This is a sample size of one – so take these observations with some skepticism.

I wrote in last week’s posting that I had changed my view on “engagement”. Here’s what changed it.

For years, vendors and other media “experts” have been pushing “engagement” as a way to acquire customers.  “You’ve got to be engaged with your customers!”

I always thought that was a bunch of bunk*. I believed that saying you had engagement with your customers was just a fancy way of saying that you stunk at generating orders and sales. It was like proclaiming that an event was successful because it generated tons of PR, but in reality, was a failure because no one showed up.

Hard orders and sales are what I always encourage clients to focus on – and to a VERY LARGE degree, that is what they must always be focused on. To old school mailers with customers prone to placing orders on the phone, nothing beats the feeling of obtaining a 10% response to a catalog mailing.

But over the past few years, I’ve watched the changing shopping habits of my wife Shari. First, let me point out that Shari is ten years younger than me – which at times seems like a huge generational gap, especially when it comes to consumer behavior. Second, she is not as stubborn as I am when it comes to adapting to new technology. Third, about four years ago, Shari got REALLY hooked on mountain biking.

At first, I tried keeping up with her. But I’m more of a “road bike on a paved rail trail” bike rider. I find little enjoyment in weaving through trees and over rocks through the woods the way she does. You go girl!

In addition to the actual riding, she joined several mountain biking clubs/groups in the area of the trails she rides. All of these groups are active on social media. This is where the discussions of trail conditions occurs – not on the group’s own website, but on their Facebook pages. Plus, I have learned that people who are really into mountain biking, love to share their rides. There are numerous apps with which you can “record” your ride, which can then be posted to Facebook, to show that you went over a certain trail, at a certain time, and that it was part of a 14-mile ride that day. It’s the modern-day version of Show & Tell. This is one example of social media engagement. Maybe not the 2 million Facebook followers I mentioned in last week’s blog, but these bikers are just as motivated, just as inspired, and just as “engaged” when it comes to sharing news about their latest ride.

Shari’s fellow mountain bike enthusiasts – who are worldwide, not just in New Hampshire where we live – also share equipment and apparel ideas. She is constantly posting photos of products she has found online to Pinterest and Instagram. She has purchased products from new vendors – some of them very small niche companies – that others have posted to those sites.

The vendors she purchases from are part of this “engaged mountain biker” community. They are not necessarily the biggest “bike” brands. This is how the new, smaller niche players are grabbing attention, grabbing sales and acquiring customers. The biggest brands often stink at engagement. Those bigger brands are satisfied with buying “disruptive” Facebook ads (because it “scales” faster) rather than creating content with which readers will actually take the time to read.

The little guys grab a few percentage points of the big guy’s business each year, and pretty soon, after 5 years, the little guy is on a roll, and the big guy is trending down and can’t figure out how to stop the slide.

Since we live in a tiny town in rural New England, I think many readers of this blog envision that we probably have a hand-crank telephone. Not so. We have a fairly fast DSL connection, and wi-fi throughout the house. My wife uses her phone for these social media interactions about 90% of the time, and only uses her laptop about 10% of the time. She never phones in an order, and except for my stash of Elvis stamps, we have no other stamps in the house with which to mail in an order.  Unless your customer demographic lives in a nursing home, this is the way of the modern consumer, with more emphasis on engagement and use of mobile the younger you go.

As I said, this is a sample size of one. But, you probably know consumers just like Shari, or you are one too. We know lots of households that have given up their land line. We have never had cable TV (not available in our town because you need at least 10 people/mile) so we are not surprised that people are giving up cable and discovering that you can live without it, because they stream Netflix and Hulu when they want to watch TV. Technology changes consumer behavior, and no amount of cries of “print is not dead” is going to erase that new behavior.

Shari will still occasionally look at a catalog. Since we get hundreds of them – including every women’s apparel catalog – she has a huge selection from which to pick coming to our house every week.  But when I’m sorting the mail on the kitchen counter each night and ask “do you want to look at these new Talbots, Lands’ End, Athleta catalogs?”, she often says “no, I can check them out online”, which means with her phone.

I have come to realize that engagement is not just about having a mobile presence. It is about having content that the reader wants and craves. It is also NOT a panacea for low catalog response rates. It will not and cannot be the sole avenue of sales and customer acquisition for your company – but it does work, and must be acknowledged as something that you must play a role in, if it is appropriate for you. I can get engaged with a baking site because I love to bake bread in the winter.  I’d have a hard time getting engaged with a site that sells keyboards, even though I use one daily.

