Profile of Success: Power Outage?
This month, Brendan Edgerton, vice president of direct marketing for consumer electronics cataloger Crutchfield, discusses his life in the catalog business. Catalog Success: How did you get started in the business?
Brendan Edgerton: I had a nontraditional start. I was in Chicago in grad school heading toward a degree in American literature, teaching at Loyola, and came over to the dark side of catalog marketing as a way to support myself.
I started off with Herbert Krug & Associates, a small consulting firm. We did everything from circulation planning to list management/list brokerage to helping acquire and sell companies. I got to learn the business from the inside-out there.
The quantitative side of me started to get attracted to that side of the business. From there I moved over to Crate & Barrel full-time. Then I moved to Atlanta to work at Benchmark Brands, a health care direct marketer, then a B-to-B stint in Colorado with Corporate Express, prior to coming over to Crutchfield in Virginia.
CS: What career would you have chosen if you hadn’t gotten involved in the catalog/multichannel business?
BE: I was looking into editorial/copywriting, something where I could take those nascent skills as an English major and interests in literature and bring all that over to an environment that was feasible from a business standpoint. I still have a passion for teaching and enjoy anything where I have an opportunity to work with folks, either from an English-as-a-second-language standpoint or instruction in other areas.
But I think I would’ve worked my way over into business one way or another. It’s funny, that first job was offered kind of as an 80 percent creative/20 percent quantitative thing where I’d be using my skills to help write copy in support of the different catalog clients. It ended up heavily quantitative — circ management, metrics. So a bit of a flip on the ratio that I got into, but it ended up working out fine.