January 23, 2012

Ladies and Gentlemen, Meet Judy

Maybe you've heard me talk about terms like "Traditioanls", "Transitionals", and "Transformationals", and you say to yourself ... "geez, I don't get it, at all."

So let's introduce Judy, pictured here.  Here's a few things you should know about Judy:
  • She's 59 years old, though people like her are likely to be somewhere between 50 and 64 years old.
  • She adores shopping from catalogs, always has, always will.  She reads catalogs in bed.  She is a catalog veteran.  If there were an all-star game for catalog shoppers, she'd be on the starting team.
  • She's most likely to purchase over the telephone, and may even send a check through the mail (yes, people still do that).  Even now, seventeen years after e-commerce began in full force, Judy prefers to speak to a live voice, over the telephone, when giving out her credit card.
  • Judy has an email address ... AOL or Yahoo! or Hotmail or via her local cable television provider.  She's not much of a Microsoft Outlook user.
  • Judy is on Facebook.  She almost has to be, because that's the easiest way for her to see pictures of her grandchildren, or for her to maintain relationships with her "pen pals".
  • Judy lives a few hours from the nearest "Galleria", so she's not a big mall shopper.
  • Judy will pay for shipping and handling.  She doesn't spend hours looking up free shipping codes online, and has been in a multi-decade habit of paying $12.95 to have products shipped to her home.  Paying for shipping and handling is a habit for Judy.
  • Judy likes the consistency of winning products, and she can be stimulated to purchase new products as well.
  • Judy has a cell phone, she may even have an iPhone, but she's not likely to take part in flash sales, nor is she likely to download apps.  She just wants to play Hearts on her phone, and likes playing with various ring tones that tell her that her husband is calling.
  • Judy owns a desktop computer, and only recently upgraded to DSL broadband. 
  • Judy can use an iPad, she takes to it immediately, but doesn't see the reason to spend $600 to purchase one, and there's certainly no reason to buy from an iPad app when you can just pick up the phone and call somebody.
  • Judy likes to use email to forward jokes and pictures of Zooborns.
  • If Judy buys online, she dutifully plugs in a catalog key code off of the back of her catalog.
We can identify people like Judy, can't we?  We simply dig into our database, find customers who prefer to shop via mail/phone, find customers who live in rural areas, find customers who willing pay for shipping and handling, find customers who enter key codes online, find those with an AOL/Yahoo!/Hotmail account, and we've found "Judy"!  So go do just that, because Judy is exactly the kind of customer who wants to receive more catalogs.

A few things to keep in mind, when crafting a marketing strategy for Judy.
  • Judy doesn't want to change.  She's on Facebook to see her grandchildren, not to embrace the future of F-commerce.  You will not get Judy to change channels, sorry.
  • Judy doesn't want you to change the creative in your catalog, either.  She's used to what you do, your catalogs are on her coffee table, she knows you, she doesn't want change.
You look at, say, Coldwater Creek.  You visit their Twitter page, and notice that Coldwater Creek, COLDWATER CREEK, has fewer than half as many followers on Twitter as I have.  You say to yourself, if you're a pundit, "my goodness, what a complete social media failure, they don't have a clue."  That opinion is completely, utterly wrong.

No, Coldwater Creek (check Quantcast for proof) has a TON of customers like Judy ... a TON.  Judy DOES NOT CARE about Twitter.  Judy is never going to care about Twitter.  Judy just wants the darn catalog placed in her mailbox on Monday morning.  Social media pundits simply do not understand Judy.

Catalogers have come to embrace Judy, this is the niche that still raves about catalogs.  There is a ton of profit to be had within this niche for the next 5-10 years.  You, the Catalog CEO, have an opportunity to capitalize on this audience.  This is the customer your co-ops are optimizing for.

It isn't hard to identify Judy in your customer database.  It's time to get busy segmenting people like her.  Get this attribute in your database, now!!

Tomorrow, we explore the Transitional customer, whom I call "Jennifer".


  1. There are a lot more of these customers than marketers think. They're not just in the 50-65 bracket though. Younger people who are excluded from ecommerce through poor credit ratings or a lack of computing power are a large market that can be tapped for some products.

    Print on demand technologies can make these customers profitable and get them in the stream ready for when they become technology enabled. Handle with care though. It is all too easy to overspend in serving them.

  2. ur blog is to much nice..


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