letters/opinion

We just finished reading Herschell Gordon Lewis’ “Annual Best and Worst Copy” in the February edition of Multichannel Merchant. Wow — this is the first time for us on the “Worst” list.

We don’t want to come across as oversensitive. But most of the products Lewis mentioned have been around for quite a while — and last year he put us on the “Best” list!

He said this year:

Hey, “worst” doesn’t mean “terrible” here. What drove me to include this catalog on the bad list was some of the wording, which obfuscates rather than clarifies. There’s a Core Leather Vest. What’s “Core” leather? Unexplained.

There’s a Home Range Coat. What about this coat suggests or explains Home Range? There’s Compleat Leather Sport Coat. I haven’t seen “Complete” spelled that way since college-level reading of Izaak Waltons’ “The Compleat Angler,” published in 1653. This sport coat is goatskin, which complicates the possibility of clarity.

The merchandise seems superior. The headings sometimes puzzle.

Well, Anthropologie has a Lawrence Blazer — who’s Lawrence? J. Crew has a Twyla Tank — who’s Twyla? Sundance has a Tatiana Blouse — did Tatiana design it? Is Tatiana a famous person or romantic place?

We don’t get it — it’s obfuscating!

The Editorial Department
The Territory Ahead

LET’S HEAR FROM YOU!

Let us know how we’re doing.

Send us any comments on recent articles or issues, or perhaps a multichannel shopping tale you’d like to share.

HOW TO CONTACT US:

E-mail: melissa.dowling@penton.com

Phone: 203-358-9900

Fax: 203-358-5823

Letter: 11 River Bend
Drive South, Box 4949
Stamford, CT 06907

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Letters/Opinion

A TOAST TO BETTER TIMES IN BUSINESS

I am elated to say good riddance to 2009 — and ready to move out of recovery mode and really make things happen!

It’s time for energy, capital, sustainability efforts, people and big ideas to come together again and grow global business via the 5 Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle, redesign and re-imagine. These concepts force innovation into the life cycle of organizations, products and people and take the environmental focus to a whole new level.

Reduce: Examine your company’s packaging, redundancies and areas of waste. What can be reduced without affecting service and quality? It may be time to streamline materials, handling or logistics; look for opportunities across the supply chain.

Reuse: Why throw it away if it can be recycled or repurposed? What is your company doing with respect to reverse logistics? There could be a revenue opportunity for returned or refurbished products. Inventory will take on a whole new meaning in the next decade.

Recycle: This should just be a matter of sound business these days: sustainable practices that add value and are “green” in terms of the environment and your bottom line.

Redesign: How can you redesign your distribution center or logistics network to bring new life to your business? Does your information technology need an upgrade? Or perhaps redesigning means simplifying — it varies by industry sector and company.

Re-imagine: It’s time to kick-start our creativity again, since it has likely been stalled by the recession. What are the possibilities to expand your organization beyond the pure planning phases? What ideas will knock the competition off its feet? Sometimes the best business ideas begin with a spark of imagination tempered with knowledge.
JIM TOMPKINS, PRESIDENT/CEO
TOMPKINS ASSOCIATES

LET’S HEAR FROM YOU!

Let us know how we’re doing.

Send us any comments on recent articles or issues, or perhaps a multichannel shopping tale you’d like to share.

HOW TO CONTACT US:

E-mail: melissa.dowling@penton.com

Phone: 203-358-9900

Fax: 203-358-5823

Letter: 11 River Bend Drive South, Box 4949 Stamford, CT 06907

Partner Content

The Gift of Wow: Preparing your store for the holiday season - Netsuite
Being prepared for the holiday rush used to mean stocking shelves and making sure your associates were ready for the long hours. But the digital revolution has changed everything, most importantly, customer expectations. Retailers with a physical store presence should be asking themselves—what am I doing to wow the customer?
3 Critical Components to Achieving the Perfect Order - NetSuite
Explore the 3 critical components to delivering the perfect order.
Streamlining Unified Commerce Complexity - NetSuite
Explore how consolidating multiple systems through a cloud-based commerce platform provides a seamless experience for both you, and your customer.
Strategies for Maximizing Mobile Point-of-Sale Technology - NetSuite
Learn the top five innovative ways to utilize your mobile POS technology to drive customer engagement, increase sales and elevate your brand.

Letters/Opinion

WHERE ARE THE DATABASE ANALYSTS?

