Your Multichannel Contact Strategy Chart
Add More Marketing: Email
Now that you have all the holiday and catalog in-home dates entered, it's easy to see opportunities to develop emails around catalog flights, themes and offers, as well as around other holidays and events.
For example, a retailer may have an email blast scheduled for Nov. 1, announcing its new catalog and promoting a special offer. Then, two weeks later, it may have another email blast scheduled to alert consumers that there's only one week remaining for the special offer.
Small catalogers may have one marketing person (oftentimes the owner) who develops the strategies and in-home dates for all catalog, email and other promotions. On the other hand, somewhat larger catalogers will have different people in charge of each channel. If this is the case for your business, make sure to circulate your contact strategy chart among everyone involved as you build it. Each employee can enter their ideas for their channel on a preliminary chart, subject to a later review meeting.
Add More Marketing, But Keep it Simple
You can add updates to your homepage, email messages, noncatalog fliers, retail promotions, etc., each on their own rows. Color-code each channel.
But keep it simple. This isn't supposed to be a supercomplex chart. It's designed to be a simple, at-a-glance tool for all team members, regardless of the channel in which they work. Resist the temptation to add extra data and lots of columns and rows that will obscure its at-a-glance functionality.
Shared Review, Shared Brainstorming
When all teams — circulation, catalog, email, web, brick-and-mortar — are looking at the same chart, your business is in sync.
Working on a first draft version? This is a good opportunity for everyone to get together and cross-channel brainstorm.
Catalog team: "We see that email has a Nov. 1 blast announcing the new catalog. We'd rather it push the new kid's socks. Is that possible?"
Susan J. McIntyre is Founder and Chief Strategist of McIntyre Direct, a catalog agency and consultancy in Portland, Oregon offering complete creative, strategic, circulation and production services since 1991. Susan's broad experience with cataloging in multi-channel environments, plus her common-sense, bottom-line approach, have won clients from Vermont Country Store to Nautilus to C.C. Filson. A three-time ECHO award winner, McIntyre has addressed marketers in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, has written and been quoted in publications worldwide, and is a regular columnist for Retail Online Integration magazine and ACMA. She can be reached at 503-286-1400 or email@example.com.