Monday, January 14, 2008

I Shall Return! Not!

According to The National Retail Federation, the world's largest retail association (then why does it call itself a federation? ed.) a survey conducted of Christmas gift recipients discovered that 64% of them did not return a thing this 2007 season, which is up from 62.4 % in 2005. Among the reasons suggested was that there could be greater delays in returning in order to take better advantage of time off, and that returns would filter in as time passed. Sadly, the NRF didn't go door to door to ask why people liked their gifts better this year as opposed to two years prior, so we're left to come up with our own conclusions. And after hours of deliberation, mentally retrieving all the marketing acumen I've accumulated over the last couple of decades, I finally came up with my answer.

I have no idea. But we can perhaps find a lesson in here, anyway.

The key to providing products and services that satisfy customers is making sure your message hits the right markets, and in the right way. Sounds familiar, right? The relationship to gift buying and marketing high-tech industrial products may be as simple as doing more research on your prospects and presenting them with more accessible alternatives. In other words, know them inside and out. Know their habits. Heck, it takes a little of the magic out but why not just ask them what they want? Surveys of your market place are an affordable way to keep up to date with their needs, and need not be too lengthy or overly complex. In fact, SMS is in the process of creating our own survey and we hope to gather plenty of useful information to help better serve our clients, and keep them happy.

And we promise not to call ourselves The Scientific Marketing Federation.