A Chat With January's Profile, Brendan Edgerton, vice president of direct marketing, Crutchfield Co. (Text & Audio)
CS: What customer demographics does Crutchfield target?
BE: We're probably about 80 percent male population, mostly affluent, single-family homeowners. There tends to be within the overall Crutchfield customer base a cohort of 18- to 34-year-old folks who are skewing towards that car audio product, MP3, iPods, GPS, etc. And then another cohort of heavily engaged enthusiasts, home audio folks, who would tend towards the higher ends of our JL Audio, PS Audio, Klipsch type of stuff. So kind of two different product segments within there that appeal to two different age ranges. It creates kind of an interesting customer life cycle within the Crutchfield buyer file.
CS: Has this demographic remained steady over the years? Any noticeable shifts?
BE: We're broadly starting to get a larger female demographic to work in that home side of the business. The car business I think tends to stay steady with the do-it-yourselfer, the enthusiast, the person that's willing to put that extra effort into an after-market solution. But the home category kind of moves with the price point of the new products that are available, and as you move into categories like gaming or other peripherals that are designed to work with central storage systems and things like that, you definitely get into a higher and higher end demographic for the home audio and home theater side of the business.
CS: How did you get started in the catalog/multichannel business?
BE: I had probably a nontraditional start, although the more folks I meet in direct it seems like we all share kind of that multifaceted way to get into the business. I started off in Evanston, Ill. with a company called Herbert Krug & Associates, which was a small consulting firm. We were doing everything from circulation planning to list management/list brokerage, helping to acquire companies, helping to sell companies, and I kind of got to learn the business from the inside-out there. I was in Chicago in graduate school heading towards a degree in American Lit., I was teaching at Loyola, had my master's, was all dissertation, and came over to the dark side of catalog marketing as a way to support myself.