Welcome to 2009, the Year of Engagement, Social Marketing and Web 2.0, Part 1 of 2
1. Merchants: The first type is brand/product-centric. These are merchants who've built their companies from the ground up with an intuitive feel for what their customers want and need. Culturally, these companies are focused on merchandising, product development and brand building. They have a sort of "if you build it they will come" feel internally.
2. Marketers: The other type is the sales and marketing culture. Here, the focus is less on product/branding and more on the process of direct marketing. Marketers are more numbers-focused, and the feel you get when you visit is that it's about list building and what gets sold to that list.
If I had to guess which of these cultures will better adapt to Web 2.0, I’d have to say the marketing culture. But the truth is, it’s anyone’s guess.
Check back next week for part two, where I'll look at the role social media occupies for catalog/multichannel marketers, as well as how it can be a good thing to hear the negative things customers have to say about you.
Jim Gilbert is president of Gilbert Direct Marketing, a full-service catalog and direct marketing agency. His LinkedIn profile can be viewed at www.linkedin.com/in/jimwgilbert, or you can post a comment here or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow Jim on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gilbertdirect.
Jim Gilbert has had a storied career in direct and digital marketing resulting in a burning desire to tell stories that educate, inform, and inspire marketers to new heights of success.
After years of marketing consulting, Jim decided it was time to “put his money where his mouth was" and build his own e-commerce company, Premo Natural Products, with its flagship product, Premo Guard Bed Bug & Mite Sprays. Premo in its second year is poised to eclipse 100 percent growth.
Jim has been writing for Target Marketing Group since 2006, first on the pages of Catalog Success Magazine, then as the first blogger for its online division. Jim continues to write for Total Retail.
Along the way, Jim has led the Florida Direct Marketing Association as their Marketing Chair and then three-term President, been an Adjunct Professor of Direct and Digital marketing for Miami International University, and created a lecture series, “The 9 Immutable Laws of Social Media Marketing,” which he has presented across the country at conferences and universities.