Direct marketing executive recruitment firm Crandall Associates has a problem: There’s a shortage of talent in the area of database analytics. President Wendy Weber offers her take on what the industry should do about this.

We have had clients that vary from catalogs to agencies, publishers to casinos, approach us to fill analyst positions. The salary for these positions ranges from $50,000 to 90,000. And the experience required is generally just three to seven years. Yet these searches present us with the greatest difficulty.

These are nice opportunities. After a few years, analyst typically progresses to a database manager, and upwards to management positions like database director or vice president in the next 10 years.

Some openings are more challenging because they require a specialized skill set, like SAS or Unica experience. But others simply require attention to detail and a love for the numbers and the story they reveal.

One client was so hard pressed to bring an analyst on board that he offered to pay all relocation expenses. And if the person was unhappy after a year, he would pay to relocate him or her back home. We still didn’t find a taker who was interested and qualified.

Direct marketing is an analytically driven discipline. How can we make our decisions based on the numbers when there is a dearth of talent to provide the analysis? Measuring results is at the heart of DM.

Direct marketers must do their best to offer analytics training to their bright up and comers. Alternatively, there are classes at the Direct Marketing Association, and at universities both on and offline that teach SAS, P&L analysis, and how to use marketing results to draw conclusions and make recommendations.

The career path for an analyst is a bright one. Let’s see if we can get more direct marketers onto it.

LET’S HEAR FROM YOU!

Let us know how we’re doing.

Send us any comments on recent articles or issues, or perhaps a multichannel shopping tale you’d like to share.

HOW TO CONTACT US:

E-mail: melissa.dowling@penton.com

Phone: 203-358-9900

Fax: 203-358-5823

Letter: 11 River Bend Drive South, Box 4949 Stamford, CT 06907

Partner Content

The Gift of Wow: Preparing your store for the holiday season - Netsuite
Being prepared for the holiday rush used to mean stocking shelves and making sure your associates were ready for the long hours. But the digital revolution has changed everything, most importantly, customer expectations. Retailers with a physical store presence should be asking themselves—what am I doing to wow the customer?
3 Critical Components to Achieving the Perfect Order - NetSuite
Explore the 3 critical components to delivering the perfect order.
Streamlining Unified Commerce Complexity - NetSuite
Explore how consolidating multiple systems through a cloud-based commerce platform provides a seamless experience for both you, and your customer.
Strategies for Maximizing Mobile Point-of-Sale Technology - NetSuite
Learn the top five innovative ways to utilize your mobile POS technology to drive customer engagement, increase sales and elevate your brand.

Letters/Opinion

THANK YOU IS WELCOME

Thank You for Mentioning the American Catalog Mailers Association contribution in the postal wars in your Editor’s Note (“Help is on the way”) in the March Issue.

If you are not already aware of this, Bank of America had filed commentary very late in the rate case comment period, attempting to discredit the U.S. Postal Service recommendation to give the catalog industry slightly lower rates.

The ACMA quickly requested a one-day filing extension, which the Postal Regulatory Commission granted, and then filed a rebuttal to Bank of America’s arguments.

Hopefully this will be sufficient to maintain the rates suggested by the USPS in its quest to become more market driven in its pricing decisions.
ALLEN ABBOTT
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT/CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
PAUL FREDRICK MENSTYLE

LET’S HEAR FROM YOU!

Let us know how we’re doing.

Send us any comments on recent articles or issues, or perhaps a multichannel shopping tale you’d like to share.

HOW TO CONTACT US:

E-mail: melissa.dowling@penton.com

Phone: 203-358-9900

Fax: 203-358-5823

Letter: 11 River Bend Drive South, Bx 4949 Stamford, CT 06907

Partner Content

The Gift of Wow: Preparing your store for the holiday season - Netsuite
Being prepared for the holiday rush used to mean stocking shelves and making sure your associates were ready for the long hours. But the digital revolution has changed everything, most importantly, customer expectations. Retailers with a physical store presence should be asking themselves—what am I doing to wow the customer?
3 Critical Components to Achieving the Perfect Order - NetSuite
Explore the 3 critical components to delivering the perfect order.
Streamlining Unified Commerce Complexity - NetSuite
Explore how consolidating multiple systems through a cloud-based commerce platform provides a seamless experience for both you, and your customer.
Strategies for Maximizing Mobile Point-of-Sale Technology - NetSuite
Learn the top five innovative ways to utilize your mobile POS technology to drive customer engagement, increase sales and elevate your brand.