Gina Valentino

Gina Valentino
Create a Customer-Focused Business

By Gina Valentino Flashback five years. 'Brick and mortar' was predominately a term used to describe a retail store location, and in particular used to describe a separate business unit from the catalog and/or Internet business. The retail store was considered, and more importantly treated, as an entirely different means of doing business. It was almost elite and certainly not included in the same sentence as catalog or Internet by corporate management or industry analysts. Fast forward to 2005. You don't hear 'brick and mortar' much at all. Instead, retail operations are part of a company's multichannel business. Multichannel describes two or more

Catalog and Direct Selling: Get Them Back

... for the second sale It’s the end of the year and you’re probably tabulating the first-time buyer count—how many customers have made their very first purchase this year. And you’re also looking at how many first-time buyers you have overall—customers who’ve only made one purchase in their lifetime. To keep the customer file strong and profitable, these first-time buyers need to buy again next year. But, next year is just days away. What can you do to influence a second purchase? Begin With RFM Planning how to influence the second sale should be part of your overall annual contact strategy. The annual contact

Catalog and Direct Selling: Punch Up Your Product’s Resume

Turn a good idea into a best seller Every product is like a job seeker. A product has a resume; it interviews each time it’s shown on a catalog page or Web site; and if it presents its qualifications properly, it has a good chance of closing the deal for the salary … er, price … it demands. So how do you give your product the edge in a market filled with similarly qualified products? The same way you do in the business world: Network your way in the door, present a killer resume and nail the interview cold. Get in the Door If

Catalog and Direct Selling: Crossing the Channel

Dos and Donts for Cross-channel Offers Simply put, a cross-channel offer is a way to entice customers who have made a purchase in one channel (e.g., catalog, retail, Internet) to make a subsequent purchase in a different channel. Why would you want to do this? Analysis continues to prove that cross-channel shoppers are much more profitable than single-channel shoppers. Since most company operating systems (call center, order entry, marketing database) were developed prior to the information superhighway, marketers have made their share of mistakes pioneering the Internet. To avoid repeating their mishaps, here are a few do’s and don’ts to consider before you

Catalog and Direct Selling: Dissect Your Catalog

In the old days, figuring out what changes to make to the next catalog was simpler. “Metrics” referred to the conversion of gallons to liters; “CRM” was a random sample of the alphabet; and “multi-channel” meant that the one TV in the house had clear antenna reception from all three broadcasting companies. Not so anymore! Now, to keep pace in the complex game of cataloging, procedures such as the post-mortem analysis are necessary. The purpose of a post mortem is to formally review overall catalog results and incorporate the findings into the next catalog. The post mortem does not replace detailed analysis specific to

Are You In or Out?

By Gina Valentino Nobody likes to talk about outsourcing. Looking beyond the walls of the organization is complicated. But for good managers, the decision-making process should be ruled by simple math and balanced with sound judgment. Regardless of the type of company, outsourcing provides alternatives to hiring full-time employees and investing in capital. As with any decision, a cost justification is necessary. Each organization is different, and the decision to outsource or develop the resources internally requires due diligence. Keep It Simple There are as many metrics as there are managers. When developing comparison data to determine whether in-house or outsource options

Why the Housefile is Pulling Better Than Ever (1,168 words)

By Gina Valentino Why the housefile is pulling better than ever. Solid circulation plans, Internet offers, retail bargains, relevant merchandise offerings and good creative are combining to produce an excellent response from your housefile. Why? Because in difficult times, catalogers get back to basics—doing the right things the right way. Only Mail to Customers Who Will Buy A marketer's dream: the 100-percent response rate. Whether it's a business-to-business (B-to-B) or consumer catalog, a catalogers' greatest asset is its housefile. It contains a wealth of information that allows the marketer to pick and choose the best customers to

Put an End to Data Fatigue (1,274 words)

By Gina Valentino Are you working harder than your database? Perform this quick self-check: - You're tired of running analysis. - You're tired of linking spreadsheets. - You're tired of marketing data but not matching merchandising data or financial data. - You're tired. If you've checked "yes" to any of the observations in our self-check, you're working much harder than your database. Perhaps you don't mind. But try to imagine a world where the database works for you, providing timely and relevant information—not just data. You don't need Steven Spielberg or George Lucas for

Put an End to Data Fatigue

Are You Working Harder Than Your Database? By Gina Valentino Perform this quick self-check: