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  • Three forces are changing the customary rules of distribution channel management: proliferating customers' needs, shifts in the balance of power in channels, and changing strategic priorities. Many firms are outsourcing the distribution function to third parties. Others, using IT, direct marketing, database marketing, and other variations contact customers directly, so the roles of the distributor or dealer are evolving. And some firms are simultaneously experimenting with a number of distribution options b
  • Is there any distribution system more poorly conceived than the one used by most U.S. car manufacturers and dealers? In the prevailing system, car prices are initially jacked up by locked-in labor concessions. Manufacturers pit dealers against other nearby dealers. Dealers are pressured to accept more vehicles than they can sell and—unable to make money from new cars—turn to service and trade-ins to eke out margins. And at the bottom of the chain are customers trapped in high-pressure negotiations for a car
  • As gasoline prices continue to soar to ludicrous heights and consumers get more comfortable with E-Commerce, some retailers are starting to question what to push—and play down—this holiday season.
  • Do you know your pet's birthday? Many people do, showing a growing market for pet-related services. Looking to connect with these devoted pet owners, pet retailer PETCO has embarked on an email strategy to deepen its multichannel customer interactions and strengthen relationships.
  • A single channel used to be all that companies needed to deliver products or services to their customers. But now companies, responding to customer demand for ever more channel choice, reach out through many routes. Multichannel customers spend 20 to 30 percent more money, on average, than single-channel ones do, and channels such as the Internet and overseas call centers promise big cost savings.
  • Mass merchandisers are redefining what's needed to launch a product through indirect channels, and the fact that bargain-hunting prospects for many products use the high-priced channels to do research and buy online anyway is making Web product introductions a path to greater profits for manufacturers. Web-based product introductions are the strategy of choice for many manufacturers trying to control the two most critical variables in the marketing mix: products and price.
  • As products mature, their market profiles change — and so should your route to customers. Over the last year Dell's stock price has fallen by more than 30 percent while its rival, Hewlett-
    Packard (HP), has enjoyed a much healthier market performance. Does this mean that the direct sales model made famous by Dell is in decline?
  • Text chat is no longer exclusively for the tech-adept, buddy-list teen set--it's picking up steam as an enterprise touch point to facilitate multichannel strategies for service and sales efforts. by Coreen Bailor From CRM Magazine May

    Copyright 2006, CRM magazine/
  • With the ever-growing popularity of mobile devices, many sales reps and service reps in the field are finding that they barely have to stop by the office these days. Customer information, order tracking, and even accounting data can all be had with a few clicks of the PDA or a quick perusal of CRM screens on a laptop.
  • Article discusses findings of on-line and phone customer service channels.
  • BrightWave Marketing's founder provides evidence that email marketing has hit its stride.

    Email gets it fair share of abuse, whether doled out by the press or senior management (that is, if they even know if their company is running email programs). However, for those of us in the business, we know better; much better. I can't think back of a time when email marketing was gaining as much momentum as it has in the early months of 2007. I sense and hear it talking to industry colleagues, to clients and at
  • Many multichannel marketers realize that the two media must work together but fail to understand how the customer experience shifts from one marketing vehicle to the other. What kind of process do you have in place for making sure both channels present your merchandise in a method that is going to maximize sales and average order sizes and present a consistent brand message?

  • Jenson USA, a multichannel merchant of mountain bikes, had its best year ever in 2006, and the trend is continuing. “We're up 40% over last year,” says Mike Cachat, president of the Ontario, CA-based company. “We're on fire, and I think it will continue.” A key driver of the sales increase? Gift cards and e-gift certificates.

  • Not long ago, marketers though it sufficient to plan catalog mailings and e-mail campaigns in concert with one another, acknowledging that the e-efforts would support and bolster the printed and mailed catalog. This approach is fine as far as it goes, but it's limited. Now it's critical to think beyond the integrated mail plan to the integrated marketing plan.

  • After a few years of waning interest in marketing overseas, a number of U.S. merchants are stepping up their international efforts.

  • Since Penney launched its website in 1994, selling just Power Rangers, the company slowly took pressure off its catalog, with that publication's revenues peaking in the late 90s. Today, catalog sales account for $1.7 billion in sales, while online counts for $1.3 billion.

  • Online advertising spending totaled $16.8 billion in 2006, topping the online advertising figures from 2005 and setting a new record. Many traditional publishers have already begun to refocus their efforts as the maturation of the Internet as an effective advertising medium has been directly tied to its ability to deliver qualified audiences to marketers.
  • The tale of the dueling electronics chains goes beyond numbers. It also boils down to consumers, where they like to shop and where they spend their money. For sure, bargains and good rebates could be found at the stores of either chain. But other times, it's as basic as how a store feels, how the products and aisles are laid out, how the workers there treat you.
  • Using the movie Talladega Nights, the author takes a look at the influence of multi-channel marketing.
  • By Jack Aaronson

    We've looked previously at ways to understand multichannel user behavior and about Web-to-store and store-to-Web analysis. Today, we'll step back and look more generally at the methodology needed to really understand multichannel behavior. I call it "embrace it, then trace it."

