Kevin Hillstrom: MineThatData

Exploring How Customers Interact With Advertising, Products, Brands, and Channels, using Multichannel Forensics.

April 04, 2010

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April 01, 2010

Best Buy Q4 Earnings

Maybe more important than the earning summary (click here to read the earnings transcript) is the way the first two pages of the document read.

Could you, the Business Executive, write two pages that clearly articulate why your business was successful in 2009 and then map out with passion and ease where you are taking your business in 2010?


March 31, 2010


April 1, 2010 (April Fools Day): Major Consumer Support Vendors Announce Integration Alliance Designed To Enhance Consumer Experiences Across Multiple Channels And Platforms

Executives from six brands today announced an alliance that is expected to revolutionize the way that consumers and brands interact with each other.

The forward-thinking alliance includes leading organizations like Abacus, the offline data compilation organization; Coremetrics, the online data compilation measurement firm; Twitter, the iconic text messaging platform; Quad Graphics, a leading print vendor; Clear Channel, the dominant player in the FM radio business, and SpotXChange, the video re-targeting service.

The alliance, code-named "Harmony", will provide integrated multi-channel solutions to brands hoping to capitalize on the emerging world of what Abacus Vice President of Innovation Lyle Cartryte called "360 degree brand immersion".

Mr. Cartryte continued ... "By combining data, traditional media platforms, and social media, we have the ability to capture both offline and online customer interactions, and then create personalized advertising messages designed to better monetize the customer experience across vendor platforms! In particular, we'll be able to merge our offline data with online data culled from clients who use Coremetrics so that we have a 360 degree view of customer purchase activity, something that is very important to online brands given that 90% of purchases still happen in the antiquated, outdated, unpopular, and inefficient offline world of retail. By integrating offline, online, and social media interactions via Twitter, we believe we'll know more about your spouse than you know. If your spouse buys you flowers on February 13 in an offline retail environment, we will be able to use retargeting technologies from SpotXchange to offer your spouse the opportunity to purchase chocolates, make dinner reservations, or fill prescriptions, all of which significantly benefit you, the loving spouse while creating monetization opportunities for brands participating in 'Harmony'. Best of all, the alliance allows us to use print technology from Quad Graphics to deliver personalized, relevant, anticipated print-based messages, reminding your spouse that Easter is just around the corner. And if your spouse fails to buy an Easter ham, we can use Twitter to target this individual with relevant and anticipated tweets from trusted brands like Safeway. Just imagine a tweet from @safeway that says something like '@dude, OMG, WTH, you forgot to buy a ham, do you want one delivered to your home today?' And then on Easter Sunday, when your spouse tweets to his 37 followers that he forgot to pick up stuffing, we can use video-based retargeting technology to reach this consumer. Honestly, 'Harmony' represents the future of marketing, a beautiful future if I may be so bold. This is the unrealized promise of CRM. Traditional marketing is dead."

Kyle Larson, Vice President of Product Development and Synergies at Twitter, lamented the fact that 'Harmony' represents tight integration between various vendors and Twitter, but celebrated the fact that "... we're finally going to be compensated for our efforts ... seriously compensated!"

EVP Linton Pendleton of Clear Channel, a radio conglomerate and "Harmony" brand partner, believes that FM radio technology will be very complementary to "Harmony", especially when Hologram Marketing becomes a reality in 2014.

Mr. Pendleton said "... we plan on using the 'Jack FM' voice, known and beloved by radio listeners as 'Jack', to be the voice of the Hologram that will eventually deliver advertising messages to consumers via Holograms transmitted via FM radio waves. Listeners know that on 'Jack' radio stations, we 'play what we want'. Consumers will soon learn that in this advertising network called 'Harmony', we will 'advertise what we want', while building an infrastructure that allows us to use offline, online, and social media activity to target highly relevant ads to engaged consumers. It isn't far fetched to think that we can achieve our goal of having a mobile Hologram appear just above your left eye maybe seven dozen times a day, within your line of sight, using the voice of 'Jack' from 'Jack FM' to communicate brand-relevant messages like 'You appear tired, could I access your debit card and have a five hour energy drink delivered to your cubicle ... advertising what we want, Jack FM'. Then, after a suitable "latency period" elapses, like two minutes, the hologram would reappear in a non-obtrusive manner, saying something like 'People who recently tweeted about being hungry and who shopped at a QFC grocery store in the past week love getting coupons in the mail for carryout Chinese food from Safeway. Would you like for me to send you coupons via the mail and then access your debit card so that I can deliver hot 'n sour soup to your cubicle right now to satisfy your hunger, or would you prefer a Snickers Bar? ... advertising what we want, Jack FM ... this message was brought to you by Q13 Fox, where tonight you should watch the next episode of '24' because Jack Bauer discovers a terrorist plot, one where his very television series is canceled, causing him to want to blow up the FCC if his show is truly canceled. That's '24', tonight on Q13 Fox'. As you can see, we will be able to use integrated data across channels, platforms, and technology, to deliver highly relevant and anticipated brand messages that enrich the lives of many consumers via beloved Hologram marketing icons bearing the voice of 'Jack' from 'Jack FM'. And the experience will be fully personalized. You will be able to decide if the hologram appears above your left eye, above your right eye, or right in front of your face. You will be able to adjust the volume of Jack's voice. You will be able to decide if 'Jack' has dark hair, blonde hair, or a simple buzz cut. It's really going to be something! Think about all of the authentic social media conversations that we will be able to analyze, segment, and convert into highly personalized, non-obtrusive brand messages via Hologram marketing?"

