February 07, 2010

Dear Catalog CEOs: Monday Notes

Dear Catalog CEOs:

Here's a few random thoughts for you to consider.


Vendor Partners: I listened to a vendor-based e-mail marketing Vice President address an audience, and rip those who market to customers via print. This is a person who works for a company that many Catalog CEOs hire to execute e-mail marketing. Carefully scrutinize your vendor partners. Why pay companies money, only to have the company use your money to illustrate how outdated you are to an audience of prospects?

Awareness: One of the 'secrets' of this new decade is the age-old concept of 'awareness'. Last decade, you had a website, you did paid search or SEO, and you generated volume. Now that online volume has flattened out, this will be the big land-grab of the new decade. You don't create awareness by renting a name and sending them a catalog, or by sending e-mail campaigns to an opt-in list, or by executing paid search. You might be able to do it via social media, though the odds are poor (hint ... individuals can do this via social media a lot easier than brands can). You're not likely to do it via mobile. Crack this nut, and it won't matter what channel you market in.

Opt-Out Services: I was completely wrong about them, they didn't shut down the industry. Have you recently visited the most popular catalog opt-out service? Less than 1.2 million members, about the same number as last year.

Conferences: I receive a steady stream of e-mails from Catalog Marketing leaders, asking for advice on what conferences are worth attending. Let's turn this around. What do you think you need to learn? And what kind of forum would you want to learn it in? Let's think about the kind of conference that is truly needed. Send me your thoughts, click here!

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