August 03, 2016

"They Treat Me Like I Am An Alien"

Here's some info from a recent call ... the vendor rep had this to say:
  • "When I visit an e-commerce brand, the conversation flows naturally. I have a reasonable chance of selling something."
  • "But when I visit a catalog brand, especially one based in New England, they treat me like I am an alien. Any talk of digital strategy just blows right past them. Sure, they nod in agreement with me. But they have no interest whatsoever in working with me, because my solution is not aligned with the catalog. Kevin, it is 2016. It's time to move beyond the catalog. 60 year olds use tablets every day. But these people absolutely don't want to move beyond the catalog."
This was my response.
  • "There is no way a catalog professional will change unless the change is enjoyable for the employee or causes the response rate of a catalog to increase."
It's no different in retail, folks ... retailers took Milton's Stapler (click here) and appended the internet to stores and then watched in horror as sales declined.

Let's pretend you are a social media guru who loves text ... and somebody tells you that the future of social media is video. What do you do? Click here to find out! The very social media guru who told you to change for a decade is shocked when the world moves forward causing the guru to have to change ... the social media guru digs in and says "no".

This is simple human nature. We want to protect doing what we love doing.

If you want to sell the future to a cataloger, you have to preserve the fun the employee gets to have each day. Heck, I should know. I've printed money for catalogers for the past ten years but very few catalog employees have fun by mailing fewer catalogs. As a catalog professional you all know and love told me ... "I'd rather not listen to you than listen to you tell me I have to change, even if change is exactly what I need to do."