Why Must I Wait for a Wii? And Will the Internet Rescue You or Bury You?
I’m in the process of digesting an insider’s report by Universal McCann that projects growth for direct mail and the Internet in 2007 to be 7.5 percent and 15 percent respectively.
This means that direct marketing growth is once again estimated to outpace other areas of advertising.
This forecast further reinforces my opinion that there’s never been a greater time to be in our industry. So if you’re a pure-play Internet marketer, there’s never been a better time to increase your business by starting a catalog. If you’re already a cataloger, according to a recent Web poll on CatalogSuccess.com, 76 percent of you saw holiday sales increases in 2006 over 2005.
Years from now, we may look back at this time period and its explosive growth in wonderment. Following are a few things I’ve been pondering as a marketer in the Internet age.
Where are Wii now?
Did any of you actually get a Nintendo Wii? I didn’t. My eighteen-year-old son did. He actually waited on line all night, but he got one. He then proceeded to sell it for twice the price on eBay. Not bad for one night’s work.
Since then, (and thanks to him showing my six-year-old how cool it is), I’ve searched high and low for one. I’ve been to every possible retailer who carries it. At Best Buy, the day I went they had 30 come in, and gave out vouchers for the systems at 7:00 am. If you didn’t get a ticket and came later, you were out of luck. The sales person at Toys ‘r’ Us told me that they get two to three units in a week
So here’s what I want to know. Can anyone tell me if this is a planned strategy to build demand, or just demand way outpacing supply? If this was a sales strategy, Nintendo would have lost me as a customer. If not, they should fire their sales forecasters.
It’s safe to say the Internet has me spoiled. The thought of not having instant access to purchasing something I want has gotten to me. As to camping out for a Wii, forget it. I never waited on line all night for tickets to see The Who in concert as a kid, so I’m certainly not going to start now.
Internet Explorer wants to rule the world!
I caught a news story the other day about the next version of Internet Explorer (IE 7) and its anti-Phishing measures. It seems that URLs will in your address bar will be color-coded to identify potential fraud to an unsuspecting surfer. Any sites identified as Phishing sites will be color-coded red. Good sites will be green, and sites with no color-coding, well, log on at your own risk.
From what I gather, companies will be able to join this color-coding system, and companies whose corporate entities aren’t LLCs are going to be out of luck. If that’s right, then that’s pretty scary.
This will become a heated issue in 2007. It’s possible that anyone without a green color code (the proverbial green light) will be assumed to be fraudulent. It’s guilt by non-association with Microsoft. I’ll continue to monitor this issue and see what it’ll mean for catalogers. In the meantime, if you have any news or views on this development, feel free to post it here.
The Internet has vastly changed the way we do business. Most changes have been good ones that allow our businesses to grow and thrive. But we as marketers need to stay on top of the trends and issues that affect us and adjust accordingly lest the Internet get in the way of doing business.
Cheers to you in 2007! I wish you a safe and prosperous year ahead.
Jim Gilbert is president of Gilbert Direct Marketing and a professor of direct marketing at Miami International University of Art and Design. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jim Gilbert has been creating direct marketing programs that drive superior ROI for almost 30 years. Fluent in consumer or B-to-B, creative, operations, and analytics, he marries the strategic and tactical sides of direct and social media marketing in a seamless fashion that gets results. He's CEO of a multidiscipline direct marketing agency, Gilbert Direct Marketing, Inc., which focuses on direct mail, catalogs, DRTV, telemarketing, print, alternative direct marketing media and social media marketing. Jim has been involved in start-ups, expansions and turnarounds, and is an expert in helping multichannel marketers get to the "next level." He's a former adjunct professor, teaching direct marketing at Miami International University, and is President of the Board of Directors of the Florida Direct Marketing Association. Jim loves to talk direct marketing, and has done many lectures on direct and social media marketing.