  • Simply being multichannel isn't enough. Companies that operate each channel as a siloed parallel business don't benefit from the fact that they're multichannel companies. Companies that think multichannel are figuring out ways to tie the channels together and create seamless user experiences so users identify their brand as one company, regardless of the channels they choose to use.
  • Extending the point of sale is something pure-play retailers have been trying to do for years. As offline companies begin to explore multichannel marketing, it's important they try to extend the traditional point of sale to its online counterpart.

  • ORIGINALLY CONSIDERED a threat to traditional retailers, online companies took an early advantage with their ability to quickly adopt technologies that offer consumers immediacy and interactivity. But multichannel retailers — those that derive significant revenue from multiple shopping channels — appear poised to win the customer loyalty war.
  • With big names like Home Depot, Circuit City, Bloomingdale’s and Google in attendance at the eTail 2007 show last week, it’s safe to say that multichannel marketing has arrived as a mainstream concept.
  • Not long ago, marketers thought it sufficient to plan catalog mailings and e-mail campaigns in concert with one another, acknowledging that the e-efforts would support and bolster the printed and mailed catalog. This approach is fine as far as it goes, but it's limited. Now it's critical to think beyond the integrated mail plan to the integrated marketing plan.

  • Instead of trying every channel under the sun, most businesses will try to assess whether a marketing channel fits their particular business, clients and culture. In particular, it makes sense to focus on whether you believe your business has any natural advantages -- or disadvantages -- with regard to a given channel.
  • The Internet offers a powerful connection between retailers and customers, but managing this tool among a portfolio of distribution options demands marketing prowess and a juggler's skill
  • Sramana Mitra submits: Both Tiffany (TIF) and Blue Nile (NILE) sell diamonds. Tiffany, however, is a high end brick and mortar retailer, against Blue Nile’s scrappy online play.
  • Everyone has heard of eBay You may have traded on it and if you haven’t, you’ll probably know someone who has. For most of us, eBay is seen as a sort of online car boot sale and you have probably never contemplated looking at as an extra channel for your business. But look again. Paul Craig from Frooition has some very exciting news.

  • Andy McDermott from

    When the Internet became a commercial channel in the 1990’s, companies realised that catalogues could be transferred to the web-and they were. But those who spent a fortune creating thesis standalone web catalogues also learned a valuable lesson: people did not use them enough to pay the cost of creating them.

  • Joe Mountain

    Creating a strong brand and retaining its values on the web, as well as in-store and in catalogues, is important for retailers, but not to the detriment of the sales medium. Joe Mountain, Business Development Director of eInBusiness, discusses how brand values can be employed successfully across all sales channels.
  • Frank Lombos

    There is little doubt that Christmas 2006 was the most successful online trading period for UK retailers yet. Consumers spent a massive £7.66 billion online in the ten weeks leading up to Christmas, which is a huge 54 per cent increase spent during the same period in 2005. It exceeded all expectations with sales soaring close to a billion pounds a week during the first part of December. That’s a lot of people surfing to find the perfect present. But Oxford S
  • By Jack Aronson for (May 15, 2003)

    "Channibalism" is a basic fear felt by many executives and managers that one channel, or line of business, will steal business away from another. There are two facets to this fear: one tied to fears of consumer confusion and loyalty and one tied to managerial salary structures. The way a company organizes itself is way, way out of the scope of this column, but I'll touch on it while talking about the first fear: customer confusion and loyalty.

  • Tim Parry for

    By adding a Web component into a marketing partnership with the ABC hit series “Lost,” ConAgra Foods received three times the response it had expected.
  • By Huma Gruaz for (May 24, 2007)

    As the show [American Idol] has become more interactive, featuring sweepstakes and heavy promotion of its web site (generating over 1 billion page views this season alone), how well did advertisers capitalize on this opportunity to leverage their television media spend? Who took advantage of "simultaneous consumption" (viewers using TV and the Internet at the same time) to capture new customers?
  • By Rok Hrastnik for
    March 11, 2007)

    Online conversion is not only the result of online activities. Rather, the conversion process can be initiated by an offline channel, such as direct mail, catalog, flyer, TV advertising, mobile, print advertising and even radio advertising ... or even prompted by brand or retail.
  • Published by Arthur Middleton Hughes for the Database Marketing Institute

    Multi channel today usually concerns the web. When marketers first began to use the web, there was a question as to who should be responsible for it. Some companies made the mistake of thinking of the web as a technology project, putting the leadership in IT. They produced websites that did not sell very much. Today, most companies see the web as a marketing function with the direction and funding coming out of the marketing organi
  • Written by Marshall Markovitz for (June 1, 2007)

    The future for online retail marketing is brighter and more challenging than ever. New paradigms like e-commerce 3.0 allow consumers to connect locally with other consumers and merchants. What can online retailers expect in the coming months and years as they plan to meet the challenges of new paradigms, new technologies, and the ever-changing online landscape?
  • Written by Matt Griffin, associate editor of Catalogue Success (Nov. 7, 2006)

    Looking for tips from the top? Three chief executives from online and multichannel merchants fired out ways to increase profitability by creating a unique multichannel experience through personalization, at last week’s Mid Market eTail conference in San Francisco.
  • Written by Chantal Tode for (June 6, 2007)

    Early next year when Borders Group Inc. launches its first proprietary e-commerce site in seven years, the struggling book retailer will come a lot closer to building a multichannel platform from scratch than most merchants with well-established brands will ever get the chance to do so.

©2006 Brian Giamo (bgiamo)