New Pig Corporation
Engagement is a word you hear over and over again in the retail industry. Companies are continuously looking to find ways to better engage customers and prospects in an effort to create lifelong relationships with them. B-to-B retailer New Pig, a seller of absorbents and spill containment and control products, has found an interactive way to engage some of its best customers. New Pig's Vice President of Direct Marketing Robert Cameron presented a session yesterday at NEMOA's directXchange Fall Conference in Groton, Conn. on the company's "pig panel."
Regardless of the channels in which you sell, testing is invaluable to your business. And offer testing, in particular, is misunderstood in both practice and power. Yet testing seems complicated and time consuming. Is it worth it? The answer: You can't afford NOT to test.
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.
If you’d asked last year what I thought the strongest word in catalog and direct selling was, without hesitation I would have said, “FREE.” “Free” always tests strong. Even in e-mail subject line scenarios where you’d expect spam filters to knock them out, response is so strong that it more than makes up for the ones filtered out. But this year it appears that “YOU” has become more important. And while most catalogs and Web sites seem to pretend this word doesn’t even exist, they’re missing out on a personal powerhouse word that trumps all others when used properly. I reached this conclusion
While technology makes many things easier, it also can complicate your job. And as the Internet — and all that goes with it — has evolved over the past dozen years or so, catalogers’ jobs have become a lot more complex. Beyond merely becoming e-commerce and multichannel marketing experts, catalogers must pay closer attention to analytics and constantly reconsider how they allocate their marketing budgets. Ask any multichannel merchant and you’ll hear the same thing: The rubber stamp has no role in making marketing plans these days. The ongoing changes in e-commerce force catalogers to constantly reinvent the wheel. Add the killer postage increase
In a session during last week’s NEMOA conference in Portland, Maine, Lois Boyle, president/chief creative officer at catalog consulting firm J. Schmid & Assocs., said that the customer experience is the key factor in developing a successful catalog company. Stressing that in today’s world you’re more in competition with consumers’ time than with their pocketbooks, Boyle provided a few ways to help your catalog break through the clutter of everyday life. Included below are four of those tips: 1. Develop a schemata (customer’s frame of reference). Calling it the “curse of knowledge,” Boyle said that many catalogers know too much. “We get so close
For years now, Garnet Hill, a Franconia, N.H.-based apparel and home furnishings cataloger, has placed follow-up calls whenever customers encounter a problem with the company. Specifically, 24 to 48 hours after a customer complaint, Garnet Hill calls the customer and casually asks how the problem was handled and if it was resolved. Smart and sensitive upselling techniques make Garnet Hill’s customers feel cared about. Liberal employee discounts have its employees wearing the clothing and using the products it sells, so it’s easy for them to personalize the experience. This “touchy-feely” group has products open and laying around so reps literally can get their
As the economy improves, labor markets no doubt will begin to open up in some regions, and turnover may become an issue in some catalogers’ contact centers. “Many customer service reps feel they’re undercompensated for the value of the job they do, that is, in relation to the energy they exert on the job and the stress they encounter in dealing with customers all day,” recounts Liz Kislik, president of Liz Kislik Associates, a management consultancy based in Rockville Centre, N.Y. “If they think they can get slightly higher compensation elsewhere, and they have a family to support, they’re almost obligated to leave.”
Devise a compensation program that galvanizes your contact center reps By Donna Loyle As the economy improves, labor markets no doubt will begin to open up in some regions, and turnover may become an issue in some catalogers' contact centers. "Many customer service reps feel they're undercompensated for the value of the job they do, that is, in relation to the energy they exert on the job and the stress they encounter in dealing with customers all day," recounts Liz Kislik, president of Liz Kislik Associates, a management consultancy based in Rockville Centre, N.Y. "If they think they can get slightly higher