Multichannel Marketing: Tamke Offers Array of Marketing Tips for Rookies
At the recent Young Professional Day hosted by the Direct Marketing Association’s Catalog and Multichannel Council in New York City, former longtime list broker at Mokrynskidirect and current professor of marketing in New York University’s graduate program in direct and interactive marketing Steve Tamke covered a broad array of catalog-related topics. Stressing the most successful direct marketing companies are the ones that use the techniques that set direct marketing apart — taking advantage of interactive one-to-one communication, generating a measurable response, using one or more databases for customer acquisition and retention, and making use of a variety of media — he provided ways to excel in the direct market if you’re just starting out.
1. Understand your target customer. Know who she is, what she likes, where she shops, her age, where she lives, what she reads and, most importantly, what she has bought and whether she shops direct.
2. Measure performance. Gauge the following factors to increase efficiency: response rate (“the bigger the reach, the bigger the opportunity,” Tamke said); average order size (measure of commitment); sales per catalog (measure of efficiency); and cost per new customer (how much can you afford to pay for a new customer).
3. Position your merchandise efficiently. Tamke recommended at least 300 merchandise items per catalog. Non-apparel catalogs, he said, should display four to five items per page; apparel catalogs should show one to three items per page.
4. Establish efficient operating ratios. Successful catalogers operate within the following ratios according to Tamke:
* Gross margin = 50 percent to 55 percent of net sales;
* Returns/cancellations = 4 percent to 6 percent of general merchandise, 25 percent-plus for apparel;
* Design = $1,500-$3,500/page;
* Total cost in mail = 30 percent to 35 percent of net sales;