Special Report: More Web, More Print or Both?
With consumers flocking more and more to the Web as a purchasing channel, it’s become increasingly important to analyze who your customers are and how they’re buying your products. Once that is known, you need to market to them. “Stop marketing to your imaginary friend,” advises Senior Vice President of List Brokerage at the Millard Group Bill LaPierre. “I’m amazed when I meet with [multichannel] clients where either the merchants, marketers or upper management in general have a perception of who their customer is based on gut instinct or a marketing analysis done 10 years ago. They’re not truly aware of who their customer is or what their customer wants, whether it’s in print or online.”
What’s more, LaPierre says, catalogers have to continue to invest in marketing techniques that allow them to target more tightly than they have in the past. For example, catalogers need to scrutinize the lifetime value of customers who find them via search. They need to determine whether there are specific keyword terms that have a higher lifetime value than other terms.
In the end, these techniques can help in two ways, LaPierre says.
1. They help justify your initial investment in specific keyword terms in a pay-per-click environment; and
2. They help you identify those names on the back end that maybe you don’t want to promote quite as actively, frequently or aggressively as some other names you acquire.
Show Me the Money
As the Web continues to grow as the buying channel of choice for many consumers, so too does the Web-based budget for many catalogers. For instance, 75 percent of respondents to a CatalogSuccess.com reader poll earlier this year said they were increasing their budget for paid search.
“But online acquisition channels, such as search, will get more expensive over the next few years as more players get into it,” says Rick Fernandes, CEO and founding partner of online marketing services company Webloyalty. “Catalogers will have to maximize the value of a visit to their site because the cost of getting someone to visit their site is high.”