Selling Your Catalog: Prepare for the End Game
That is a strategic plan to achieving an end game.
Too often, catalog management teams focus on multiple projects and objectives for improving the growth and performance of a catalog, only to discover that the owner has an entirely different end-game objective. The managers are investing for growth, and the owner is preparing to harvest wealth; the difficulties with execution are self-evident. The owner is unable to articulate the end game or is reluctant to let any of the managers know that a “harvest event” is imminent.
Consequently, owners and operators are out of synch, strategically and emotionally. The outcome is generally poor performance and a squandering of precious earnings.
If you think of a game of chess, you can draw striking parallels to the game of catalogs. Masters of chess are able to move from point A to point M in a skillful series of moves that may go from A to F to C to L to G and finally to M. The unskilled opponent may simply be moving from A to B to C to D to E and, ultimately, on the M in a linear, logical, yet uninformed series of steps having no relationship whatsoever to the catalog master’s strategy. How novel and refreshing it would be if they were both in synch.
Another analogy frames the end-game dichotomy. If you set out from Chicago with New York as your final destination, the route goes through Toledo, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Newark and into New York via the Holland Tunnel. This produces the greatest possible value relative to time, distance and cost.
On the other hand, if you simply left Chicago without a clear idea as to where you were going, you might reach New York via Los Angeles, Seattle, Butte, Minneapolis, Little Rock, Houston, Atlanta and Washington, D.C. This route takes much longer, is much more difficult and costs a great deal more money than the defined, straight shot.