Just 11% of Sears sales come from e-commerce. No surprise there. Smart retailers know that TV advertising drives interest and newspaper circulars drive traffic.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Sears Holdings Chief Executive Edward Lampert is on another page. He champions the use of digital marketing over traditional TV and print advertising, arguing that digital marketing is more cost-effective and quantifiable.
It’s an argument few CEOs are prepared to win, today. What is clearly quantifiable is how poorly online advertising works and how full of illegal activity the field currently is. Ad fraud is projected to cost brands $16.4 billion globally this year.
Nevertheless, the Kmart brand has been absent from national TV networks since Nov. 24, while Sears hasn’t run a paid national TV spot since Nov. 25—the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving. That compares with about $8.4 million the Sears brand spent on national TV ads in December last year, while the Kmart brand shelled out roughly $6.5 million during the same period.
Meanwhile, Macy’s shelled out some $32 million on national TV ads during the first 29 days of December while Penney spent roughly some $27 million during the period.