10 Survival Tips From NEMOA
4. Why use social media? Lehman’s uses Facebook as a real-time, free focus group, Ervin said. “Whenever somebody posts, we can respond right away,” she noted. “We can get new product ideas and establish a dialogue with customers.”
5. Establish a continuity program. Duncraft offers one in which customers can dictate ship dates and quantities, and receive 10 percent discounts on any orders in the programs or other orders. “These have turned out to be our platinum buyers,” Dunn said.
6. Calculate the return on investment of every product. Cuddledown has educated its merchants to look at ROI. “We track ROI by every single product for each of our books,” Bradley noted. “We went a little further and deal with terms — define the terms and label every product ‘great,’ ‘good,’ ‘close’ and ‘bad.’ Speak that same language with your merchants; ROI is a great discipline for everybody to have.”
7. Data is your friend. With so much data available today, Ervin suggested that marketers obtain only the data they’ll act on, and not “just because it’s interesting.”
8. Buy the right software at the right time. Ervin noted that web years are “like dog years, and you don’t want to fall behind.” On the other hand, she added that you don’t want to spend big bucks on programs you won’t be able to fully integrate.
9. Affiliate marketing works, but not for everyone. Although affiliate marketing works well for Duncraft, it doesn’t work for Cuddledown. Bradley suggested that affiliate marketing works when there’s a passion for a specific sport or hobby, such as gardening. “Something where you can reach out to customers through an affiliate,” he said.
10. What should you test and how? Duncraft tests almost everything, Dunn said. “When we did a recent postcard mailing, we tested variable printing, having customers’ names on the card and not having the names on the card. Now we’re testing various landing pages, checking the format of our landing pages to see if we can improve them,” she pointed out.