Catalog Success May 2009
Trimming expenses is top-of-mind for everyone producing a catalog or e-commerce site today. But it can get you into trouble if not approached with some extra knowledge.
Picture this: You’re on a sunny beach, stretched out on the sand. A child is sitting next to you with pail and shovel in hand. The child mischievously starts covering your ankles and feet in sand. You smile and continue sipping your refreshing piña colada. Now a dump truck pulls up and pours a mountain of sand all over you. You’re buried, and the sand muffles your scream. The former, pleasant scene represents the amount of data your marketing staff had to deal with about 10 years ago. The dump truck represents today’s daily data deluge.
Most B-to-B catalogers sell to the government, albeit in a passive mode. Using the SmartPay credit card, federal buyers appear on B-to-B buying lists with some regularity. When properly targeted, they can become a significant percentage of any B-to-B cataloger’s business.
Catalog Success recently took two of its longest-standing columnists to task. Strategy scribe Stephen R. Lett and Catalog Doctor Susan J. McIntyre have spent the better part of their careers producing or helping clients produce print catalogs. But do catalogs have a future in this integrated selling environment?
Next month, the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation will honor four winners of its 2009 Rising Stars Awards, as well as credit card payment management platform provider Litle & Co. as its Corporate Commitment award winner.
Last year, 12 states had do-not-mail legislation under consideration. But none of the bills were enacted. This year, however, bills already have been refiled in some states, and new bills have been introduced in Connecticut, Florida and New Jersey. With varying enforcement mechanisms, the laws would prohibit mailing unsolicited direct marketing materials to persons who enter their names and addresses to state-maintained registries.
Lifetime value (LTV) is the value of all purchases a given customer has made to date, plus the value of purchases that customer is likely to make (discounted for present value) over time. LTV helps determine how much you can afford to invest in new buyers looking beyond their initial purchases.Lifetime value (LTV) is the value of all purchases a given customer has made to date, plus the value of purchases that customer is likely to make (discounted for present value) over time. LTV helps determine how much you can afford to invest in new buyers looking beyond their initial purchases.
This month we spoke with John Doheny, CEO of Doheny’s Water Warehouse, the catalog/multichannel pool supplies business his parents started 42 years ago.
The 71-year-old story of Kent, Wash.-based Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI), which sells camping and hiking equipment through catalogs, stores and the Web to customers who have the option to join its co-op, has taken a deliberate turn into the modern age.
Clothiers have worked the catalog and retail combination for decades. Knowing the strength of multiple channels, they were early adopters of online marketing. But in multichannel branding, have they maintained their lead? To find out, we recently conducted a secret shopper exploration of Eddie Bauer, J.Crew and Anthropologie. (For the first part of this ongoing series, check out our Multichannel Shopper investigation of food merchants in our January 2009 issue, which is also archived at CatalogSuccess.com.)
In tough times like these, companies often look for Band-Aids to slap over problems so they can get by. This year we all have problems, and the catalog business isn’t immune to them. In many respects, namely the losing battle they continue to fight with the USPS (although at press time, there was a glimmer of hope for postage to be adjusted downward for larger-volume mailers), catalogers are hurting worse than others.
Wine gifts and accessories multichannel retailer Wine Enthusiast never overlooks the power of the customer’s voice — no matter the channel. Well aware of the effectiveness of online customer review programs, the Mount Kisco, N.Y.-based company, which has mailed catalogs for its entire 30-year existence, introduced customer ratings and reviews in its Holiday 2007 catalog and has reaped the benefits ever since.