UK catalogers entering the USA…..really?

I have just returned from ECMOD 2010 in London, the annual gathering of UK/European direct marketers.    While there, I gave a presentation on “Managing Multi-Channel Metrics” a hot topic these days.   Many struggle with how to do it effectively.   Email me for a copy of the presentation if you like or visit my website, www.b2bdmi.com.

While at ECMOD I met several catalogers who have recently entered the USA successfully.   It is not something I hear everyday so I was intrigued by the discussion.   Especially when they did it at a time when US catalogers are struggling.   I was also wondering how such seemingly small direct marketing companies could successfully sell in the USA and fulfill from the UK.   In a word, the key to their success was, quite simple, unique product and it reminded me, once again, of one of the most important basics of our industry…..unique, hard to find, exclusive products.   I am sure as you read this that most of you will groan and say “We know that!”  but my conversations with these UK catalogers revealed that they worship unique product.  In the US, we just know it.  They worship it at the alter of product.   There is a difference.    It reminded me once again that “we are what we sell” and that if we don’t have something different, something new, something ever exciting and cool, something benefit laden and cost effective, something worth talking about….we will die.    It is good to remember this when our response rates and sales per page start falling.   Could it be that our products are boring, common, irrelevant and just plain “nothing special”.    For all the time you spend in your organization figuring out how to integrate the relentless wave of new technologies I would suggest you balance that management energy by finding something better to sell.   Good B2B organizations seem to spend more than half their time developing new things to sell and less than half their time figuring out just how to go about selling them.   Just a thought.  Where does your company stand on its real committment to develop new product?

Terence Jukes is president of B2B Direct Marketing Intelligence LLC, a strategic B2B direct marketing consultancy based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., that services clients in the U.S., Canada, France, the U.K. and Germany. You can reach him at tjukes@b2bdmi.com or (954) 383-5221        

Terence Jukes is president of B2B Direct Marketing Intelligence LLC, a strategic B2B direct marketing consultancy based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., that services B2B catalog company clients in the U.S., Canada, France, the U.K. and Germany. You can reach him at tjukes @ b2bdmi.com or (954) 383-5221

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