A company recently went out of business. I scanned my email files ... this company contacted me back in 2013, and after a bit of back-and-forth, the Marketing Director had this to say:
- "It's a shame you have no way of improving our social media strategy, because we need a strategy that helps us get younger."
The company sold stuff that Baby Boomers liked, via catalog. This company lamented the fact that their social media efforts were going nowhere.
Of course their efforts were going nowhere! Even if you had the most talented individuals on the planet, you're selling stuff 65 year olds want to purchase ... so Snapchat ain't gonna be the place to do that.
I should have recommended that the now-failed company apply "Modern" scores to their merchandise assortment. Obviously, "Modern" scores wouldn't have solved the social media problem, but they would have solved the "online marketing" problem that plagues so many catalog brands.
Here's what I observed in recent research. I looked at the average "Modern" score for each merchandise category the brand had. I dummied the results below, fictionalizing the categories.
- Widgets = 61.3
- Bidgets = 54.7
- Tidgets = 49.9
Customers who purchased Widgets used the online channel in a "modern" manner ... while customers who purchased Tidgets used old-school channels (like catalogs).
If you were going to launch online marketing tactics, which merchandise category should be featured?
So you use the old-school catalog to feature Tidgets ... and you leverage online marketing channels to sell Widgets.
I know, I know, you've been taught that you must employ the same merchandise in every channel at the same price ... creating a "seamless" experience. Wrong. You should have been taught that your job is to keep your company in business.
Tomorrow, we'll talk about staying in business.
P.S.: Starbucks closes their online store - pushing customers into stores instead (click here). The in-store experience is moving toward entertainment/experience ... and all the yammer about an integrated channel experience may well be proven wrong. My opinion only (and I may be proven wrong) ... online and in-store experiences are going to diverge over time ... the in-store experience has to diverge in order to survive.