Financial details were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close today, April 1.


March 30, 2010

Point of View: Coach

When this post was written, the Coach homepage featured a zippy tune from Mandy Moore ("I Could Break Your Heart Any Day Of The Week) coupled with a brief video featuring shoes.

I've mentioned how e-commerce is likely to evolve ... becoming a hybrid of e-commerce, social, mobile, and media, with heavy emphasis on media. This is an example where media begins to become the dominant point of view.

Again, I'm not saying these strategies work or do not work. Instead, I'm asking you to think about how these strategies apply to the businesses that you manage.

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March 29, 2010

Point of View: Cordarounds

Check out the website of Cordarounds, a Bay Area purveyor of pants.

This might be a business model that violates both the best practices of the catalog industry and of classic e-commerce home page design.

As you know, I'm not advocating that you should or should not execute the strategies of the companies I'm sharing with you. Instead, I'm asking you to consider if there are elements of these businesses that are appropriate for your business. Cordarounds is a business that clearly does things differently, including manufacturing of only a few hundred items before moving on to the next item.

What might you learn from their branding/positioning/execution?

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Optimization: FAIL!

Think about this blog for a few moments.

There's nothing that gets less traction on this blog than the catalog marketing articles I write each Monday. Traffic is awful. The articles aren't ever shared on Twitter. And yet, whenever a catalog CEO hires me, s/he mentions those articles.

There's nothing that gets more traffic on this blog than the "Point of View" articles you've seen over the past few weeks. Oh boy. Those things spread like mad. The social media folks love 'em, the web optimization folks love 'em, the marketing pundits love ''em. Best of all, according to SiteMeter (one of my web analytics tools), retailers and online pure plays and catalog brands have staffers who love to read these articles.

Nobody, based on my ability to track projects, hires me because I point out what Best Buy is doing, free of charge. These articles drive traffic and create buzz and create engagement. They don't pay the bills.

In other words, if I optimize this blog based on what is popular, I get to reap the myriad benefits of an "Optimization FAIL!".

If I optimize this blog based on what matters, I make many compromises. I sacrifice traffic and engagement and buzz and comments and all that fluffy stuff the social media community tell you must exist for you to be a success ... I trade in all of that for the ability to make a living.

This brings us to your website.

What is your optimization criteria?

Is it a mythological metric like conversion rate? If so, optimize away. Prevent drive-by visitors from even viewing your website. Offer free shipping, heck, offer 25% off plus free shipping like some of the apparel retailers are doing. Don't do paid search, those folks convert at too low a rate. Heck, lock the computer the person is using until they place an order, that'll increase conversion rate!

Now here's a metric ... do you optimize on monthly profit per unique visitor? If not, why not? Isn't that what you are trying to accomplish, don't you want to maximize monthly profit per unique visitor?

Take two visitors:
  1. Customer visits one time, is offered 25% off plus free shipping on a $100 order, customer leaves site, is targeted via a re-marketing program offering 30% off plus free shipping. Customer visits site again, spends $100. Total profit on the transaction is $10, after giving $30 of margin away and $15 of shipping revenue.
  2. Customer visits website five times in the month, purchasing on the fifth visit. Customer spends $90. Total profit on the transaction is $50.
If you are looking to "optimize" your website, you'd execute the strategy that caused customer number one to purchase.

If you are looking to optimize monthly profit per unique visitor, you'd execute the strategy that caused customer number two to purchase.

Which strategy are you executing? The first strategy is a clear "Optimization FAIL!" The second strategy, while not satisfying from a traditional promotional marketing viewpoint, is clearly more profitable when measured via monthly profit per unique visitor.

Hint: Optimize around monthly profit per unique visitor.

March 28, 2010

Dear Catalog CEOs: Contact Strategy

Dear Catalog CEOs:

How often should you contact your customers?

Well, back in the day, the only way customers purchased was when you mailed them something.

Today, this relationship has been blown up by the internet. In the "multichannel era" (2001 - 2007), it was suggested that you had to mail catalogs or you wouldn't get any online demand. Many now use mail/holdout tests, and know that this is no longer the case. In fact, it is not uncommon to execute a mail/holdout test, and observe that half or more of the demand does not disappear when catalogs disappear.

To think that all of our measurement/matchback systems get this wrong, costing us a ton of profit. Hmmmmm.

If you want to greatly simplify this mystery, segment your twelve-month customer file into three groups.
  1. Customers who ordered via the telephone.
  2. Customers who ordered online, and previously ordered via the telephone.
  3. Customers who ordered online, and only order online.
Customers in the first segment still follow the "old rules" ... meaning that you have to mail catalogs, or you won't get demand from these customers.

Customers in the second segment might follow the rules of the "multichannel era" of 2001 - 2007. Often, you can reduce contacts by 15% to 25% without detriment to the top-line.

Customers in the third segment follow rules that the catalog industry isn't used to. These customers tend to be less loyal (that has been known for a decade or more). These customers do spend money online without the aid of catalog mailings. These customers can be managed very profitably, in fact, total company profit can be increased by 15% to 40% simply by managing these customers in an appropriate manner.

How many other ideas do you have for increasing company profit by between 15% and 40%, right now?

And if you don't have any ideas for increasing company profit by between 15% and 40%, right now, why wouldn't you capitalize on this methodology? What are the reasons that limit your ability to capitalize on this methodology?

Most of my Multichannel Forensics projects focus on these three audiences, trimming mailings in order to increase profit. The money saved here is re-invested in customer acquisition and in online marketing (search, e-mail, re-targeting, mobile, and in some cases, social media).

As always, I'm here to help you through this transition --- e-mail me now for details.


March 25, 2010

Point of View: JCPenney

JCPenney has a whopping 782,000 fans on Facebook (vs. about 4,000 on Twitter).

One of the ways they differentiate themselves from others is their "Weekly Obsession", where Penney features certain items on a weekly basis.

Here's another tip. It's a lot cheaper to have a conversation with customers via Facebook than it is to tell customers what to purchase via a catalog --- assuming you have the ability to obtain a mass of fans on Facebook (hint: not easy, not easy at all).

It's interesting to see the evolution of marketing. JCP was the final holdout in the "Big Book" world of catalog marketing. Of course, today, the website is the "Big Book".

We've gone from big books to targeted catalogs, targeted catalogs to websites, websites to e-mail campaigns, e-mail campaigns to search marketing, search marketing to social marketing, search marketing to mobile marketing. Things are branching out, folks. We no longer have the luxury of marketing one message to one big audience.

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March 24, 2010

Point of View: Banana Republic

Banana Republic, a division of Gap, is also moving in different directions.

The trend, of course, is away from the static, old-school classic e-commerce experience.

For instance, give this link a click. You see the embryonic beginnings of a shopping experience that merges media and commerce, a first step away from the information technology based drill-down experience that is complemented with search. Banana Republic is offering you their point of view, complete with brief commentary from those who know more about Banana Republic than anybody else --- Banana Republic employees.

I can learn about trends, chino, and a new store concept.

Certainly, there are things in this style of merchandise and creative presentation that resonate with your business. Keep learning, watch what other folks are doing, experiment!

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March 23, 2010

Point of View: 1-800-Flowers

Think of the brand name "1-800-Flowers".

The name represents a version of direct marketing that is thirty years old. But they are doing things on Facebook that are worth paying attention to.

1-800-Flowers has a unique Facebook Shoplet that allows you to purchase your flowers without leaving the comfy confines of Facebook. You can click on any of the icons on the wall to shop, or you can click on the SHOP tab and purchase via the Shoplet.

E-Commerce won't be about your website in ten years. E-Commerce, like many other things, will move "into the cloud", if you will. It seems to me like this is a really good time to test different strategies.

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March 22, 2010

Six Marketing Strategies

In so many ways, it is 1996 all over again.

