J. Schmid

A columnist for Retail Online Integration, George founded HAGUEdirect, a marketing agency. Previously he was a member of the Shawnee Mission, Kan.-based consulting and creative agency J. Schmid & Assoc. He has more than 10 years of experience in circulation, advertising, consulting and financial strategy in the catalog/retail industry. George's expertise includes circulation strategy, mailing execution, response analysis and financial planning. Before joining J. Schmid, George worked as catalog marketing director at Dynamic Resource Group, where he was responsible for marketing and merchandising for the Annie's Attic Needlecraft catalog, the Clotilde Sewing Notions catalog, the House of White Birches Quilter's catalog and three book clubs. George also worked on corporate acquisitions.

Today's teens have been inundated from their earliest recollections with advertising, be it on TV, online, in their favorite video games and movies, and the list goes on. To effectively sell to this generation of consumers, Under Armour studies what makes it tick. What are teens thinking about? How do they behave? What motivates them to purchase?

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

The marketing manager was suspicious. The pay-per-click Web campaign results looked too good. A matchback revealed that 40 percent of the campaign’s customers, representing 60 percent of its sales, had actually received a catalog before placing their orders. Scary, isn’t it? That’s just one reason why order tracking still matters. Here’s another: The chart accompanying this article is a real — and typical — example of key code capture rates. This unnamed cataloger captured key codes for 46 percent of its orders that represented 62 percent of its sales. Untracked data represented 54 percent of its orders and 38 percent of its sales. The

For more than a year, Susan Landay and her staff at Trainers Warehouse discussed ways to strengthen the company’s brand. The 17-year-old catalog marketer of such training and teaching aids as buzzers, certificate frames, fidget toys, flip charts, easels and others was profitable, but Landay felt the company wasn’t realizing its full potential. “We realized our products appealed to more than just those who were buying from us,” says Landay, the Natick, Mass.-based company’s president. “We wanted to deepen our penetration into our niche and expand our appeal.” Last February, after some outside consultation, Trainers Warehouse launched a rebranding campaign. Trainers Warehouse learned

Site penetration — mailing multiple pieces to qualified recipients at one business location — is a proven response-boosting technique. At a minimum, multiple contacts indicate you’ve identified a significant business and not a SOHO (small office/home office) with one part-time employee. At its best, the technique can capture the entire market within your target company so you become its sole supplier. For some B-to-B catalogers, certain job titles, such as human resources director, can identify potential customers. But other catalogers can’t easily narrow their customer bases to a single contact. Their products appeal to employees across an organization with a variety of job

Maybe your products aren’t pretty like Pottery Barn’s, retro like Restoration Hardware’s or delicious like Dean & DeLuca’s, but that doesn’t mean your photography has to be boring. Eye-flow studies show that when customers browse catalogs, they look at the pictures first. If an image captures their interest, they then go through a well-documented decision-tree process. Get the picture right, and you’re in the game to score a sale. Get it wrong, and the customer turns the page. The secret to effective B-to-B photography is to focus on the benefits. Benefit-driven inset photos, along with the main product shots, are effective ways to

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