Tips from Two Experts
A full two-thirds of all consumers embrace multiple channels, according to Forrester Research. No doubt, you also know from your own experience that your best customers are those shopping in all of your available channels. But how do you expertly manage and optimize these sales?
Kevin Green, president and chief marketing officer at Lillian Vernon, and Bill Miller, president of Eziba, offered the
following trade secrets for multichannel marketing during their session: “Web, Catalog and Sales: Managing a Three-way Relationship,” held during The Direct Marketing Association’s Annual Conference in Orlando in October.
• Establish consistent policies across all of your channels. Said Green, “If you offer a 100-percent product guarantee in one channel, offer it in all of your channels.”
• Devise a coherent brand image. “All channels should have the same look and feel,” Green continued. “You should have a thread of imagery that spans all channels.”
• Get your team to understand that the real goal is to boost overall corporate sales, not just sales in individual channels. “Your customers view you seamlessly as one brand,” Miller noted. “Your employees should, too. Reiterate to them that it’s the team effort that counts.”
• Devise accurate allocation estimates for Web demand. As more and more customers switch to the online channel, it’s tempting to cut circulation of your print catalog, said Green. But that could be a big mistake since many customers now use the print catalog to shop more efficiently from your Web site.
“If you cut the circulation that’s driving your Web demand, you’ll see both catalog demand and Web demand go down,” said Green.
• Use matchbacks. These can help you determine the success of your catalog mailings and will help you give credit where credit is due, said Miller. “If we looked only at catalog sales, we probably wouldn’t print them,” he noted. “But once we do matchbacks, we see that the catalog channel is a profitable one for the company overall.”