Bear this other thought in mind. You cannot expect “engagement” to just happen. It is hard work. Maintaining this blog on weekly basis is no picnic – but I’m keeping you engaged. It is also something which is difficult to “hire”. You can hire Datamann to build a database, do your merge and matchback, and you can even hire me to do your circ plan. It’s not as easy to find an “agency” that will build you engagement. Five years ago, I never thought I’d be saying this, but in my opinion, companies in the future will be farming out their circ planning to people like me, and hiring “social media engagement” specialists in-house.

What fun times we are in…

*Instead of using the word bunk in the fourth paragraph, I was going to use a different word. But I was reminded of a story about President Harry Truman. In 1948, when Truman was running for re-election, he kept referring to the Republican platform as “manure”. His aides did not think this was dignified for the President to be saying. So, they spoke to Bess, the President’s wife, and asked her to get him to change his terminology. She replied “Boys, it’s taken me 40 years to get him to call it manure.”


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by Bill LaPierre

VP – Business Intelligence and Analytics

Datamann – 800-451-4263 x235



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Don’t Worry About The 40X Names, Focus On The 1X Names

Think about what you ask the catalog co-op databases to do. You ask them to find you the best names for your mailings.  Those names are usually buyers at your closest competitor’s catalogs. If  I’m the circulation manager at LL Bean, I want the co-ops to give me names of good buyers from Lands’ End, Orvis, Eddie Bauer and Woolrich.

In theory, this is exactly what happens. If I have made purchases at all those other companies, I would look like a great prospect to LL Bean. My name would float to the top of every model LL Bean receives from their co-ops.  But, what if I’m just not willing to become an LL Bean customer?

These consumers that are actively purchasing from other catalogs have nothing against you. They are simply comfortable with the companies from which they purchase now. In the apparel world, they know that what they purchase from these other companies will fit, and fit the way they like. They don’t need to add another apparel catalog to their fashion mix with the risk of dissatisfaction over an order.

The same phenomenon happens in hard goods and gifts. If I’m strong buyer of Virginia peanuts and Pacific salmon by mail, it doesn’t mean that I’m guaranteed to want Wisconsin cheese or Vermont maple syrup, although my name probably floats to the top of models for those other food catalogs as well.

You have prospects like this too. You have a core group of prospects that you mail over and over because they are either good customers with your competitors or with companies close to your product mix.  You either rent these names directly from those companies, or receive them in your co-op models.  But these consumers are never going to buy from you because either they don’t need you, or they choose to stay loyal to the other brand. You just keep mailing them over and over.

But, that may not be a bad thing.

Datamann builds and maintains prospect contact histories for our clients, which is a database that tracks the number of times you mailed a prospect name (individual or household) before you finally received an order from that consumer, as well as tracking those that have never ordered.

The report shows the optimum number of times to mail a prospect to get the maximum response rate, but more importantly, it illustrates the point at which it is no longer profitable to mail that prospect name. You can suppress these “over-promoted” names from future mailings, as well as send them to the co-ops to have them suppressed from the files you order.

Every client for whom we produce these reports uses them differently. Further, every report we produce has vastly different patterns of response. In the sample report above, there were 67,450 prospects mailed for the 12th time in five years (not consecutively). 3,476 of those prospects finally responded to their 12thth mailing, generating a 5.15% response rate for that group of names – not bad. We always see that the response builds over time, but where it reaches the maximum response differs widely. For some mailers it may occur on the 5th mailing. For others the highest response rate may not be achieved until after the 20th mailing.

It is always shocking for some mailers to see that they have prospects which they have mailed 20, 30, and sometimes 40 times, without ever placing an order. Some mailers thought they were always getting “totally fresh names” with each mailing. But think about this – the co-ops are doing what you asked them to do – which is send you the names most likely to respond, which would be those buying from your competitors. The co-ops are not coordinating with each other to say “Oh, I sent that name last time, so you shouldn’t send it this time.” However, this is not necessarily a bad thing.

If you are a longtime reader of this blog, you know I’m not a big fan of the co-ops. It would be great if they could identify those buyers that are extremely loyal to your competitor’s brand, who are unlikely to ever buy from you, and not send them to you.  But in this case, I’m not sure they ever could, or that you want them to. You need to determine how to structure an offer to these names that you have mailed 20 times, or 40 times, to get them to buy from you. What’s it going to take to get them to buy from you?

