March 21, 2018

Meeting Structure

I sit down for a meeting to review quarterly results. The Executive Team get ready to dissect a hundred pages of results. The meeting organizer begins the meeting with a review of the three main catalogs and two remail catalogs that comprised the quarter.

Sales for the quarter were on-plan, but the catalogs were down about 5%. Folks begin to argue with the Chief Marketing Officer ... "you're measuring this stuff wrong, the catalog drives all of our channels".

The Chief Merchandising Officer commences a beat-down of the Chief Creative Officer. She shows the room how the spread on pages 6-7 of the February Catalog was not "trend-right". An in-depth analysis of the profitability of each item, measured via a square inch analysis, indicates that a handful of items performed poorly. The CFO begins a spirited discussion whether next year's February catalog should be 80 pages or 76 pages?

After two hours of back-and-forth comments, five minutes are spent on the email campaigns. One minute is given to a discussion about imagery on Instagram. Nobody talks about the fact that Search performance was up 20% on the same budget as a year ago (#optimization). The Chief Operations Officer mentions that she's tired of the retargeting ads that hound her across the internet. Nobody discusses the fact that a personalization vendor improved online conversion rates by 20%, which helped offset sluggish catalog performance.

At the end of the meeting, a task force is created to determine optimal page counts for 2019. 

What is the meeting structure like at your company?

If the catalog is the primary focus of any business review ... well, if it is, it says a lot about who you are as a company, doesn't it?

Business Principle #14