August 12, 2018

Marketing Systems with Catalog Craig Paperman

Yes, this is business fiction. Some of you would prefer that I write about stuff that makes you profit the way you want to earn profit ... so if that's you, skip the rest of the article and read this pdf about branded content and native ads (click here).


Kevin: Craig, you look like a bird just made a nest in your gutters, are you ok?

Craig:  I'm fine.

Kevin:  No you aren't.

Craig:  I just finished reading all sixteen of your Business Principles (click here). A few weeks ago I thought this work was vapid. I'm more convinced of it today.

Kevin:  I remember - we talked about your Marketing Management System (click here). You run a vendor-based Marketing Management System.

Craig:  I agreed with you at the time. But then I thought about what you said and I found your comment offensive.

Kevin:  Why?

Craig:  You made me sound like I am a pawn, a simpleton. That's not who I am.

Kevin:  All I said was that you run a vendor-based Marketing Management System.

Craig:  I have my own ideas!

Kevin:  Undoubtedly.

Craig:  Just last week a popular vendor nuked their RSS feed and I was blessed to reread all of their posts from 2018. That really got the ideas flowing.

Kevin:  Your ideas or their ideas?

Craig:  They talked about sending postcards to customers based on browsing data. They talked about sending catalogs to customers based on browsing data. They talked about letting the co-ops know every single thing my website visitors are looking at so that the co-ops can monetize that information in a way that theoretically benefits my business. They talked about mail/holdout tests that proved we should all mail more catalogs to customers. They said the pendulum is swinging back to print. They really got me thinking.

Kevin:  Alright.

Craig:  If the pendulum is swinging back to print, and if their thesis is correct, then I'm literally sitting on a pot of gold.

Kevin:  Good. So what are you going to do about it?

Craig:  I'm going to call my sales rep at that vendor and we're going to test some of their products.

Kevin:  Sure, test and learn.

Craig:  But I'm the boss.

Kevin:  Huh?

Craig:  I make the decisions. Me. I'm the decider.

Kevin:  How did you get to the point where you made your decision?

Craig:  Why does that matter?

Kevin:  If we had to attribute your decision to an activity, what activity led to your decision?

Craig:  Again, why does that matter?

Kevin:  Because you aren't thinking for yourself.

Craig:  I'm the decider.

Kevin:  You decided something because a vendor made a mistake and you were presented with a series of articles you already read earlier in the year.

Craig:  I suppose you are right.

Kevin:  You are running the very essence of running a vendor-based Marketing Management System.

Craig:  No, you're not following. I am the decider.

Kevin:  You wouldn't have made your decision had the vendor not made a mistake with their RSS feed. And what was your first instinct, once you read the content?

Craig:  I wanted to call the vendor and test their ideas.

Kevin:  If you are running your own Marketing Management System, you think about what you and your team can do to improve business - that's your first instinct. If you immediately think you can improve business by quickly calling a vendor, then you are running a vendor-centric Marketing Management System.

Craig:  I don't know why this is important to you.

Kevin:  Do you trust your vendor partners?

Craig:  Absolutely!

Kevin:  Do you believe your vendor partners are being 100% honest and trustworthy when they tell you that the pendulum is swinging back to print when our industry is shutting down print factories and vendors publicly state in their 10-K statements that print is in decline?

Craig:  Well there's a lot of moving parts out there, that's for sure.

Kevin:  You can have great success running a vendor-based Marketing Management System.

Craig:  See, you agree.

Kevin:  But you aren't necessarily a leader if you run a vendor-centric Marketing Management System.

Craig:  That's nonsense. I'm the decider.

Kevin:  A leader doesn't execute what vendors tell her to execute. A leader executes what is right for her business.

Craig:  Are you telling me that print-centric solutions in a digital world aren't the right thing to do?

Kevin:  They might be the right thing to do.

Craig:  Thank you.

Kevin:  But you are just doing what vendors want you to do. Our industry is infected by professionals who simply do what vendors tell them to do. And do you know who wins when professionals do what vendors tell them to do?

Craig:  Russia?

Kevin:  Vendors win.

Craig:  We all win.

Kevin:  You win when you create your own system, your own Marketing Management System. You win when you have your own set of beliefs and then your beliefs are validated by customers spending more because of the tactics you employ. You win when your staff leave your company and borrow your system and merge it with their beliefs and create their own system.

Craig:  I believe in print. I have to depend on vendors to execute my wishes.

Kevin:  You can believe in print, that's fine. But why aren't you telling your vendor partners the products you need instead of implementing the products your vendor partners want you to implement?

Craig:  Um.

Kevin:  That's the difference. If you were running your own Marketing Management System, you'd be telling vendors what to do. If you are running a vendor-centric Marketing Management System, the vendors tell you the products you must use and then you pay the vendor for the products and services they told you to use.

Craig:  Wow.

Kevin:  Wow what?

Craig:  Wow, you really twist words to make an argument. Is that part of your system?

Kevin:  #OhBoy.

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