July 07, 2013

Dear Catalog CEOs: A Business Bubbling Under The Core Business

Dear Catalog CEOs:

Here's an interesting quote ... I heard it recently from one of your peers.  I had not heard a true catalog executive offer this previously.  It marks a shift in thinking.
  • "We were told we had to align all of our channels.  Yet last week, we're looking at merchandise reporting, and we can see the proof in the pudding.  We have online items that are fundamentally different than our core catalog items.  They sell reasonably well, and with minimal ad cost, they're very profitable.  But more important, this tells me that we're serving different customers.  We can no longer think about the catalog as the center of the ecosystem.  We have different customers.  Older customers and younger customers.  We need to meet all of their needs.  The catalog can't accomplish our goals anymore.  This will disrupt our entire organization, how we do things."
I'm going to stop right there.  Take a moment, and let the paragraph sink in.  I'll be back in a moment.

...

...

...

I'm back.

This was one of your peers, not me, saying this.

It may just be that you have a new business, bubbling under the surface of your core business.  If you look at the data the right way, you'll see this.  The future is staring you right in the face.

Now that you are back from a weekend of enjoying fireworks, spend a little time thinking about the quote, thinking about what it means for your organization.