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As the summer holidays (yes my mates in the northern hemisphere, it’s summer down under) draw to a close, another annual ritual is also winding up.

It’s the annual post-Christmas retail sales. Although many stores started their sales prior to Christmas. This is the busiest time of year for retailers, as they clear stock to get ready for the new season and year ahead.

The major channels used by retailers to generate sales are:

  • Unaddressed mail
  • Direct mail
  • Television
  • Radio
  • Press
  • Email

You’ll notice digital doesn’t rate, apart from email. Broadcast channels aside though, the dominant channel is the letterbox. Unaddressed catalogues and leaflets abound.

One of my favourite catalogues is the Chemist Warehouse custom newspaper. This is a 16-page tabloid newspaper called The House of Wellness. It’s chock-full of information, advertising and promotions, including third party offers.

These types of publications were created in the 1980’s by mail-order marketers. As the publications were a cross between a catalogue and a magazine, they were called a magalogue. Luckily that buzzword didn’t last, though I think I once went to a seminar on how to create successful magalogues?

It’s a very good read. Here are some pages:

Front cover

Double-page spread

Third party offers

Back cover

Chemist Warehouse also uses television and email to promote its brand and sales. Consumers can buy in-store or in the online store. Amazing stuff.

These radical marketing tactics are summed-up simply by the term; common sense. This is known as a multi-channel approach. It’s branding. It’s selling, and it’s adding value to customers.

It’s not omnichannel. It’s not content marketing. It’s not data-driven marketing. It’s not customer engagement. There’s not even a customer journey – apart from driving to the store.

In a nutshell, it’s just plain old common sense marketing – and it works.

So why not start your year with a radical dose of common sense? Avoid the mandatory digital BS and buzzwords. Don’t chase the latest shiny silver digital bullet. Focus on your customers and do the simple things well. You’ll be surprised how successful you’ll be.

P.S. Today’s letterbox has a fabulous bunch of retailers making lots of offers. And there’s also a leaflet from Salmat, looking for people to deliver the catalogues into letterboxes in my street.

I might just take them up on it. Getting paid for a brisk early morning walk plus the opportunity to read marketing messages – it’s a marketer’s dream!