I worked at Eddie Bauer in 1996. On a good day, our e-commerce site generated somewhere in the neighborhood of six or seven orders a day. A lot of catalog folks didn't think much of the e-commerce division back then. Here these 25 year-olds were generating orders that were obviously cannibalizing the catalog division, and they were getting credit for them.

Look where we are now. Good thing folks pursued the investment in technology. Except for the fact that investment largely stopped in the early 2000s. Now, we all have the same websites with the same broadly-accepted best practices that all yield homogenized purchase experiences that have resulted in declining online retention rates. On the other end of the spectrum are the mobile and social folks, with their goofy acceptance of honest conversations that create sales that nobody can measure.

Here we go again.

Technology is causing customers to spread out on a grid that is bounded by the analog world, classic direct marketing, the digital world, and the mobile world.

In-between these worlds are environments that can accept traffic, or push traffic to each world.

In 1995, all of our customers resided on the far left side of this grid. In 2010, customers are scattering all across this grid.

So, if we want to grow, we have to scatter with our audience.

This is not the traditional "multichannel" argument that you've heard so much about. No, instead, it is all about having marketing strategies that "cover the grid", if you will.

And we cover the grid via six different marketing strategies.
  1. Mobile.
  2. Social.
  3. Media.
  4. Algorithms.
  5. Tradition.
  6. Service.
Hint: Media/Content is going to be as important or more important than Mobile or Social or Algorithms. Mobile/Social/Algorithms require content to survive.

Most of the time, we focus our efforts on tactics within each strategy. We create a company blog, and believe we're participating in Social. We create an app for the iPhone, and we believe we are participating in Mobile. We complete an SEO project and believe we're participating with the Algorithms. We send a catalog, and feel like we're producing Media. We offer live chat, and believe we're offering great Service.

We'll use these tactics in the short term to market to existing customers.

Most important, especially for the old-school catalog brands who market to customers under the age of 50, is the concept of using these tools to create Awareness. For customers under the age of 50, it is no longer good enough to rent names and mail catalogs ... just look at your response rates, after matching-back online orders, during the past ten years. The data speaks for itself. You know the trends are not sustainable.

So you're going to have to have a broad-based strategy to create brand awareness, to stand out from a thousand competitors who all sell the same merchandise you sell at the same price (or cheaper) at cheaper shipping rates with faster delivery. You'll have no choice but to craft a strategy that doesn't yet exist, one that fuses Mobile, Social, Media (Rich & Traditional), Algorithms, Tradition, and Service.

You see the embryonic stages of this transition today --- Zappos is a great example of fusing Social and Algorithms and Service.

Now it is your turn. What are you going to do to fuse Mobile, Social, Media (Rich & Traditional), Algorithms, Tradition, and Service?

Oh, sure, I can hear the complaints now.
  • "You obviously don't know anything about cataloging. 80% of our transactions come from the catalog. The catalog is the future, it will do better once the economy rebounds."
  • "None of that Social stuff works, we tried a blog and it didn't work. We published discounts and promotions on Twitter and only have 339 followers. It simply doesn't work."
  • "Why craft a mobile strategy when there isn't a critical mass within one carrier and one phone vendor? And heck, I don't even get coverage at my home, so mobile is nothing more than hype!"
  • "The iPad is a farce, it doesn't utilize accepted software best practices. And why would I hold a tablet-based computer when I already own a laptop."
All of those are excuses. They are excuses that allow traditionalists to continue to pursue the status quo, one where sales continue to decline and it keeps getting harder and harder to acquire new customers. Be honest. Is your business in better shape, in terms of existing customers and sales and profitability and new customer acquisition than it was five years ago? For 7 of 10 of you, the answer is an unvarnished "NO". So why keep up the smokescreen? Why defend something that isn't working?

Why not step out of tactics and campaigns, and put on your leadership cap? Why not chart a course to the future? Why not be willing to be wrong? Why not earn your salary by inventing the future, by truly being strategic? Why not step away from pointless tactics and campaigns that only goose demand for a two-week period of time, and instead focus on being brilliant?



March 21, 2010

Dear Catalog CEOs: Mobile, Social, Media, Algorithms, Tradition, Service

Dear Catalog CEOs:

I am preparing presentations for several conferences I am speaking at between now and June 1.

