or “exciting” like so many brands claim to be. Without them, there is no brand.

More Lessons from the 2020 Retail Change Agents

Ready to take a deeper dive into what the 2020 Retail Change Agent Award winners accomplished and how you can enact similar change in your organization?

Download our eBook highlighting the award winners to learn more and get actionable tips for leading your own change effort.

Sharon Shapiro

Sharon Shapiro

Sharon leads Bluecore's content marketing program, collaborating with top retailers and strategists to highlight the latest trends in retail marketing, spotlight industry leaders and share advice on how marketers can stay ahead of the curve. An experienced story teller, she has spent her career building content marketing programs for B2B SaaS companies. Sharon has had works featured in MarketingProfs and Content Science Review..