October 01, 2008

A Veritable Plethora Of Updates

We talked about credit this week --- namely the way our industry sells money to customers as well as merchandise. I scolded our industry for this behavior. None of you elected to leave a comment, pro or con. But some of you sure liked the article on Ann Taylor's new credit/loyalty program, interacting with it and e-mailing it to your friends.

It's one thing if I suggest there's a catalog customer acquisition problem. It's a whole 'nother thing when it comes from a respected individual like Paul Imbierowicz.

Our challenge, as an industry, is to find the 100 micro-channels that replace the 15% drop in catalog customer acquisition circulation. Until we figure this one out (some folks have figured out some of the pieces, some catalogers are doing really neat stuff these days), mining lapsed buyers is a short-term fix.

Also notice that Mr. Imbierowicz promotes the concept of different marketing tactics for different customer segments. Good! Mr. Imbierowicz has always been one of the positive voices coming out of Abacus, in my opinion.

You've been enjoying the discussion about Hillstrom's Zip Code Forensics, based on my RSS stats and Google Analytics results and extensive beta test participation. Check out tip #1 from Lori Paikin, via Multichannel Merchant.

More on catalogers using social media:

Notice the brief comment in this Shop.org post about "questioning the ROI of blogging". Let me ask a question of the wise pundits who demand that the ROI of blogging be quantified ... Do you measure the ROI of the following activities?
  • Do you measure the incremental value of each of the paragraphs of copy you write for the products on your website?
  • Do you measure the incremental value of the color scheme you use on your website?
  • Do you measure the incremental value of the font you choose to present information with on your website?
  • Do you measure the incremental value of the periodicity of website updates ... i.e., do you measure whether it is right to update your homepage monthly, weekly, or in real-time?
If pundits aren't pontificating about measuring the ROI of these activities, then why in the name of Robert Scoble do the same pundits demand you measure the ROI of "blogging", which is really nothing more than a modern version of writing copy?

Multichannel Forensics A to Z: Interestingly, you enjoyed two articles more than any other during the last half of this series.
Apparently, you want to know what to do with all those online orders that aren't directly attributable to a catalog --- and then you want to segment customers in a way that is actionable. Both are important. Both only scratch the surface of the real issues we face these days --- they are symptoms of bigger problems, like high blood pressure being a symptom of heart disease.

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