- Bill LaPierre of Millard, with a must-read on cataloging, absolutely awesome!
- Monica Smith on the mind of the multichannel customer. I've only met Monica once, she's a very bright individual.
- Mike Bowcut of REI shares a fantastic presentation of stuff he's learned at REI, a reasonable and professional and well-argumented discussion of the role a catalog plays in marketing.
These discussions lead us into the future. Think about cataloging in just five years, say in 2014.
It is likely that the circulation plan for a catalog marketer in 2014 will look very different than the circulation plan looks today.
For instance, in April 2009, this is what a typical plan might look like:
- Catalog (128 pages) in-home on 4/1, mailed to 300,000 housefile names and 500,000 prospects.
- Catalog remail of the 4/1 catalog (128 pages) on 4/15, mailed to 200,000 housefile names and 150,000 prospects.
- Catalog (96 pages) in-home on 4/1, mailed to 100,000 housefile names and no prospects.
- Catalog (32 pages) in-home on 4/15, mailed to 150,000 housefile names and 100,000 prospects.
- How will we acquire enough new customers to offset the 550,000 reduction in customer acquisition circulation?
- How will we offset the sales lost by a reduction in housefile circulation of 450,000?
The cataloger of 2014 becomes a media company. There's no reason to view Crutchfield any different than Martha Stewart. The multichannel view of the world is replaced by the micro-channel view of the world. The lines between merchant, media brand, and community developer blur. A catalog is just one of hundreds of micro-channels that in sum make up the "Crutchfield" brand.
That's a future that is actually exciting, a future where a catalog brand isn't dependent upon catalogs for growth.