“Being a small cataloger in a state where there aren’t a lot of catalogers left, one of the problems you have is finding outside talent,” Rick Hodges says. “Right after BlueSky’s demise, we talked to Jean to get her to come in. Thanks to that connection with Jean, we were able to access Gary for help with our database and list management, and Eileen for copywriting.”
Giesmann, in fact, was responsible for a large portion of the creative redesign. “When you have somebody with a fresh pair of eyes come in, people listen,” Brescia says. “And that’s what Jean did.”
Circ Strategy Overhaul
Whereas Giesmann helped with the catalog’s creative redesign, Hodges Badge turned to Smith to build a customer database that would segment and prioritize customers based on their value to the company. Hodges produces individual books for the equestrian, fair, dog show, school, general athletic, gymnastics and swimming markets. The equestrian market accounts for the largest portion of Hodges’ sales at about 40 percent. Despite this dominance, the company had been primarily using the same mailing strategy for all of its customers, no matter what topic.
“All customers and leads were being treated equally,” Smith says. “Now we’re changing our contact and segmentation strategies so they focus on the higher opportunity customers and leads from the data research we’ve just done.”
Previously, the data was in several different places. By compiling it in one database, Hodges Badge has gained a common business understanding of its sales results, Smith says. The company plans to test its analysis in the upcoming fall/holiday season when some of its larger mailings are scheduled.