Paul Miller

Paul Miller
Fighting for Catalogers’ Futures

It can be easy for a catalog, or really any type of retail CEO, to overlook things. After all, especially with a catalog operation, there are so many factors that go into running a profitable business, right? Unless you’re a small mom-and-pop shop, wherein you personally oversee everything from soup to nuts, if you can…

What Will Postal Reform Mean to Catalogers?

The long road to getting a bill passed in Washington is rarely smooth. The efforts of the last few years to pass a postal reform bill, whose primary purpose is to efficiently downsize the USPS in light of its diminished use in today's society, has been no exception. During the 112th Congress, the Senate passed a postal reform bill, but the House was unable to counter with one of its own. So far, a year-and-a-quarter into the 113th Congress, a similar pattern has ensued. Here's a recap of where things stood as of press time

Caught in the Postal Downstream

In my role as second-in-command with American Catalog Mailers Association (ACMA), I’m often asked by members what they should do about their catalog marketing programs in light of the current state of calamity facing the nearly bankrupt U.S. Postal Service (USPS).

Grabbing Store Shoppers 
by the Hand … Electronically

A 2009 year-end survey of store traffic conducted by ShopperTrak, a provider of shopper traffic counting technology, showed a reasonably encouraging year-over-year increase of 3.5 percent. But store traffic has been so light over the past couple years that retailers, and their software vendors, are seeking ways to not only get consumers into stores, but also take them by the hand and guide them right to the cashiers. Case in point, take two recent retail technological innovations from Escalate Retail and NCR.

Dont You Forget About Me

The jury will be out for some time on just how much money can be made directly from social media. But retailers rooted in stores, catalogs and the web have worked diligently to explore ways they can squeeze incremental revenue from this emerging channel.

Prognosis: Baby Steps

In late November, we surveyed the All About ROI editorial board members and other marketing insiders to gauge their views on the year ahead. At press time on the eve of the 2009 holiday homestretch, with their hopes for a better sales outcome than 2008 looking modest at best, few saw an especially bright light shining by December. Instead, many settled in to make the appropriate adjustments for reduced demand.

Here's to Better Times Ahead

We've reached the final issue of 2009 for All About ROI, certainly a year most of us are happy to see end. As we look forward to a better 2010, I'm pumped that there are some positive signs out there showing a recovery is on the way. It may take a little time, but it's coming.

2010 Recovery Requires New Thinking

These days, decisions on all sorts of purchases go through many consumers’ personal “boards of buyers,” sort of a shopping version of the id, ego and superego. This imaginary board consists of the assorted moods we’ve all developed this year to stomach the economic bad and keep afloat financially.

Green Mountain Coffee Takes Headfirst Approach to Social Media

Green Mountain Coffee has made social media a key element in its web endeavors, and on Oct. 7, its director of consumer direct, Ken Crites, explained the Waterbury, Vt.-based company’s approach during the Hudson Valley Direct Marketing Association’s fall luncheon in Greenwich, Conn.

How Little Is Too Little?

With a most challenging holiday shopping season looming, one of the trickiest tightropes this year will be inventory planning and management. That's an ongoing catch-22 in good times or bad. But this year will be more challenging than most in recent memory. How much inventory will be enough? How much will be too much, leading to potential overstocks? How tight can you get without frustrating online or catalog shoppers 
with back orders, or store shoppers due to slim pickings on the racks?

Online Payment Systems Come of Age for American Eagle, Orvis

For merchandise sellers not rooted online, alternative payment programs such as PayPal and Bill Me Later once carried the stigma of being designed primarily for consumers with bad debt. But as representatives from two major integrated retailers, American Eagle Outfitters and Orvis, noted during a session at August's eTail Conference in Baltimore, that's no longer the case.

10 Survival Tips From NEMOA

During a session at the Sept. 16-18 NEMOA Fall Conference in Mashantucket, Conn., a panel of marketers offered up more than 60 rapid-fire pointers and questions on how to survive in “a risky economy.” The panelists included Jean Giesmann, executive creative director for Stony Creek Brands; Chris Bradley, president of Cuddledown of Maine; Sharon Dunn, president of Duncraft; and Glenda Lehman Ervin, vice president of marketing for Lehman’s.

Miles Kimball Chief Offers Recession Survival Pointers

Stan Krangel, president of the MKC Catalog/Internet division of Blyth Inc., which also operates the Exposures, Boca Java, The Home Marketplace, Walter Drake and As We Change catalogs, outlined several ways to roll with the punches this year and next in a session during the Sept. 16-18 NEMOA Fall Conference in Mashantucket, Conn. As proof, he injected how he’s modernized things at Miles Kimball over the past couple of years.