July 31, 2023


Back in the day I spoke at the NEMOA conference. A day later I'm listening to one of the best and brightest in the vendor industry (meant honestly here) finish his talk. The audience wobbled out of his session, seemingly confused. The speaker turned to me and said (paraphrased) "I think they're too stupid to understand what I'm saying to them."

That comment stuck with me for a long, long time. Even today.

I don't think the audience was too "stupid".

I think the audience simply trusted the speaker.

The speaker could have told the audience to throw nerf balls into a garbage can to generate a sales increase and the audience would have complied.

In the 16.5 years I've consulted, not a month goes by when a traditional catalog client is presented with one of my analyses ... and the analysis clearly shows that customers have changed behavior (i.e. they could mail a lot less and be more profitable). In recent years, the discussions happen via video conference. You can see the faces of the Executives I'm talking to. The Executives trust their vendor partners.
  • "My printer says they are encouraged by what they are seeing!"

At another conference in 2019, a print person stopped me and said "if you think I'm going to let you tell my clients to stop putting catalogs in the mail resulting in me not being able to put food on the table for my family, you are sorely mistaken."

You can trust your vendor partners.

You can also trust your own customers.

Here's where trust comes into play. Look at this article title:

It was written last year by somebody the industry generally trusts (click here). Notice that the author doesn't have anything to say about the myriad ways to use digital marketing or offline marketing to grow your business ... just cut a few pages, or trim circulation a little bit, and integrate yourself deeper with a paper industry who is harming you.

Meanwhile, your test results tell you what your customers think. 

Do you trust your customers?

Many of you in the catalog industry are telling me your mail/holdout tests show increased organic percentages and decreased print effectiveness. Believing in test results suggests you trust your customers.

Do you trust your customers?

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