Show Me the Numbers; Better Yet, I’ll Show You
January 11, 2008

Over the past few months, we at Catalog Success have been hard at work to further develop a hefty well of research data for our readers. In October we launched the Catalog Success Latest Trends Report, a quarterly series of original benchmarking research we’ve been conducting with the multichannel ad agency Ovation Marketing. In the coming months, we’ll also be running a series of mail volume charts provided by several catalog co-op databases. Like the Latest Trends surveys, these will run in the IndustryEye section of our print magazine. And for the past year or so, we’ve been running a regular reader poll.

The 2nd Catalog Success (Now All About ROI) Latest Trends Report on Key Issues (January 2008)
January 1, 2008

We bring you our exclusive new Catalog Success Latest Trends Report, the second quarterly joint venture with multichannel ad agency Ovation Marketing. This one focuses on the key issues in the catalog/multichannel business. As with our inaugural report last October, this survey contains a statistical analysis of a questionnaire we sent to the Catalog Success e-mail list in November. The responses came from 80 B-to-C and 45 B-to-B catalogers. You can click on the separate B-to-C and B-to-B charts below, as well as the cumulative chart. Some percentages don’t quite add up to 100, due to rounding.

Editor’s Take: Tracking the Most Telling Multichannel Trends
January 1, 2008

In the IndustryEye section of this issue on pgs. 12-13, you’ll find our second quarterly Catalog Success Latest Trends Report, a benchmarking survey we conducted in late November in partnership with the multichannel ad agency Ovation Marketing. This one focuses on key catalog/multichannel issues, and we’ve included most of the charts there, so I encourage you to take a look. You’ll be able to find some charts only on our Web site due to magazine space limitations. We also didn’t have the space to include the numerous comments that you — our readers and survey respondents — wrote in response to two of the questions.

Strike While the Fed Dollars are Hot
January 1, 2008

Every August and September, there is a spike in federal spending. This is the annual “use-it-or-lose-it” period referred to as the “busy season.” Government agencies (federal, state and local) are allocated specific funds each year. If money is left at the end of the fiscal year, the agency doesn’t get to keep it; the money goes back to the Treasury Department. The federal fiscal year (FY) is Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, while most states are on a July 1 to June 30 fiscal year. The question then becomes, how does a company go after that end-of-FY “treasure trove?” Here’s where B-to-B catalogers stand to benefit

Seven Ways to Target B-to-B Technical Buyers
December 4, 2007

Identifying technical buyers is only part of the equation; marketing to them is the tricky part. In a webinar presentation last week from Kellysearch.com and Enquiro Research, presenters Gord Hotchkiss, president and CEO of Enquiro, and Phil Manning, marketing development manager at Kellysearch.com, provided their thoughts on how to most effectively market and sell to the B-to-B community. Below are some of the top tips picked up during the session. 1. Segment the technical buyer. Manning referenced the technical buyer as an individual who’s planning to make a purchase of $1,000 or more in the next year of one of the following: software, hardware,

Making a Plan: How to Develop Three-year Projections
December 1, 2007

It’s only a matter of time before your CFO figures out that you have more influence over his financial plan than he does. But when that moment arrives, your CFO will ask you for a plan that projects sales for the next three years or so. Smart catalog companies handle financial planning as a partnership between the marketing and financial staffs. Mailing is your key revenue-generating activity. Mail quantity, frequency, response rate and average order value (AOV) are the essential numbers for projecting sales. Consider each factor: ◆ Your mail quantity determines marketing expense; ◆ Your sales level helps project the company’s cost of goods; and ◆ Your

Some Not-So-Obvious Ways to Get Through the Tough Holiday Season Ahead
November 16, 2007

Reading retail sales, housing sales and consumer confidence reports the past couple of weeks while watching the stock market sink, I’ve become quite worried about the outlook for the holiday season for catalog/multichannel marketers. Retailers collectively reported their worst October in 12 years, and a Conference Board report last week said consumer confidence dropped in early November to its lowest level since Hurricane Katrina triggered soaring oil prices two years ago. Meanwhile, recent reports from the National Association of Realtors showed sales of existing homes had plunged to their lowest level in nearly a decade. None of this bodes well for catalogers. So