At Catalog Show, Simon Says 'Don't Be a Robot'

Share this content:
"Don't be a robot," Omaha Steaks senior vice president Todd Simon told audience members during the first keynote presentation at the Annual Catalog Conference yesterday.


Simon was referring to the increasing use by DMers of voicemail, e-mail and other automated tools that "move us away from our customer."


He urged attendees to eliminate tools that put a barrier between a company and its customers. Instead, Simon suggested putting more emphasis on one-to-one sales. Results will improve, if only because companies tend "to get a higher average order on the phone," Simon said.


"The more that you can insert people into the process, the more you'll see profits," Simon added.


Also, baby boomer women are looking for ways to save time. Complex technology often accomplishes the opposite, according to Simon.


"I guarantee if you steal her time, you are toast," Simon said.


This group represents an under-appreciated market, he added.


Omaha Steaks, which has annual sales in excess of $380 million, looks for ways to create free time for this consumer, Simon said.


One way the company is attempting to accomplish this goal is with its newest brand, Al A Zing. The Al A Zing Web site, alazing.com, offers complete meals that are delivered to homes frozen and can be prepared in 25 minutes or less.


"Think of yourselves as solutions providers," said Simon, who added that this is something business-to-business marketers have been doing for some time.


Direct-to-consumer channels are inherently convenient, according to Simon.


"We must get the message out that shopping at major discounters doesn't provide this convenience," Simon said.


In addition to mailing catalogs as well as operating omahasteaks.com and alazing.com, the company has 65 retail stores and expects to have 80 locations open by the end of the year.


Omaha Steaks also offers what Simon called "brand enhancers." They include cookbooks, sauces, pet treats and a Visa card that all bear the Omaha Steaks name.


Chantal Todé covers catalog and retail news and BTB marketing for DM News and DM News.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters


Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Since 1985, Melissa has helped thousands of companies clean, correct and complete contact data to better target and communicate with their customers. We offer a full spectrum of data quality solutions, including global address, phone, email, and name validation, identify verification - available for batch or real-time processes, in the Cloud or on-premise. Our service bureau provides dedupe, email/phone append and geographic/demographic append services for better targeting and insight. For direct mailers, Melissa offers easy-to-use address management/postal software, list hygiene services and 100s of specialty mailing lists - all with competitive pricing and excellent customer service.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here