March 20, 2019

Doing The Hard Work

Let's think about this for a moment ... pretend you are a catalog brand that has survived twenty years of "disruption" ... and you hire a New Marketing Leader. You give your New Marketing Leader the following information prior to beginning employment:
  1. Average Customer Age = 63 years old.
  2. Catalog Response = -3% per year, every year, for the past decade (on average).
  3. Online = 80% of sales. Website looks outdated, and for good reason, because it caters to a 63 year old customer.
  4. New Customer Acquisition response is -30% the past two years.
  5. It's hard to acquire customers via Google, and very hard / expensive via Facebook.
  6. You are very worried about what your brand looks like 5 years from now.
Describe what your expectations are for your New Marketing Leader surrounding The Great Eight.
  • Audience.
  • Awareness.
  • Acquisition.
  • Welcome Program.
  • Anniversary Program.
  • Optimization Program.
  • New Merchandise.
  • Existing Merchandise.
Your expectation of your New Marketing Leader should be VERY HIGH. Your New Marketing Leader is going to do the hard work ... no magic.

When you interview the New Marketing Leader, you use the Great Eight as the framework of your interview process. The candidate should be able to articulate a strategy, supported by tactics within each category.

Right?

March 19, 2019

New Names From Co-Ops, Google, Facebook Is Not A Strategy

It's a tactic, no doubt about it. And it's a brain-dead easy tactic. Pay somebody, do very little, get new customers.

It's not being very strategic however, is it? I know, I know, here come the unsubs. But the New Marketing Leader has to have a toolkit full of ideas within each category of the Great Eight.
  • Audience
  • Awareness
  • Acquisition
  • Welcome Program
  • Anniversary Program
  • Optimization Program
  • New Merchandise
  • Existing Merchandise
For instance, if you are a catalog brand and you are generating 65% or more of your new customers from catalog co-ops, ask yourself a series of questions.
  • Is this the audience you wish to speak to?
  • Other than an expensive catalog plus merge/purge costs plus paying the co-op some cheddar, how do you plan on generating Awareness?
  • What is your plan if the co-op mailed customer visits your website and leaves without buying something. Do you have a plan to capture information (at minimum)? Do you have a plan to capture an email address (at minimum)? Do you have a plan, period?
  • In the unlikely event that the customer buys something, do you have a Welcome Program in place to get the customer to buy for a second time, quickly?
  • What are the Anniversary events, the three or four big events you have each year, the events designed to maximize sales opportunities?
  • Do you have an Optimization Plan in place to minimize over-mailing the co-op buyer who purchases after four website visits?
  • Do you have a separate email marketing program that helps grow new merchandise performance via product categories adjacent to the categories the co-op buyer purchased from?
  • Does the catalog front-load the first twenty pages with the absolute best items you sell, in an effort to maximize profitability?
Your co-op / Google / Facebook programs are not strategies ... they are a minor tactic within the confines of the Great Eight. The New Marketing Leader has answers to the questions I outline above, and implements a program unique to the industry.

Right?

March 18, 2019

Omnichannel Is Not A Strategy

Omnichannel is not a strategy. It's an optimization tactic, an important part of the Optimization component of the Great Eight, but it is not a strategy.

Strategies grow brands ... reference Amazon if you're curious about what a strategy looks like.

From 2013 - here's Macy's plan for omnichannel dominance (click here). How did that work out? Since the article was written, Macy's generated $2.5 billion less in annual net sales than they generated six years ago. That's what happens when you put all your chips on one tactic within the Optimization category of the Great Eight without having an overall (compelling) strategy.

The New Marketing Leader needs to have a comprehensive plan for each category within the Great Eight.
  • Audience.
  • Awareness.
  • Acquisition.
  • Welcome Program.
  • Anniversary Program.
  • Optimization Program.
  • New Merchandise.
  • Winning Merchandise.
Omnichannel has nothing to do with merchandise. It has nothing to do with an Anniversary Program that has several key events each year (think Amazon Prime Day or Nordstrom Anniversary Sale). It has nothing to do with a credible Welcome Program that quickly converts the customer to a second purchase. 

It "could" help with customer acquisition.