Two things have become obvious to me.
  1. What our industry knew as "multichannel marketing" is dead. It cannot be resuscitated.
  2. The customer decided what her version of the future looks like. We didn't anticipate her vision of the future.
Classic multichannel marketing looked something like this. Our industry mailed a catalog to a customer. The customer walked to her mailbox, full of anticipation. She opened her mailbox, and found nine of her favorite catalog brands offering 124 pages of sheer delight. The customer entered her home, fed her family a wholesome dinner, then covered herself in a blanket next to the fireplace, thumbing through more than a thousand pages of content. Her laptop sat beside her, her credit card securely stored in separate accounts at each of her favorite catalog retailer websites. She placed orders, she keyed in source codes off of the back of each catalog, she paid $14.95 for shipping and handling. In just six days, her merchandise arrived.

Classic multichannel marketing predicted that this process would repeat, evening after evening, in perpetuity.

And the script, written in 2001-2002, never varied. Even in 2010, this is the way the script is read. Worse, the e-mail marketing community picked up on the script. They claim that e-mail, a mature marketing channel, is the engine that fuels social media. Does that sound familiar to the script you've been following for a decade?

The script can always be justified, because there are always instances where the script is 100% correct. We'll always be able to find women in rural Maine who act the way we want them to act, causing us to believe that we're on the right track.

We're not on the right track.

There are many forces driving our customer base in different directions.
  1. Mobile.
  2. Social.
  3. Media.
  4. Algorithms.
  5. Tradition.
  6. Service.
Mobile is going to be unpredictable. Mobile is what the internet was in 1995. Your early investments in Mobile are unlikely to be fruitful. And yet, you have no choice but to be there, to experiment. So get busy!!

Social is the digital version of tradition. It is the place where humans digitally interact. People eat at a food court in a mall and chat. Now, people put a sign up on a digital property in Farmville, or share thoughts online.

Media is something that catalog brands need to embrace, immediately. Media must be created to engage customers. Media will be shared by folks in the social space. Media will connect people to brands in the mobile space. Heck, the iPad and successors are devices that will bring Media to life. Where is your high-definition programming channel? Instead of a tactic of creating a blog, what is your content strategy? How will you "entertain and inform" customers in a way that causes them to visit your website twice a week without the expense of a rented name from a co-op?

The future of Algorithms is uncertain. In a pre-Social world, Algorithms were the way that customers found information. Google decided who won and lost. That type of dominance is not likely to last this decade. Social and Algorithms and Mobile will interact in ways we cannot possibly anticipate today. We know how Algorithms used to work. Our customers will use our innovations to decide for themselves how they will interact in the future. One thing is certain. We need to be there.

We focus a disproportionate amount of time on Tradition. We mail our catalogs, we debate whether 64 pages are appropriate or whether 72 pages are appropriate. We contemplate a Monday-Wednesday in-home window or a Wednesday-Friday in-home window. We wonder whether we should add four pages of editorial in order to "make a statement". In 1994, this was a valid discussion. In 2010, this is 17% of what the discussion should be about. Tradition goes in other directions as well. Tradition relates to television, radio, newspaper, billboards, direct mail, e-mail marketing. Tradition relates to the competitive advantage a 35 year old catalog has over a 6 year old online startup. Tradition can be marketed a positive. Today, we let the customer decide what Tradition means, and all too often, she sees Tradition as being stodgy.

Service should never wane as a critically important component of a brand strategy in a digital world. Companies like Zappos choose to execute Service via operational excellence (i.e. rapid and free shipping), unfettered selection, and the use of Social to deliver the Service message. Nordstrom goes old-school, using real humans in physical stores to deliver Service. We must have a Service solution. It cannot be $14.95 shipping with six day delivery. It cannot be a bare-bones staffed call center.

Again, every Catalog CEO should demand that every member of the Executive team have an answer for how every strategy fits within each of these six dimensions.
  1. Mobile.
  2. Social.
  3. Media.
  4. Algorithms.
  5. Tradition.
  6. Service.
Take your website, for instance. How does your website interact with Mobile? Why would folks in the Social world recommend your website to somebody? What Media are you producing on your website that would cause the customer to voluntarily visit your website every-other-day? Do the Algorithms favor your website, driving new traffic? Do you leverage Tradition (i.e. your catalog) to drive traffic in a cost-effective manner? And what Service do you offer that is superior to anybody else?

Your website no longer represents technology, your website IS your store, it is the embodiment of who you are. Your website and your merchandise and your pricing strategy are essentially the same thing. You leverage Mobile, Social, Media, Algorithms, Tradition, and Service to grow your business. These dimensions replace traditional campaigns, the building blocks of classic marketing. No tactic within any dimension scales to a level that replaces a campaign, which is a problem of the 2010s that we simply cannot avoid.

