- Marie Gulin-Merle, CMO of Calvin Klein, has been promoted to the newly created role of PVH chief digital officer (CDO), the apparel company that owns brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and Speedo revealed in a press release. Merle will continue as CMO of Calvin Klein, while also taking on the new role across the PVH Corp.
- In her new position, Gulin-Merle is tasked with heading up PVH's global digital strategy and transformation. This includes setting the company's strategic priorities and focusing on how to use technology, data and customer insights to increase consumer engagement. She will also lead a digital council within PVH.
- Gulin-Merle will continue to report to Steve Shiffman, CEO of Calvin Klein as she continues to serve as CMO for Calvin Klein. She will continue to focus on her work as the brand architect, evolving global marketing platforms and strategically driving consumer engagement.
As technology and data become more central aspects of the consumer experience and the marketing job, CMOs are increasingly taking on more digital-focused responsibilities, part of the evolution of the role of the CMO. As more companies focus efforts on marketing technology spend in order to reduce ad budgets while maintaining customer relationships through digital channels, the chief growth officer title will replace CMOs in some cases, Forrester forecasted in a report released in 2017. Some large consumer packaged goods like Procter & Gamble have done away with the CMO title in favor of chief brand officer in a reflection of how some marketing responsibilities are better handled at the brand level as relevancy becomes more important.
Since Gulin-Merle joined PVH Corp., the company has credited the executive with building and aligning information capabilities with all regions, as well as improving her team's knowledge and understanding through an internal Digital Academy. She has also led global strategic partnerships with Google, to better position the brands' use of data-driven marketing and ad-tech tools.
For PVH Corp., a chief digital officer will likely focus on e-commerce, personalization, shoppable innovations and digital enhancements. Some of PVH's biggest brands including Calvin Klein, have adopted more digitally-led strategies recently as they try to restore growth and cache with younger consumers. Earlier this year, Calvin Klein shuttered its iconic Madison Ave. flagship brick-and-mortar store and announced plans to abandon print altogether in favor of a digital-first social approach. Since then the brand has increased its Instagram posts, working with more micro-influencers and hosting more local activations.