Kohl's tactics are good, but its strategy might require more solidifying

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Linda Pophals, marketing and sales manager, KRM Information Services Inc.

A direct mail piece from Kohl's targets holiday shoppers with a tempting offer – a $10 discount – prominently displayed on the front of an oversized mailer.

Also prominent on the front cover, and throughout the piece, is a promotion for Kohl's charge card, which is likely the real driver for the promotion.

From a tactical DM standpoint, Kohl's has the basics down: The oversized mailer will get attention. The $10 offer is prominent and compelling. An array of product offerings appeals to Kohl's mainstream audience. Key benefits are clearly stated, and an offer of 10% more off is tied to a credit card offer.

But, before a direct marketer even gets to the point of delivering the creative in a tactical format, strategy needs to be considered. There are some good things going on here, but the ques­tion remains whether the strategy behind the tactic is sufficient to achieve Kohl's long-term goals; it may need to consider something beyond discount offers.

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