November 25, 2013

The Fog

Is it possible that we're stuck in a fog?

If you are a catalog marketer, then give this little ditty from Bill LaPierre a read (click here). The insights you get from reading Bill's blog are just a bit deeper and more meaningful than "8 Reasons Why Social Media Will Save Your Holiday Season".

Read the "GREAT MERCHANDISE" paragraph (click here, look for the heading). I won't repeat what he says, he wrote it, you should read his content on his site.

Within five minutes of reading the article, an email arrived ... here it is:

"Big Data Brings Omnichannel to Life".

Big Data and Omnichannel strategies keep vendors in business. This is THEIR new product, THEIR new merchandise offering.

Here's another ditty ... "FOLLOWING ORDERS, NOT CHANNELS (click here)". The entire article then talks about channels.

After you read five thousand or ten thousand of these articles, articles that tell you what you "must do", you come to a realization.

  • The media ecosystem is diving head-first into their version of new merchandise.
  • By paying attention to the media ecosystem, we ignore merchandise, focusing instead on topics like Omnichannel and Big Data.
  • By ignoring merchandise, we disappoint our customers, causing them to spend less.
  • When our customers spend less, we look to the media ecosystem for solutions, solutions that have nothing to do with merchandise (but everything to do with new merchandise for those in the media ecosystem).
In other words, the media ecosystem focuses on their version of new merchandise, and their focus ultimately distracts us, the readers, from focusing on our new merchandise, hurting our businesses, causing us to focus even more on their version of new merchandise.


I keep talking about merchandise, and for good reason. In my projects, merchandising issues account for +/- 10% of annual sales - and they compound, like interest, over time. Merchandise is within your control. And in so many cases, merchandise is being ignored.

It's almost like we're in a fog - we can't see what is truly important - with the media ecosystem using a fog machine to further blind us ... not intentionally, mind you ... they're doing it so that they can stay in business by selling their version of new merchandise.