Tired of reading about what a tough year it’s been for so many businesses across the board? Frustrated with your own results? Scared about the economy? Whether or not you’re struggling as much as others, here’s a little tonic: our annual best-of feature, in which we’ve pulled what we believe to be the 50 best and most implementable tips of the year from Catalog Success magazine as well as our weekly e-newsletter, Tactics & Tips. There’s nothing fancy here. Each paragraph is taken from a particular story that’s referenced, so you can turn or click back to reread the full story or act on
Creative Irish Gifts
The more I examine the whole catalog-to-multichannel transition, the more I realize how very much it remains a work in progress for both B-to-C and B-to-B catalogers. There are still plenty more phases ahead. Last month, this was certainly top-of-mind when we held a free Catalog Success webinar called The Coordinated Sell - Redefined for 2009 & Beyond. Our Strategy columnist Stephen R. Lett and Creative Irish Gifts catalog Vice President Rob O’Connor both gave excellent presentations. If you missed it, I invite you to go to our Web site and click on the “Webinars” tab toward the top of our homepage for a
For catalog/multichannel merchant Creative Irish Gifts, 2005 proved to be a turning point. After 18 straight years of profit growth, the marketer of Irish and Celtic-themed gifts was confronted with a crisis. It was greatly overmailing a tapped-out prospect universe, said Rob O’Connor, vice president of Creative Irish Gifts, during the recent Catalog Success webinar, The Coordinated Sell — Redefined for 2009 & Beyond, sponsored by Sigma Micro. The result: For the first time in the company’s history, it lost money. This led to a strategic decision on the company’s part to shift its focus online. With the company realizing 2 percent to 3
In a Catalog Success webinar last week called The Coordinated Sell — Redefined for 2009 & Beyond, Stephen R. Lett, president of the catalog consulting firm Lett Direct, highlighted his presentation on how to refocus your catalog company to thrive in today’s and tomorrow’s evolving multichannel environments with 10 takeaway tips for the audience to implement for improved profitability. Here’s a look at Lett’s top 10 list. (This is the first part of our two-part coverage of this webinar that was sponsored by Sigma Micro. Next week, we’ll recap the presentation of Rob O’Connor, vice president of the Creative Irish Gifts catalog.) 1. Segment
Sur La Table 163,680 56,295 191 $85 cookware Mokrynskidirect 12/06 9/05 Dog.com 139,829 51,031 174 $115 pet supplies List Locators 9/06 5/05 & Managers Knit Picks 73,502 27,347 169 $60 crafts Walter Karl 6/06 6/05 Cutter & Buck 70,938 30,555 132 $147 men’s apparel Mokrynskidirect 1/07 1/06 Kinsman Co. 27,090 12,695 113 $83 gardening supplies D-J Associates 12/06 9/05 Fannie May Confections 72,173 34,794 107 $36 candy, chocolates Millard Group 11/06 10/05 Leichtung Workshops 20,312 9,958 104 $52 woodworking tools Names & 9/06 7/05 Addresses Orion Telescopes 33,445 16,849 99 $175 telescopes Millard Group and Binoculars 7/06 7/05 Time for Me 141,411 71,958 97 $95 women’s apparel Mokrynskidirect 1/07 10/05 Siegel Display Products 33,569 17,474 92 $300 promotional display products Direct Media 10/06 10/05 Smith & Hawken 140,722 74,971 88 $125 gardening supplies Belardi/Ostroy ALC 11/06 10/05 Redding Medical 13,689 7,642 79 $95 nursing supplies Fasano and 12/06 8/05 Associates Penn Herb Co. Ltd. 26,459 14,837 78 $54 natural remedies Walter Karl 4/06 5/05 MidWest Edwin Watts Golf 328,416 185,448 77 $250 golf equipment Venture Direct 8/06 5/05 Worldwide Staples 3,843,101 2,183,681 76 $250 office products Direct Media 12/06 11/05 Sporty’s Men’s Collection 12,926 7,368 75.4 N/A men’s recreational products Millard Group 1/07 5/05 New England Business 1,114,626 636,766 75 $120 office products MeritDirect Service (NEBS) 12/06 9/05
The metamorphosis of Rob and Diane O’Connor from wide-eyed idealists to razor sharp, gimlet-eyed catalogers who are on top of every facet of a $17 million merchandising operation is as inspiring as it is fascinating. Now in their early 60s, the O’Connors are at the top of their game and supremely fit. How fit? Rob O’Connor recently ran a 150-mile marathon across the Sahara in 100-degree heat carrying on his back bedding, an eight-day supply of food and a small stove. In the process, he raised $17,000 for cancer research at the Cleveland Clinic as a thank you for his successful prostate surgery.