Strategy How to Revamp Your Marketing Strategy
It's the merchandise offer that first must change. But again, this needs to be accomplished over time. You don't want to alienate your current customer base.
Get the Job Done Right
Whether you make changes to the catalog, type size or lists — match the changes to each other. Often when strategy changes are made, the job is only half completed, and the follow-through is lacking.
Say you want to begin to shift the market from an older to a younger age. At the same time, you need to alter the catalog creative using a "younger-looking" type style and size, younger models, etc. You also need to test lists that fit the demographics of the merchandising appeal and direction. Consider using two different covers: one for the housefile and outside lists that know you, as well as a younger-looking cover to appeal to the "new" customer whose attention you want to grab. Don't try to reinvent yourself overnight, but rather continue the same marketing strategy your customers are accustomed to while you introduce a "look" for the new customer.
Altering your marketing strategy is a risky proposition. What's more, it's not easy. It takes time. It's not a matter of simply mailing to different prospect lists. It's much more complicated. A redirection of the merchandise strategy must come first. The circulation plan follows, and it needs to be consistent with the strategy. If there's good reason to change your strategy, by all means do so. Consider the risks and execute wisely.
Stephen R. Lett is president of Lett Direct, a catalog consulting firm specializing in circulation planning, forecasting and analysis. He can be reached at (302) 537-0375.