March 12, 2014

Oh, I Didn't Realize Things Were That Interconnected

You've got five minutes to kill, so why not give this video a quick viewing (click here).

What did you learn?

Well, when wolves were re-introduced at Yellowstone, just about everything about Yellowstone changed. Rivers changed shapes, the distribution of species changed, where species (like deer) lived changed. The height of trees changed, for crying out loud. Everything changed. By re-introducing one species.

Don't you think this happens in e-commerce as well? Or more specifically, your business?

Right now, you're being told to be #omnichannel. Yup, you're told you must "do everything" or your business will die. The vendors and consultants and trade journalists are essentially telling you to fix the rivers yourself, to fix the height of the trees yourself, to move the deer to other areas of Yellowstone, to introduce beavers and badgers and bald eagles - they're asking you, specifically, to do everything (paying them $$$ in the process, right?).

Might it be wiser to simply re-introduce the wolves?

In the video, wolves are to the ecosystem as merchandise is to your business.

I can't tell you how often marketers get frustrated with me when I talk about merchandise. Merchandise is the reason you buy something. If McDonald's served angus burgers with sawdust in them, you wouldn't use their drive-through channel to buy 'em, would you? But they reintroduce the darn McRib sandwich (chomp) and customers use the drive-through to buy 'em (and then those customers are labeled #omnichannel, and marketers will credit the drive-through for increasing customer value).

Merchandise means everything. I know, I know, you don't want to hear this message. It doesn't mean that your job as an affiliate manager or circulation manager or email targeter is any more/less important, it just reinforces the role you play in selling merchandise.

Everything in your business is interconnected. When I worked at Nordstrom, there was a reason Cosmetics and Womens Shoes were on the ground floor ... those departments were the wolves.