January 23, 2018

Getting Away From The Addiction

Heard numerous times in the past month:
  • "With all of the consolidation happening in our industry, how the heck are we going to find new customers? A handful of holding companies own every customer age 55+ and catalog co-ops are imploding. And our core customer doesn't scale on Google and/or Facebook. What should we do next?"
Some who had vision and got the heck away from catalog co-ops, Google, and Facebook 3-5 years ago are thriving.

So you're going to not be left with a choice.
  • You will have to get away from Catalog Co-Ops, Google, and Facebook.
And here's the typical response to that statement.
  • "But what do we do next? How do we acquire customers without them?"
Have you seen ads for all of those dinner-in-a-box services? Have you used one? They didn't use catalog co-ops. Sure, they've used Google+Facebook, but that's not 80% of their new customer base, now is it?

So how did they do it?

How does anybody do it?

Folks are doing "different" things (click here for examples). Notice that product and experience are key differentiators ... not marketing channels. Notice that marketing evolved as well ... becoming a fusion of product and experience and technology and awareness.

So if I'm an old-school catalog brand likely in the SELL quadrant above, think about the four things I just mentioned.

  • PRODUCT: Products that a Baby Boomer or Retiring individual prefers.
  • EXPERIENCE: Reading.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Printing.
  • AWARENESS: Virtually none.
This is what drives the cataloger to the all-you-can-eat buffet of catalog co-ops, Google, and Facebook.

We're going to need to get away from the all-you-can-eat buffet, aren't we?

Catalog Craig Paperman on the Amazon Toy Catalog

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