Got Purpose?
June 1, 2006

Five customer-oriented merchandising tips. When it comes to merchandising, many companies have forgotten that it's not about them. They've forgotten why customers came to them in the first place, and their catalogs have simply become containers of items for sale. In essence, they're desperately in need of a revival and don't even realize it. I've been noticing this trend in my strategic consultation with companies across the country. Products are presented in a mishmash array — without emotional connections — and essentially are pushed onto customers. They're not created by and for customers, and they lack sensory appeal. "Me-too" imitation products.

Sound Circulation Tactics for B-to-B Catalogers
September 1, 2005

By Stephen R. Lett If yours is a business-to-business (b-to-b) or a business-to-institution (b-to-i) catalog, no doubt you have questions about effective prospecting techniques. Below are some tips on how to use your housefile as a prospecting file, such as mailing by name of individual vs. by functional title. The Income Statement One of the significant differences between a consumer and a b-to-b catalog company is the income statement. The EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) of a typical b-to-b company ranges from 10 to 12 percent. Consumer catalogs tend to be less profitable at 3 to 6 percent.

Power-Packed Product Line: Focus on B-to-B Merchandising
September 1, 2005

Ron Mis sees Galeton as the Dell Computer of the work gear industry: manufacturing and marketing its own product line to a loyal fan base. Mis, owner and president, likens Galeton’s business model to that of a true direct marketer, with cost advantages that a manufacturer enjoys when it sells its own goods direct to end-users. By selling direct in this way, Mis explains, it “makes our business truer to the original concept of a direct marketer than many who call themselves that today. Many who say they’re direct marketers actually are distributors of other manufacturers’ products,” he explains. Thus Massachusetts-based Galeton both

B-to-B: Turn Your Web Site’s Homepage Into a Winner
August 16, 2005

Every business-to-business (B-to-B) merchant should take the time to optimize its homepage space to ensure its customers have a positive experience, said Amy Africa, president of Eight By Eight, a strategic consulting firm specializing in online and offline integration, in her session “The Best of the Best: B-to-B’s Top 25 Web Sites” at the Sixth Annual MeritDirect Business Mailer’s Co-op and Interactive Marketing Conference held last month in White Plains, N.Y. Africa offered the following tips for b-to-b marketers interested in taking their Web entry pages from so-so to stellar: 1. The entry page should download as quickly as possible. “Make sure important stuff loads in