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George Hague

B-to-B Insights

By George Hague

About George

A columnist for Retail Online Integration, George founded HAGUEdirect, a marketing agency. Previously he was a member of the Shawnee Mission, Kan.-based consulting and creative agency J. Schmid & Assoc. He has more than 10 years of experience in circulation, advertising, consulting and financial strategy in the catalog/retail industry. George's expertise includes circulation strategy, mailing execution, response analysis and financial planning. Before joining J. Schmid, George worked as catalog marketing director at Dynamic Resource Group, where he was responsible for marketing and merchandising for the Annie's Attic Needlecraft catalog, the Clotilde Sewing Notions catalog, the House of White Birches Quilter's catalog and three book clubs. George also worked on corporate acquisitions.


 

Retail Rants & Raves

Joe Keenan
Urban Outfitters Crosses the Line With 'Bloody' Kent State Sweatshirt
Sep 16, 2014

In case you haven't seen or heard the news yet, Urban Outfitters is embroiled in yet another controversy. The apparel...



Catalog Doctor

Susan J. McIntyre
Tips for Finding the Right Product Density for Your Catalog
Sep 11, 2014

Product density is quite a science. What's right for one brand is wrong for another. Here are some guidelines that...



Shipping Insights

Rob Martinez
Parcel Shippers: New USPS Priority Mail Undercuts UPS and FedEx Pricing!
Sep 4, 2014

Through careful evaluation, shippers that add the U.S. Postal Service to complement private carriers like FedEx and UPS can significantly...



Print-Plus

Stephen Lett
How Important is Average Order Size?
Sep 3, 2014

Catalog executives always seem to have a great deal of interest in their average order size. They become concerned when...



Return on Inventory

Joe Palzkill
How Product Profiling Increases Sales and Profits
Aug 22, 2014

An accepted best practice in inventory planning is to adhere to the Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule....



The Art of Delivering Style

Maria Haggerty
5 Ways Retailers Can Compete With Amazon’s Same-Day Delivery Model
Aug 12, 2014

Most small retailers lack the resources and store footprint to handle same-day shipping on their own. However, it's still possible...



Email Marketing Bites

Liz Ryan
The Email Hierarchy of Needs: Deliverability is the Foundation
Jun 18, 2014

If you're not getting the most of your email messaging, you might not be asking the right questions. How many...



Designed to Convert

Tim Ash
Local Optimization Drives Conversions, But Your Local Page Won’t
Jul 31, 2014

Local was already in play before the iPhone changed the online marketing game in 2007, but the mobile shift has...



Return on Intelligence

Jim Gilbert
LinkedIn Publishing Platform: User Review, Tips and Some Wishes for its Next Iteration, Part 3
Jul 23, 2014

This week in the third and final part of this series, I offer suggestions for how LinkedIn's publishing platform can...



Email Applied

Reggie  Brady
Subject Lines That Work
Jul 18, 2014

Standing out in the inbox isn't easy. A lot of promotional emails I receive have subject lines that aren't special....



ThinkAbout: Inspirational Verve for Your Product Line!

Andrea Syverson
Springboard From Your Brand Filter
Jun 26, 2014

One of the most important ways I strengthen my clients’ brands and product lines is by collaborating with their leaders...



Retail Revelations

Melissa Campanelli
’Tis the Season for Experienced Retail Sales Associates
Nov 15, 2013

Many retailers are preparing for the busy holiday shopping days ahead by making sure their websites are working properly, their...



2 Must-Have B-to-B Metrics

Smart CEOs know two essential B-to-B metrics to successfully grow their businesses: contribution per order (CPO) for new customers and life-time value (LTV) of existing customers. They may sound difficult to figure out, but the process is actually easy.

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Is Your Company a Tribute Band?

Tribute bands pretend to be something else. Their motivation may be out of admiration, but essentially these musicians copy successful bands right down to dress, hair style and accent. Tribute bands appeal to a subset of fans of the bands being imitated. They limit their potential by pretending to be musicians perceived to be more talented than themselves. Is your company a tribute band? Are you constantly pretending to be your competitor? Here are some ways to tell:  Read More >>

Mine Gold Nuggets in Your Consumer File

Many consumer catalogers have unknown gold nuggets in their database. These nuggets are called businesses. If you treat these high-value customers as if they're retail customers, you're missing a big opportunity. If your product line has this cross-over appeal, you could potentially double your sales through expansion into the B-to-B universe.  Read More >>

Show Me the Data

Concerned about privacy? Now you can see what data has been collected on you. I was in for a shock. In an admirable move toward transparency, Acxiom, one of the largest data collection companies in the world, will show you a summary of your personal data. You can see its view into your world at AbouttheData.com. The shock for me? Acxiom got me just plain wrong.

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We Cut Cable: What This Means to Retailers

Our cable bill doubled. Apparently we had an introductory rate — which lasted more than five years. We had nearly 500 channels, and nothing ever seemed to be on, so we cut cable. Cold turkey. Even returned the cable company's DVR full of unwatched episodes of nothing in particular.

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Companies Mentioned:

The Illogical Song: What Makes Sense vs. What Works

It's official: J.C. Penney scrapped its every-day-low-price strategy for the rollercoaster world of markups and markdowns. Merchants, marketers and graphic artists waited with bated breath, hoping J.C. Penney could make this strategy work. Imagine the time it would save! Price changes and errors would be a thing of the past.  Read More >>

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My Copywriting Lesson From the Pope

The Roman Catholic Church needs a serious brand makeover. It's gotten so bad that the previous CEO, aka Pope Benedict, gave his three weeks notice. Since he couldn't cite wanting to spend more time with his family, he intends to devote his life to prayer. Prayer? This brand really needs help. In selecting its new boss, the church's board of directors, aka the College of Cardinals, had to pull a rabbit out of their mitre. And did they.

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4 Steps to Better B-to-B Data Decisions

Making decisions with data requires a mysterious process called data mining. The term brings to mind a cadre of programmers in darkened rooms, illuminated only by the eerie glow of their monitors. The whole process sounds complicated and expensive. It can be, but getting started doesn't have to break the bank or require rocket scientists. In fact, introductory data mining is simple and cost effective. The key is starting with these four easy steps:  Read More >>