It "could" generate awareness, though it's a lousy way to run an awareness program.

It "could" resonate with your Audience, though if it did, sales would greatly increase instead of decreasing by 10% over time.

The New Marketing Leader has answers for each category within the Great Eight ... of which Omnichannel is a tiny, TINY component.

You have a comprehensive program encompassing the Great Eight, correct? Right??

March 17, 2019

Personalization Is Not A Strategy

Ok, we weeded out a bunch of followers who apparently didn't like the concept of implementing your own Marketing Management System.

But it's terribly important.

Why?



Personalization is not a strategy. It's a tactic ... a darn good tactic, an optimization tactic. But personalization doesn't lead to growth ... well, that's not entirely true. Tiny growth is possible. A pure e-commerce brand might see "some" growth. For a retailer? Not so much.

If you are a New Marketing Leader, yes, you'll have personalization as part of your "Optimization" category within the Great Eight (click here). But "what" exactly are you personalizing? And "why" are you personalizing anything? What does your personalization effort support?

Those questions need to be answered ... the New Marketing Leader has an entire strategy of which personalization is a tiny component.


P.S.: Personalization is darn important ... I have clients who increase email response by 20% and various online endeavors by between 15% and 50%. However, top-line sales are rarely moved a ton by personalization. You need new customers or merchandise productivity to move the top-line. But you already know that, don't you?

March 14, 2019

Describe Your Plan, Part 4

https://www.datamann.com/datamann-seminar-april-2019/
Let's assume you inherit a business with the following dynamics:
  • +3% Overall Merchandise Productivity.
  • +14% New Merchandise Productivity.
  • -8% Existing Merchandise Productivity.
  • -6% New + Reactivated Buyer Comps.
  • 100,000 12 month buyers last year, 40% rebuy rate, 40,000 active buyers.
  • 55,000 new + reactivated buyers last year.
Tell me what is wrong with this business, and tell me what kind of plan you'd implement to fix this business?

March 13, 2019

Describe Your Plan, Part 3

https://www.datamann.com/datamann-seminar-april-2019/
Let's say you inherit this type of business:
  • -6% Overall Merchandise Productivity.
  • -2% New Merchandise Productivity.
  • -11% Existing Merchandise Productivity.
  • -20% New + Reactivated Buyer Comps.
  • 100,000 12 month buyers last year, 40% rebuy rate, 40,000 active buyers.
  • 47,000 new + reactivated buyers last year.
This is one of the most common situations the new marketing leader inherits ... EVERYTHING is broken.

What this business desperately needs is a Leader.

That's where you come into play.

You need to have a plan for every one of the Great Eight.


You don't have a choice ... this business is fundamentally broken. You will address all eight tactics, and you will communicate clearly to every employee in the company that every single aspect of the business is broken and is FIXABLE!!!!

You are going to be the hero.

Get busy fixing things!



March 12, 2019

Describe Your Plan, Part 2

https://www.datamann.com/datamann-seminar-april-2019/
Let's say you inherit a marketing team, and your business possesses the following dynamics:
  • +8% Overall Merchandise Productivity.
  • +9% New Merchandise Productivity.
  • +7% Existing Merchandise Productivity.
  • -18% New + Reactivated Buyer Comps.
  • 100,000 12 month buyers last year, 40% rebuy rate, 40,000 active buyers.
  • 50,000 new + reactivated buyers last year.
What does this tell you?
  • Your merchandising team is doing a fabulous job.
  • The prior marketing leader messed up the business, bad.
Your first job is to fix customer acquisition. Period. Your marketing strategy is the problem. You are the problem. And in a month or so, you'll be the one blamed for business not meeting expectations.

It's on you to fix this problem, asap.

You'll focus on the following.
  • Audience.
  • Awareness.
  • Acquisition.
  • Optimization (i.e. search and offline advertising).
Quite honestly, this business is being held back by one person ... and that person is you. It doesn't matter what your predecessor did, you run marketing now and if you don't fix this problem, everybody suffers.

Get busy!!

Doing The Hard Work

Let's think about this for a moment ... pretend you are a catalog brand that has survived twenty years of "disruption" ... an...