A Chat with Eduard Bjorncrantz, Vice President, Direct Marketing at Day-Timers, Inc.
EB: Approximately 400. They’re involved in manufacturing, because we do a lot of our own printing of the Day-Timer product. We also have our own fulfillment, IT, telemarketing, merchandising, advertising, marketing and administration. We have more employees than your average direct marketer because we are both manufacturers and marketers.
CS: How did you get into direct marketing/cataloging?
EB: My first involvement was in 1968. I ran the catalog sales office in the Arlington, Va.-based Sears store, which had its own telephone reps and pick-up counter. It involved customer service and telephone ordering, and was a significant part of the store’s business, probably about $15 million a year. I left the Sears retail store management program to get an MBA from the University of Virginia. After graduating from UVA, I went back to work for Sears in Chicago in a product management program. After a series of different assignments there, I was made assistant catalog marketing manager for bedspreads and draperies. The catalog marketing manager of the department had his own personal problems and was basically on leave for most of the time I was there. So, de facto, I was the catalog marketing manager for the largest catalog department in Sears. I did well in the assignment and it was a big break for me. That’s when I really got interested in catalog, because in catalog we would make our decisions, present our plan and it was done. In retail we would finalize our plan at headquarters, then go out and re-sell the program to the retail field. So it was up to the 13 different regions in the country as to how they were going to implement the plan that was already approved in Chicago. I liked catalog marketing because we built the plan, implemented it and evaluated it. Whereas in retail, you never knew how it was going to be executed.