Look – this is not rocket science.  The co-ops are NOT analyzing 320 million US residents, sifting through tiny bits of data that reveal a fresh new consumer that no one has ever mailed before, who is destined to become your greatest customer ever. No, if the co-ops are doing their job correctly – meaning they understand who your customer is – then they should be sending you these top prospects that are actively buying from your competitors over and over. Those are the names with the highest propensity to convert to being your next new customer. The problem is that this scenario repeats at every other catalog company too. The catalog that raises their game and determines how to appeal to these active prospects/consumers will be the winner.

Here is the bigger issue I see. Look at the top row – the 1X names. Every time we create this report for clients, we see a similar pattern. The 1X names are two to three times greater than the 2X names. Overall, the 1X names are 38% of the total quantity of names this mailer has ever mailed. Doesn’t that seem odd? The co-ops are supposed to be giving you the best names. They “model” what they send you. You are supposed to be getting the best of the best. That would mean you should be getting more of the same names more often.

But, almost 40% of the time, the co-ops sent you a name that they subsequently decided was not worth sending you again. Those are the names you need to focus on. Were those “filler” names that the co-ops gave you to get your quantity up? When you are planning your Fall and Holiday circulation this year, ask the co-ops their strategy on giving you names only once vs. multiple times.

Here is another aspect of this report. Let’s assume this mailer is willing to generate a loss of $45 in profit to acquire a new customer. On an incremental basis – looking at each mailing as an event unto itself – this mailer does not reach this threshold until the 34th mailing.  But, what if you looked at this cumulatively? Go back to the 12th row. You did not just mail 67,450 names to get those 3,476 orders.  You mailed 809,395 catalogs (12 x 67,450).  If you include the cost of all those additional catalogs mailed to get those first orders, you actually lost $97 in profit (far right column).  You would attain your allowable profit per new customer (-$45), measured cumulatively, on the 7th mailing.

Should you stop mailing after that 7th mailing? It depends on how you view your “sunk cost” of those cumulative mailings. Most of our clients want to continue mailing prospects as long as it remains incrementally profitable to do so. However, some want to include those “cumulative expenses” in their lifetime value calculations to determine if a customer that required 40 mailings from you to make their first purchase, was really worth it in the long run.

Datamann’s Prospect Contact History is easy to implement, and provides you immediate return because in most cases, there is no testing involved. Your accumulated mailings over the past 5 or 6 years are the actual testing grounds where you mailed all those prospect names. As long as we have your old mail files, we can build a similar database for you. Contact me for details.

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by Bill LaPierre

VP – Business Intelligence and Analytics

Datamann – 800-451-4263 x235



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The Private and Lonely Database

The allure of a private prospecting database has attracted many large catalog companies over the year. Years ago, Williams-Sonoma created one for use on their multiple titles. Just as I was exiting the list industry, American Girl talked of creating one, and I don’t know if they ever pulled it off.

I bring this up because the only response to my posting in early November on the need for the catalog industry to act in a more collaborative manner (We Are No Longer Competitors) was an email from a list manager, sharing the news that Bluestem Brands was creating a private prospecting database for their catalog titles.

In 2015, Bluestem acquired a dozen of the Orchard Brands titles, including Appleseed’s, Haband, Norm Thompson, and Wintersilks. A few weeks ago, Bluestem sent a letter to list owners and list managers detailing their plans to create a proprietary prospecting database, seeking participation in that database by these list owners.

Here is the most important part of the letter “The primary objective of this initiative is to consolidate, enhance and model the prospect lists used by the individual brands listed above with the goal of driving increased prospect list usage and new customer acquisition across all brands, with an explicit focus on expanding the usage of non-cooperative database list sources. Over the past several years the cooperative databases have become a larger share of the new customer acquisition mix, however the productivity of co-ops has eroded over that timeframe resulting in increased new customer acquisition costs. We anticipate that by enhancing our prospect universe data and through the application of modeling technologies, we will be able to increase the usage of list universes from non-cooperative database sources.”

I don’t begrudge the Bluestem folks behind this initiative at all. It makes perfect sense for them to do, as they need to protect their investment, and grow their titles. If they can pull it off, more power to them.

Let’s be clear though on one point – this is a database for their 12 titles. It is not going to be a shared industry resource. Again, I have no problem with this, although it does run counter to my comments about the industry needing to be more collaborative (more on this in a minute).

