September 25, 2012

Good Questions!

Here's an email I received recently:
  • "Your work on Judy, Jennifer, and Jasmine got me to thinking about a few things.  Specifically, what happens when Judy stops buying merchandise?  I've invested my entire life in the field of Direct Mail.  I believe I am an expert in this area.  But what do I do when Judy stops buying merchandise?  What do I do for a job then?"
And here is another email I recently received:
  • "Do you think we can convince Jadyn (the 15 year old that will replace Jasmine in a decade) to love Direct Mail the way Judy loves Direct Mail?"
Ah!  Now we are getting somewhere.

Our industry doesn't want to ask hard questions.

We need to ask hard questions.

I can take us back to Nordstrom, when we decided to kill the catalog.  You want to talk about a mass exodus, well, there was a mass exodus.  With the catalog gone, the work that people loved to do was also gone.  You could make a choice ... you could recalibrate skills to deal with the business as it existed ... you could switch to a new department and start over ... you could leave the company and find a place where the work you loved doing still existed.

People pursued every one of those options.

We can easily answer the second question.  We're not going to train Jadyn to love Direct Mail.  And we're not going to train Jasmine to love Direct Mail.  In 13 years, Jasmine will be in her prime earning years.  Just think what the world will look like in 13 years?

Jennifer has already been trained to trust two parties ... Amazon and Google.

Judy loves Direct Mail.  She has another 5-10 years to spend money.

Given that information, how would you answer the first question?

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