December 11, 2008

The Best Catalog Zip Codes

Modern cataloging disproportionately skews to various rural areas in New England.

This map illustrates a hyper-responsive cluster of zip codes in New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire.

Urban areas (Boston) love e-commerce. Rural areas shop via catalogs, and shop disproportionately over the telephone.

Our job is to recognize the fundamental differences in customer behavior represented by geography. Mobile marketing and social media and a "Twitter-storm" are not as relevant in New Hampshire as a well-merchandised 124 page catalog that drives the customer to a call center, where a pleasant voiced sales associate walks a customer through an order.

The fact that almost nobody in our industry talks about this stuff is a bit surprising, isn't it? After all, you can improve the profitability of marginal segments by between 5% and 20% by applying Zip Code Forensics, based on actual tests and backtests.

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I See Dead People

From LinkedIn, where I wrote this on Sunday: