June 12, 2011

Dear Catalog CEOs: The Catalog Is Who We Are

Dear Catalog CEOs:

I hear this quote several times a month, from many of you:
  • "I don't think you understand, Kevin.  The catalog is who we are."
This is common, and it is common across disciplines.  The e-mail marketing folks, in spite of maybe 5% of total sales, tell me that without e-mail marketing, all engagement is lost.  Social Media folks tell me that 88% of customers participate in Social Media before making a purchase, so they believe that without Social Media, business doesn't exist.  Mobile folks tell me that we will all be out of business in six months without a world class app.

When you hear the claims of e-mail marketers, or social media marketers, or mobile marketers, you are likely to scoff, right?  We know that the claims are foolish.

Back to our mantra:  "The catalog is who we are."

We're only going to have more channels in the future ... we haven't even addressed the problems that are likely to occur when Hologram Marketing arrives in 2016.

In the future, we need to define ourselves by what we sell, not by the method used to generate the sale.  Increasingly, I see a passion for the method we use to generate sales, while I fail to see passion for what we are selling.

Maybe the customer senses our lack of passion for what we sell.