Guest View: Economic Malaise, Plethora of Vendor Intros Among Highlights From ACCM
Editor’s Note: Jim Coogan, a catalog consultant since 1993 and former VP of marketing at Woodworker’s Supply, among other catalog and retail positions, has been a regular contributor for Catalog Success and the Catalog Success: Tactics & Tips e-newsletter for the past year. He attended the May 19-22 ACCM conference in Kissimmee, Fla., and filed the following recap on the event. I’ll file my own personal reflections on the conference in the July print edition. — Paul Miller, editor-in-chief
There’s nothing like an economic downturn to get people’s attention. And the state of the economy and how it would affect catalogers was topic A at the ACCM this year. Among others, a prominent, dual theme that emerged from the Power Forum on May 19 for how to drive sales in a down economy was that catalogers need to deliver good value and give great service.
Lauren Freedman of the e-tailing group said the old Marshall Field’s theme, “Give the Lady What She Wants,” still holds true when it comes to great service and good value. The Monday forum yielded some other good insights into the second half of 2008:
* catalogers will use promotions aggressively during the fall and holiday seasons;
* those who don’t have abandoned shopping cart e-mail programs should implement them right away;
* Web 2.0’s most exciting tool is Web-generated content reviews;
* great product trumps all; and
* rich media is helping make the Web a tactile experience for people.
Intriguing Vendor Intros
Although exhibit hall traffic was noticeably light, there were some noteworthy vendor introductions.
* Cooperative database provider I-Behavior introduced a subsidiary, aCerno, a co-op database for the Web. Its model is to serve up banner ads to traffic prospects who are likely to be interested in your product. The key is that you pay only when a sale is made, so participants get guaranteed profitability; aCerno received strong testimonials from major catalogers that this program was delivering a large volume of sales.