But take note of why they are doing this: “the productivity of co-ops has eroded over that timeframe resulting in increased new customer acquisition costs.” Wow! The customer base and demographics represented by 12 Orchard Brands’ titles are what the co-ops know best – older Baby Boomers, middle-class female apparel buyers. These 12 titles are custom made for the co-ops’ target household. And yet productivity is eroding. In case you needed to hear it from someone else, and proof from a company that has a lot of skin in the game with 12 large titles, the co-ops are dying.

I have no doubt that Bluestem will successfully create some form of proprietary database. Based on the roadblocks I recall Williams–Sonoma faced, Bluestem’s efforts may not proceed as smoothly or as quickly as they had initially planned. But they have time and size on their side.

But what happens to the rest of you?  Let’s assume that Bluestem is able to create this proprietary database. Let’s assume they pull all of their customer records out of the co-ops, or at least significantly reduce the number of buyer records they are contributing to the co-ops. What happens to the rest of you trying to reach that same audience? As if Amazon wasn’t sucking enough transactions out of the co-ops, you just had another significant reduction in the potential prospect audience to which you can target.

As more multi-title catalog companies experience the same rise in new customer acquisition costs, there will be additional efforts to create other private prospecting databases, which will only put more stress on the existing co-ops, and more stress on the solo-titled catalogs still trying to survive on their own. Any of the new companies trying to start new co-ops will simply wither on the vine. Oh, what a vicious circle.

But, I see this as a start. The need to be more collaborative among catalogs will only grow. Yet, let’s be realistic.  I never would have expected any company to raise their hand and proclaim “Yes, we will lead the way. We will weather all the hardships and criticism to help the entire industry, not just our title(s), to grow in a collaborative way.”  No, history shows that companies would do exactly what Bluestem (and others before it) is doing, which is to go it alone – at first.

However, eventually, if more companies do what Bluestem is doing, something will have to give, because all of these individual prospecting pools will be missing the vibrancy that comes from having the entire industry involved. They cannot exist for long as isolated pods of names.

What’s the lesson here? First, you are going to be left behind if you are not aggressively developing new methods of customer acquisition. Second, don’t wait for the co-ops to implode because I fear that implosion is coming faster than many of you expected.

Finally, don’t email me complaining that I gave you vague advice to “find new methods of customer acquisition”, without providing you with a detailed list here of inexpensive, sure-to-win methods of catalog customer acquisition specifically aimed at your catalog. You are a marketer. If you are really talented, use the gifts that the marketing gods gave you to figure this out on your own for your company. This is what you get paid to do. You do not get paid to be friends with the co-ops or the other vendors that you are cozy with now, and ride their ship under the waves with them. Get moving. Try new things. Be aggressive. Push back on those that are so tied to sales forecasts that they won’t take a risk.

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by Bill LaPierre

VP – Business Intelligence and Analytics

Datamann – 800-451-4263 x235



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How Far Back Should I Mail?

This may come as a surprise to anyone that has heard me give a speech, but the very first time I had to speak in public, I passed out at the podium mid-speech. Dropped to the floor like a rock.  I won’t go into the sordid details, but it was my first “real” job out of school, and in front of a crowd of 400 people. Oh the humanity….

So it was with a great deal of trepidation that 25 years ago, I accepted the invitation of the VT/NH Direct Marketing Group to speak at their 1991 conference. I was the Marketing Manager for the Brookstone catalog at the time, and I was going to speak on circulation planning and acquiring new customers (some things never change).

This was before PowerPoint. So, I typed out my “slides” using the biggest font I could muster (about 24 PT) on my old PC at Brookstone, and then printed them on a dot matrix printer (this was before inkjet printers too). Using special macro lenses on my old Canon 35 mm camera, I photographed each sheet of paper to create real “slides”, which I slid into a slide carousel.  This was high tech in 1991.

I was so nervous about the prospects of passing out again that I asked several Brookstone staff to sit through a trial run, including our HR Director. She had all the warmth and personality of Bill Belichick (Coach of the New England Patriots), so I knew if I could get through the presentation in front of her, I’d do OK for the VT/NH Group.

Which I did. I remember Jim Feinson (CEO of Gardener’s Supply) and Sam Cutting (President of Dakin Farm) were there, along with several other people that are still members of the Group.

