Catalog Doctor: Intense, Competitor Analysis
FIVE: Get Competitors’ Datacards
Ask your list broker. You’ll find good information on datacards, e.g., 12-month buyer counts, average order, gender percentage.
Recommendation: Keep a running multiyear entry of datacard info from your Tier 1 competitors to track important trends.
Example: If 12-month buyer counts steadily are shrinking, the programs isn’t working well anymore, so avoid replicating it!
Now you’re armed with lots of solid, raw material. Time to dig in!
SIX: Compile Quantitative Data
“Quant,” any data that can be turned into a number or a “yes/no,” goes on your spreadsheet. Just about any untrained staffer or temp who knows Excel or 123 can compile and enter quant if you provide a clear data list and instructions.
Strive for a readable, easy-to-access printout. Keeping the spreadsheet as simple as possible creates greater efficiency.
Hint: Try to keep all data on a single spreadsheet (even avoid tabs and links); run the competitors in columns across the top and the data in rows down the side.
In tip Nos. 3 and 5, I listed some quant to collect for each competitor. Here’s more:
■ estimated number of mailings per year;
■ trim size;
■ page count;
■ number of products;
■ density (average product count per page);
■ average price point (a big pain to count, but important);
■ average shipping/handling for $X size order to a single address; and
■ average shipping/handling for $X size order to multiple addresses.
There’s more! Again, have your team members compile a list of all the data points they feel are critical to your particular product line and your customers.
Efficiency hint: Don’t bother gathering more data than is actionable — no use creating busy work.
Must-do: Be sure one of the catalogs is yours!