The price of waiting

It's typically not difficult to calculate the cost of starting something, of moving ahead, of taking the plunge. Perhaps it's a new IT project or a marketing test. Possibly it's a decision to try a pilot concept or invest in a promising technology. Or maybe we're considering taking the next big step in a hopeful … Continue reading The price of waiting

The drip method of irrelevance

At first, the shift is almost imperceptible. With quarterly earnings expectations to hit, we tell ourselves we can easily save a few bucks by automating some of our customer service functions. Or perhaps it's through simplifying our organizational structure or eliminating "non-essential" positions. Better yet, let's close some "unproductive" stores. And obviously technology enables us … Continue reading The drip method of irrelevance

The problem with saying “no”

During the past 25 years Sears had at least three opportunities to transform itself by entering the home improvement warehouse business (I worked on two of them). This was probably the only way Sears was going to ultimately survive and unlock the value of its franchise Kenmore and Craftsman brands. Each time the answer was "no." … Continue reading The problem with saying “no”

Everywhere. And nowhere.

You've probably read the admonishments. You must be everywhere your customer is: online, bricks & mortar, mobile, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and on and on. You're told the future is now and that future is all about allowing the consumer to shop anytime, anywhere, anyway. You're urged to create a seamless experience across all channels and … Continue reading Everywhere. And nowhere.

Overplaying our hand

We're told to hyper-focus on our core customers. After all, doesn't most of our profit come from a small group of loyalists and "heavy-users"? We're admonished to double-down on our highest ROI marketing strategies. Surely if a moderate amount of email or direct mail or re-targeting is working, more must be even better, right? And … Continue reading Overplaying our hand