Just as any junior circulation planner would do, I showed how you calculated response rate, and gross sales including “unknown sales” (and remember, this was back when we had 92% source code capture rate). I explained how you determined all your costs, to arrive at the profitability of each name mailed. I went into excruciating detail explaining how to use the profitability of each segment of names mailed to determine what segments and lists to mail in the future. Despite (what now seems as archaic) the poor graphics and visuals, I thought I had explained catalog circulation planning in such a comprehensive manner that anyone could understand it.

Finishing about five minutes early, I was already to sit down when the conference host said “Are there any questions for Bill?” About a dozen hands went up. And I can still remember the very first question: “I think I understand everything you explained, but you never really answered the one thing I want to know which is ‘How far back should I mail a customer?’ Should I stop mailing them after 1 year, 3 years or 5?”

OK, so this person had not understood anything I had explained. Moreover, he did not want to go through the process of actually calculating “how far back to mail”. That was work.  He just wanted a rule that said ‘mail back 3 years’.

The sad part is, after doing this for 30+ years, and compiling literally thousands of catalog circulation plans, I still encounter mailers who simply look at response rate as the determinate as to whether a segment/name should be mailed again. Worse, I still encounter mailers who question mailing any customer who has not bought in two years (those ungrateful, disloyal shoppers). These mailers are counterbalanced by the companies that mail every customer they have, regardless of age.  And no, I’m not referring here to small catalogers that have 10,000 customers. I’ve encountered this thinking among some huge mailers; ones you would expect would be more sophisticated.

I’ve come to realize that many companies – regardless of what the question is – just want you to give them a rule of thumb marketing shortcut, and don’t want to do any work. This happens because that’s how the CEO of that company operates. “Just give me a flash number – I’m so good at marketing that I don’t need to build a detailed plan. I know in my ‘gut’ what to do. My brother-in-law, the barber, told me to just mail back 3 years, so that’s what we are going to do.”

I bring all this up because today (Friday April 29) is the last day to register for this year’s VT/NH Marketing Group’s 28th Annual Conference and receive the early-registration discount. I’m not speaking this year, but the line-up of speakers is great, and I’ll be there. It’s a great conference to get advice and answers to today’s vexing problems on growth.  And if you are that guy that asked me 25 years ago how far back to mail, please let me know how my answer worked out for you.

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by Bill LaPierre

VP – Business Intelligence and Analytics

Datamann – 800-451-4263 x235



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A Personal Acquisition Approach with Southern Charm

One of the questions that came up at our recent seminar on Customer Acquisition was “Facebook advertising has suddenly become a huge new channel for us. What’s the next scalable ‘Facebook’ opportunity online?”

I’m not going to answer that question directly, because it is the underlying question about “what can scale quickly” that is important here. Sure, you all want to participate in new methods of acquisition that will grow quickly, and grow big. With a couple billion users, it would be hard to find something bigger than Facebook.

But here is a business truth – every good new idea turns bad when too many companies try it at once, and those companies with unrealistic expectations are the first to panic at the slightest disappointment. So even if there was a new Facebook that came along, everyone else would jump on board at the same time, maybe even faster than they did when they jumped aboard Facebook. Results would be disappointing if everyone did it at once.

Ask yourself this question: Since getting new customers is not easy, which option would you rather have – a large source of prospect names that every one of your competitors has access to as well, or a smaller pool of prospects that is unique to you? The answer is that you probably want both, but here is an example of the latter.

One of the people that work at Datamann is originally from Texas. She subscribes to a continuity program called Made South, which sends her a quarterly gift pack of products that have been procured from southern craftspeople, and southern foods – sort of a Dixie Care package.

About a year ago, I signed up for emails from Made South. Last week, I received the following email from the company:

Subject Line was “I’m starting a personal email list”.

“I promise you’ll receive this email only once. From time to time I want to recommend things that I think are really great, but they just don’t fit with MADE SOUTH. It might be a productivity tool or an article on running a small business. Maybe it’s related to vintage watches. Maybe it’s a book or an album or a podcast I’m really enjoying. Whatever it is, I want to find a way to start sharing those things. So I’m creating a bi-monthly email to share those things. If you’re interested in signing up, just go here. If you’re not interested, just delete this email and we’ll pretend like this never happened. Just wanted to let y’all know.”

Some of you might be thinking “Yeah right – do you really think I’m going to try and build a mailing list one name at a time?” Well, that’s essentially what I’ve done with this blog. Every time a new reader signs up, I add their name to my “mailing list”.   I use that list for the mailing for the Datamann seminar in March, which sold out this year.