Again, every strategy you implement should tie in to each of the six dimensions outlined in this article.

Ok, your thoughts?


March 18, 2010

Mail And Holdout Tests: Segmentation

If you really want to understand the incremental impact your marketing activities have on your business, be sure to have more than 5% of your file in the mail and holdout groups. Obviously, you cannot have 30% of your file in mail and holdout groups, but you might be able to accommodate 7.5% or 10% of the file in each segment.

Once you have the appropriate number of customers in the mail and holdout group, go ahead and segment each group based on prior customer behavior. Then, run your analysis (incremental results of the mailed group minus the control group) on segments of customers.

Here are some of the segments you might wish to analyze:
  • Telephone Shoppers.
  • Online Shoppers.
  • Your Digital Profiles (often very enlightening!).
  • E-Mail Buyers.
  • Non E-Mail Buyers.
  • Those Who Click On E-Mail Campaigns.
  • Those Who Do Not Click On E-Mail Campaigns.
  • Recent Buyers (i.e. Last Three Months).
  • Lapsed Buyers (i.e. Last Purchase = 13-24 Months Ago).
  • Paid Search Buyers.
  • Affiliate Marketing Buyers.
  • Banner Ad Buyers.
  • One Time Buyers.
  • Multi-Buyers.
  • Multi-Channel Buyers.
  • Retail Buyers.
  • Those Who Buy From A Merchandise Division.
  • Those Who Buy From Multiple Merchandise Divisions.
  • Urban vs. Suburban vs. Rural Buyers.
  • Discount vs. Full-Price Buyers.
  • Those Who Buy Inexpensive Items.
  • Those Who Buy Expensive Items.

Oh, there's so many other variables you can create segments from and analyze. Simply put, there's so much value to be had by conducting these type of tests, coupled with very simple measurement techniques.

So, why aren't more e-mail marketers and catalog marketers executing these tests? Your thoughts?


March 17, 2010

Mail And Holdout Tests: The Basics

Ok, folks, here are the basics of executing a mail/holdout test ... for both catalog marketers and for e-mail marketers.

Catalog Marketers:
  • Identify the audience that is likely to receive catalogs in the next three months.
  • You'll need about ten percent of your audience to measure this well.
  • Randomly sample 5% of your customer audience. This group can receive catalogs if they are eligible, if they do not meet your selection criteria, don't mail a catalog to this customer.
  • Randomly sample 5% of your customer audience. This group is not allowed to receive catalogs, unless they choose to request a catalog.
  • Keep customers in each of these two segments for a period of three months.
  • At any time during the test period, you are free to analyze the test results. Subtract the difference between the mailed group and the holdout group. This is the incremental value of catalog mailings. Run a profit and loss statement on this incremental difference.
  • Analyze the incremental difference in telephone demand, online demand, e-mail demand, paid search, natural search, affiliate marketing, banner ads, portal advertising, and shopping comparison sites. You may find that catalog marketing drives incremental business to some of these channels.

E-Mail Marketing:

  • E-Mail marketing results are often over-stated by click-through and conversion rate analyses, except in retail instances, where e-mail marketing results are often under-stated.
  • Use the same rules outlined above for catalog marketers. Sample 5% of your e-mail file, and treat these customers normally. Sample 5% of your e-mail file, and do not send e-mail marketing messages to this audience for a period of three months.
  • Measure the incremental difference between the mailed group and the holdout group. This is the true value of e-mail marketing. You are likely to be very surprised by the outcome of the test!


March 16, 2010

Catalog Marketers and Retailers: The iPad

If you are a catalog marketer, you absolutely have to be going bonkers over the roll-out of the iPad, right?

I mean, has there ever been a digital device that was more tailor-made for a digital catalog? You're flipping through pages with your index finger on a device that goes wherever you go, and the catalog pages on this digital device (you subscribe to your digital catalog via RSS so it automatically arrives on a weekly/monthly basis) link to landing pages on your website ... or better yet, you simply execute one-click shopping from the device without ever visiting the website.

You've been craving multi-channel solutions for ages ... this is the ultimate multi-channel solution.

And if you are a retailer, why would you not have an iPad in every store, so that your employees can assist the customer when he wants size XXL and it is not available? I'm just saying ....

The iPad and a myriad of soon-to-be-released competing devices are your new mobile mailbox. Why wouldn't you be first to capitalize on this opportunity?