Strategy How to Revamp Your Marketing Strategy
By Stephen R. Lett
Changing your marketing strategy is one of the most difficult and risky things you can do as a cataloger. Is there a right time to do it? And just which way will work? Some would argue that a change in strategy should be gradual and implemented over time. Others might recommend making all strategy adjustments at once — a precarious move.
This month, I'll discuss how to effectively change your marketing strategy and identify ways to best accomplish your objectives.
Time For a Change
When sales have been flat or in decline two or three years in a row, it's time to think about modifying your marketing strategy. This occurs when a catalog stops growing its 12-month buyer file. Often, it results from a limited prospecting universe, particularly with businesses in niche markets. If your 12-month buyer file isn't growing, your revenue most likely will decline.
You have options. Manage business for profitability (and let it gradually decline); pocket what you can. Or alter your marketing strategy by expanding your potential buyer universe to start growing again. This isn't easy, but it's doable. There are only a few ways to grow a catalog business. For example:
- If there's a prospect universe to support your offer, increase circulation to expand your merchandising offering and add pages to your catalog.
Acquire (or start) another catalog title.
If your sales are flat or declining, you might not have the universe in your niche market to grow. Consider expanding your merchandising offerings to sell more product to existing customers. If your product line can't be expanded and you can't increase circulation, but you still want to grow, you either need to acquire another catalog company or alter your strategy. It's important to recognize when there's a need for change and to make a conscious effort to alter your strategy or continue as is and do nothing.