While speaking last week at the NEMOA conference in Portland, Maine, Steve August, operational vice president of customer marketing for Brookstone, lauded the stability with which his company now can operate. That’s nice, but why? He devoted his session to explaining the Merrimack, N.H.-based housewares and electronics marketer’s “SUPER” marketing approach — SUPER being a self-coined acronym that stands for Brookstone’s new marketing campaign
The SUPER campaign encompasses a Stable modeled environment, with a known Universe, Predictable performance, growth Expansion and a Reduction in costs. In its second year, the program was tested for a full year with a single model and a single set of names prior to implementation. August believes many catalogers can follow the model.
August began by detailing Brookstone’s stable-modeled environment. The company has scrapped renting lists from outside sources in favor of a single prospecting list source, with 10 deciled list segments. The company no longer takes part in RFM exchanges. The consistency in models builds year to year, August explained, and by using just one prospecting list, Brookstone has the ability to tweak that model to best fit its demographics.
Next is the known universe. Brookstone no longer has surprises due to merge nets, August said. The known universe of names provides the company consistent year-over-year planning, 0- to 12-month mail order respondents and 100 percent modeled multibuyers.
As for predictable performance, Brookstone has a minimum performance targeted for a name. And if a name doesn’t meet that minimum, “We won’t take it,” August said. Generally, the company sets the performance by decile for planning at 20 percent or greater ROI.
August further advised that performance gains are guaranteed due to testing in deciles. The system has allowed for accurate forecasting of sales, with the company knowing within 1 percent to 2 percent what the performance will be. He boasted a decrease in back-order rates since the implementation of the new system.