Beating the Big Box RetailersWritten by Brett J. Daly
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Here in Rochester, we're lucky enough to be home to Wegmans. Wegmans is generally perceived as an upscale grocer. They offer an amazing wealth of services. When Wal-Mart came into town, they changed their pricing model to become more competitive. They continue to improve their extraordinary logistics system. They've followed model of competing on price, although not beating them on it, while using their other attributes to put them over top. Trust me, there is no comparison between shopping at a high-end Wegmans versus a Super Wal-Mart. That's why they've held their own.
So, there you have it. Try to reduce costs where possible, offer something unique, and potentially go after a different segment. If you are in grocery business, you'll likely take a hit. However, see if you can expand into unique areas that will differentiate your business. Worldly foods, organic foods, and so on. The same can applied to other businesses. Of course, it is easier said than done, especially if you are in an area with limited population. However, maintain hope and consistently adapt your business model, others have dodged big box threat. You can too, just continue evolving.
Brett Daly is a Marketing Specialist for a small software company. He has an MBA and a B.S. in marketing with a minor in political science from the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Using Direct Mail to Improve BusinessWritten by Brett J. Daly
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Then, working to get your materials printed and mailed is next step. If mailing is small, a local Kinkos and some stamps may do trick. If it is a large mailing, you may want to work with a printer and mailing house. They have economies of scale and equipment that will allow you to obtain postage discounts from presorting.
Last, but not least, track response. This may be as simple as collecting coupons. If 10 people responded out of 100, you know response rate right there. Then make changes and test future mailings to improve return on investment.
Direct mail is often overlooked. However, it is a very effective medium. Many even use it very effectively to drive traffic to their website. As a small business, it is worth considering. The USPS.gov has a wide variety of resources available if you are interested in more information.
Brett Daly is a Marketing Specialist for a software firm in the mailing and printing industries. He has an MBA and a B.S. in marketing with a minor in political science from the Rochester Institute of Technology.