Day: December 10, 2011

E-Commerce and Catalog: Fast Friends in Distribution

A joint MDM-Real Results Marketing survey revealed that for distributors who have successful catalog operations and e-commerce channels, a majority believe their catalogs help drive online sales. They recognize that using the Web in concert with print efforts can provide benefits on both fronts. In this article, the authors examine the synergies between e-commerce and catalogs. They look especially at how utilizing both channels can result in efficiencies in product data, greater recognition of brand and increased sales.

This is the third in a three-part series of articles examining the state of catalog marketing and e-commerce in wholesale distribution.

Catalogs and e-commerce are critical individual components in distributors’ marketing arsenals. Distributors that have taken advantage of clear synergies between the two are reaping huge benefits, including cost savings in product information management and marketing. What’s more and, perhaps most important, they are making buying easier for their customers by allowing them to purchase when and how they want.

Results from a recent MDM-Real Results Marketing survey highlight the potential benefits of taking an integrated approach:

Commentary: Business Analytics Have Become a Clear Differentiator

An article in the Dec. 10, 2011, issue by distribution consultant Bill McCleave expands on research Bill and I did 10 years ago on the key elements that define the customer’s total value perception of a distribution company. Bill does a great job of updating our research with some additional dimensions he has identified as critical to gaining competitive advantage in today’s markets.

At the risk of patting ourselves on the back, our research and the 10 case studies of innovative distributors we used to illustrate the concepts in our 2003 book, Stand Out From the Competition, have stood the test of time p

A Framework to Differentiate

In 2002, MDM Publisher Tom Gale and industry expert William McCleave of W.R. McCleave & Associates, conducted a research project on distributor differentiation. The research resulted in solid advice and case studies about how distributors could compete against their rivals over the following decade. Nearly 10 years later, the advice offered in that report is still relevant. This article takes the concepts outlined in the book resulting from that research – Stand Out from the Competition – to another level, detailing how distributors can leverage technology, treasure, talent and technique to differentiate over the next 10 years.

From our original research and the resulting book on how to stand out from the competition, we found there are at least four dimensions for differentiation: Position, Pitch, Performance and Proof – the Four Ps.

These four dimensions are inextricably linked in the distributor world, and each still holds opportunity for creating compe...

Four Barriers to Distributor Profitability

In a recent MDM Webcast, How to Lead a Profitability Turnaround, Jonathan Byrnes, senior lecturer at MIT and author of Islands of Profit in a Sea of Red Ink, presents the four barriers to profitability many companies face. Access this webcast on DVD or on-demand at

Hurdles that prohibit or slow a company’s ability to raise profits do not develop overnight.

“It’s a legacy of a major change in the nature of the era of business that we’re in that’s happened in the past 20 or 30 years,” said Jonathan Byrnes, senior lecturer at MIT and author of Islands of Profit in a Sea of Red Ink. The history of business from the 1900s to today reveals the key avenue by which companies became successful was economies of scale, so

Download This Issue in pdf: Dec. 10, 2011

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