Think about what this guy from Made South is doing. He’s saying “I’m not going to keep bugging you, but if you sign up for my list, I will send you some cool information on stuff I think you will like”. This is how you cultivate prospects and customers that will be unique to you. Sure, these people get other media messages, and they are not going to be truly unique to Made South, but the owner of Made South does not have to worry about everyone else in the world having access to his personal email list to whom he sending his personal emails.

Will this scale quickly? Probably not. If he offers to sell these subscribers  something down the road, will the response rate be strong? My guess is that it probably will – just like when I send out a particularly good blog posting that resonates with you (my subscribers) – the response rates soar.

What does this have to do with catalogs?  I believe that catalog owners or CEOs that want to help set their company apart from the pack, should consider having his/her own blog. If you are truly passionate about your product, and you have compelling product, you should be able to build that passion among your customers. If you can’t, that says a lot about your business.

Once you start with your customers, and they feel your warmth, sincerity and passion about your company and your products, prospects will start to subscribe as well. Is it hard work? Absolutely. But it is one more arrow in your quiver that is unique to you, is low cost and if done well, can drive response much higher than more Facebook ads.

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by Bill LaPierre

VP – Business Intelligence and Analytics

Datamann – 800-451-4263 x235



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Changing Your Thinking About Merchandise to Acquire New Customers

This may not seem as obvious as it is, but most of you think in terms of what you want your customer to buy. You don’t think in terms of what the customer wants to buy.  That prevents you from maximizing your efforts to acquire new customers.  Here is an example I presented at our seminar on Customer Acquisition.

I love to bake bread, but usually only have time each winter to bake bread four or five times. I am a King Arthur Flour customer, from both their catalog and their store, located just up the road a few miles from Datamann here in Vermont.

King Arthur sells products two ways to bake bread. First, they sell bread mixes, with all the ingredients in one box. Just dump the contents into a bowl and add some water or maybe milk. The second way is they sell all the ingredients individually which is what I prefer. It actually may be more expensive buying the ingredients that way, but that’s what I want.

A client once told me about the evolution of birthday cakes in his family. His grandmother made them from scratch. His mother made them from a mix. His wife bought them at a bakery, and his daughter just takes his grandkids to Chuck E Cheese. I equate baking bread from a mix being no different than going to Chuck E Cheese. I want to think that I’m creating the experience that client’s grandmother created.

But here’s the problem. KAF sells all of their ancillary bread baking supplies (non-diastatic malt powder, whole-grain bread improver, baker’s special dry milk, etc.) in large quantities – usually 1 lb. bags. That’s enough to make waaaay more bread that I’m going to make per year, since most recipes call for a tablespoon or two of the stuff. Thus,  when I do go to make bread, many of the supplies are out of date.


I’m sure the folks at King Arthur think this is what is best for their customers – selling these supplies in one pound bags, because it is the most economical way for the consumer to buy it. And, if you aren’t going to bake at least 50 loaves of bread this winter, well, then you really aren’t much of a bread baker, are you?

But I buy my yeast in the little ¼ packets at the supermarket.


Why doesn’t King Arthur make all of their ancillary bread supplies available in similar smaller packets, just enough to make two loaves at a time. The margins would be much better. Actually, they’d be fantastic. I would feel that I’m actually being more efficient, because I’d be buying only as much as I’m going to need, with no waste. Psychologically, I’d rather spend $2 for a ½ ounce packet of something I know I will use, than $8 for 12 ounces of something that I know will expire before I get a change to use it all.

As a result, I often don’t buy those “extras”.  It’s a lost sale, and lost customer. Plus, even though my bread still comes out OK, there’s always that nagging feeling that because I didn’t add that tablespoon of enhancer, Julia Child is going to show up in my kitchen and declare my bread a flop. It would be a win-win for King Arthur to develop a product line like this – I would feel better about my bread (even if it came out the same), and they would make more money and acquire more customers.

We need to get inside our customer’s heads and figure out what they want to buy, how, and why. We can’t just always impose our ideas of what constitutes a good product on our customers and prospects. We need to rethink every product in the assortment – especially true for hard goods mailers – to envision how the product could be adapted to reach another audience of customers we have neglected. Otherwise, rest assured that Amazon will step into the void with a product for your customer.

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by Bill LaPierre

VP – Business Intelligence and Analytics

Datamann – 800-451-4263 x235



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