Why Hire a Circulation Management Consultant?

In a recent blog post Catalog Circulation Best Practices, we mentioned six steps for planning your catalog circulation. If the process seems daunting or you lack the internal resources to get the job done, it might be time to consider hiring a catalog circulation consultant. One benefit to working with a consultant is our exposure to multiple catalog brands. We get to see all of the activity, tests, and innovations across a variety of merchandise categories.

How Can a Catalog Circulation Management Consultant Help?

Look for someone who has managed catalog circulation for a variety of catalog titles and has expertise in the following key areas:
● Creates detailed catalog circulation plans that meet financial and strategic objectives
● Customized approach to catalog circulation planning and willingness to adapt to trends and changes in shopping behavior
● Ability to execute and interpret catalog hold-out tests and catalog frequency tests
● Analytic approach to using data to drive catalog strategy and make informed decisions
● Understands database structure, database hygiene, and how to design queries
● Channel-agnostic approach to analyzing the best sources of customer acquisition
● Experience with integrating digital and print customer contact strategy

How Does a Circulation Management Consultant Work?

Depending on your needs, consultants schedule weekly or monthly conferences calls with clients. In-person meetings are useful (but entirely optional) for presenting catalog marketing and circulation results, sharing ideas, answering questions, and discussing future plans. Information and catalog plans can be shared via email and website sharing platforms, including computer screen sharing.

Catalog Case Study – Consultants Help Save Money on Lists

An experienced circulation management consultant has the knowledge to help catalog companies segment and code their lists to evaluate opportunities to both increase revenue and reduce expenses.

One of our catalog clients used to have their IT department pull a mailing list for each catalog mailing but did not incorporate any customer segmentation or coding. Through a consultation we learned that while our client collected key metrics on their digital marketing, they had no information on catalog-attributed sales. The mailing list did not go through merge/purge either, which meant it was full of duplicate records and unvalidated addresses – a tremendous waste of dollars.

Our client had also purchased a prospect list but never followed up with a response analysis (or match-back) to evaluate its performance. The client asked us to reorder the rental list and mail it as they had in the past. Instead, we retrieved the mail file and ran an analysis to look at sales and conversion rates. The analysis revealed that our new client spent $74,000 to generate just $20,000 in sales! This translated to a $200 cost per acquired customer when the goal should have been to limit acquisition costs to under $30 per customer. We identified other potential rental lists, tested them and eventually landed on a great prospecting list that generates about $200,000 in annual revenue for our client.

If you’re interested in starting up a print program to complement your digital marketing or simply need a better understanding of your existing catalog business performance, give us a call. We also provide database hygiene, merge/purge services, and analytical support for both digital and print marketing initiatives. At Hansel Group Marketing, our goal is to be a valuable member of your team!

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