Cutter & Buck Sweeps Grows Database

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Sportswear retailer Cutter & Buck, Seattle, is expecting that its first-ever national advertising campaign does more than drive traffic to the retail stores and pro shops that carry its merchandise. The company also is seeking to add some significant bulk to its customer database, which it plans to increasingly use as it opens more stores and incorporates more postal direct mail and e-mail efforts into its marketing mix.


The campaign is being promoted nationally in three issues of Golf Digest magazine, starting with the March issue, in six issues of Golf Week and in specialty stores, pro shops and the company's own retail outlets. Consumers can enter a contest to win a trip for two to the 100th anniversary of the U.S. Open Golf Championship in Pebble Beach, CA.


"One of the things we're going to be very interested in is how many names we actually bring in," said Jeff Buchman, vice president of marketing and communications at Cutter & Buck. "Aside from the primary objective of the sweepstakes, which is to drive customer traffic to stores and pro shops, the acquisition of customer names is very important."


Buchman said that although the company has high hopes for the national sweepstakes campaign, he is uncertain about how many customers actually will respond.


"There's no easy way to enter except to go to the pro shop, and we don't know how many people are going to do that," he said.


The company is seeking to build its customer database, which has about 60,000 names obtained through local promotions in Seattle, promotions at professional golf events and retail merchandise offers. Buchman said Cutter & Buck is planning on launching an e-mail communications program to those customers soon and is expanding its direct mail efforts.


The company does some limited direct mail to customers in the markets where it operates retail stores - Seattle; Denver; Orlando, FL; and Mission Viejo, CA - and Buchman said the company plans to add mailings in Portland, OR, and Atlanta, where it is opening stores this spring. The company employs mailing house Direct Services, Seattle, for its postal direct mail efforts.


Cutter & Buck also recently revamped its Web site, www.cutterbuck.com, where it offers selected items from its merchandise collection and promotes the sweepstakes. It also recently sealed alliances with chipshot.com and fogdog.com, the equipment and sports-apparel Web sites, which are expected to drive traffic to the site and build its traffic.


Meanwhile, the company has had some success in the past six months building its database with smaller-scale promotions.


In one of the promotions, which is conducted weekly at the retail stores, customers who send the company their names, postal addresses and e-mail addresses are entered into a drawing to receive a free Cutter & Buck shirt. In another promotion, customers were asked to mail in the hang tags from merchandise they purchased in exchange for leather luggage tags. Both contests could also be entered through the Web site.
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