New Guitar Center Executive Focuses on Customer Data, Insights

Jeannine D’Addario, the new chief customer officer of Guitar Center, said she intends to focus on data analytics to provide a more personalized, relevant experience for each and every customer of the national chain of big-box music stores.

“We deploy a complex omnichannel approach that analyzes customer purchase behavior across channels, from desktop to customer care to our mobile app,” said D’Addario, who came to Guitar Center from Applebee’s. “It helps us execute campaigns based on collective insights for cross-sell, upsell and retention, knowing where they are in the relationship and who they are. We slice and dice the transactional data to make sure we’re showing you what’s important, and not overwhelming you with what’s not relevant.”

While focusing on core business objectives like driving sales growth, margins and traffic, D’Addario said she also hopes to bring a deep, 360-degree view of Guitar Center’s customers throughout the organization via data analysis. She said this will help the company build out a stronger experience, providing offers that resonate and refining the product lines.

“We’re refining our ability to understand our customers through data and transactions,” she said. “The Guitar Center experience includes everything from all our gear to repairs, rentals and lessons, serving the full lifestyle of musicians. These are all opportunities to share information, show our technical expertise and provide facts and content that’s served up in a way that’s digestible and interesting.”

D’Addario said story telling is an important aspect of brand building for Guitar Center, and this includes online content like videos as well as partnerships with local musicians who can inspire others through live demos and on the website.

She actually started out as a Guitar Center customer, buying a guitar for her daughter, and then a second one, from the same store associate in Austin. “I’ve had that relationship and now I see the other side,” D’Addario said. “There’s a lot of variation in the technical aspects of the products, manufacturers, the composition, how they feel and sound. One thing that has really inspired me is spending time lately in the stores, seeing the benefit of physically touching the instrument, strumming and hearing the resonance. It’s an important part of the musician’s journey.”

At Applebee’s D’Addario served as interim CMO and Culinary Officer, responsible for rebuilding the company’s strategic marketing strategy. Prior to that, she served as Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Whole Foods Market, where she led brand positioning, digital marketing and retail marketing and launched its first national advertising campaigns.