September 15, 2016

Player Development vs. Merchandise Development

Think about the process a Major League Baseball player goes through.
  • Little League / Select Teams.
  • High School / College Path.
  • Drafted.
  • Rookie League
  • Low-A.
  • High-A.
  • Double-A.
  • Triple-A.
  • Major Leagues.
By the time a player arrives at the Major League level, the player has likely played in between 750 and 1,500 games and has taken countless batting practices and been involved in endless fielding drills. The player has been "developed" ... has been given exposure to countless situations that allow the player (merchandise) to achieve potential.

Football and Basketball leverage development through the High School / College path.

Think about Soccer ... you have Under-15 and Under-17 and Under-19 and Under-21 teams ... you have academies bringing in players who have yet to solve an algebra equation. You have club teams at low levels, you have club teams at high levels, you have the Premier League or the Bundesliga. You have your National Team. In other words, you have an entire player development process, designed to vet out the best players (merchandise).

How about you, the e-commerce marketing pro? What is the process you employ to give your New Merchandise the best chance of success? Do you have a process in place to give exposure to new items, to quickly promote new items into inexpensive digital marketing strategies, to move the successful new items in email campaigns to prime landing page and home page real estate, and then finally move the items to really expensive print strategies?

You don't have a process?

It's time to catch up to the competition. You, as a marketer, play a more important role than the merchant at developing new items. You control marketing channels, channels where new items gain exposure. It's up to you - not the merchant - to provide adequate access for new items.

Yes. You.

Can you articulate the marketing strategy you leverage to develop new items? If the answer is "we label new items as new items on our landing pages", you are behind the competition.