April 26, 2021

When Time Passes By Something That Used To Be Important

In 2015 there were 43.7 million viewers.

In 2019 there were 29.6 million viewers.

In 2020 there were 23.6 million viewers.

In 2021 there were   9.8 million viewers.

Even if the pandemic hurt the broadcast and next year things are at a "new normal", how many people are going to watch?

CBS Sunday Morning had a story about how the movie industry is going to rebound ... and thrive. Maybe the story was accurate, maybe not.

From a Customer Development standpoint, the Oscars didn't do a good job of attracting a younger audience at the very time they were losing older views. If you want the overall audience to hold, you have to make major changes. That's hard to do when you broadcast via traditional "channels".

In the first eight years of my consulting career, maybe 60% of my client base were catalog brands (with 20% being retail brands and 20% e-commerce brands). Today 65% of my clients are e-commerce brands, 20% catalog brands and 15% retail brands. Times changed, and I had to change with them.

But I get the vendor emails from the industry, and I get the news from paper reps. They're partying like it is 1999 ... though time has passed the discipline by. They'll talk about Amazon catalogs like the movie industry talks about the Fast and Furious franchise. 

2015 was a kind of "line of demarcation" ... the end of the old world. In 2015 Macy's was "America's Omnichannel Store", and Management was lauded by trade journalists. Years later, the Management Team was gone and the trade journalists beat up the brand for the very ideas the trade journalists lauded them for years earlier.

In 2015 when the majority of my clients were catalogers, I'd bring up the "Oscars" issue ... heck, I was hired to diagnose the "Oscars" issue. When I'd share the "Oscars" issue with catalog CEOs, I'd get beat up by the very people who'd benefit from change. They wanted the "Oscars" the way they had always been.

In 2021, I have numerous catalog clients, and they're the smart ones. They didn't want to be like The Oscars. They planned for changes in composition of the Customer File. They focused on Customer Development, not on an endless argument about paper and "omnichannel strategy".

Do not end up like the Oscars ...  a case when time passes by something that used to be important. Develop your Customers, not your channels.

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