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How JCPenny Could Have Saved its Dying Business Model Cartoon

How JCPenny Could Have Saved its Dying Business Model
JCPenny’s dying business model was unable to adapt and apply new strategies. How could they have saved the company from closing?

What is the link between Millennials and Marketing via Mail

Millennials-those born between 1981 and 1996—have received harsh generalizations and damning criticisms more than any other generation in history. People generally think of millennials as entitled, tech-savvy, attention-seeking, job-hoppers, but also confident, socially-aware and achievement-oriented. Nonetheless, these are antipodal characteristics that may not accurately define this generation.

Many major publications and research companies have a lot to say about this particular age group—from Forbes Magazine, American Press Institute, Huffington Post, Deloitte, and countless others. And a lot of them say different things. This particular age group is always under scrutiny, and still, they are difficult to pin down. So why is everyone so eager to define millennials?

It turns out millennials are on the brink of becoming the largest living adult generation in the United States, surpassing the baby boomers. In fact, millennials are already the largest segment of the American labor force. They make up the majority of the consumer market and play a significant role in business decisions.

So advertisers, companies, and businesses, therefore, need to learn about this big, burgeoning bracket thoroughly. If businesses fail to understand and capture the millennial market, they might compromise their place in the industry.

B2B Marketing to Millennials

Marketing experts say that millennials have a different purchasing behavior. Businesses then must reevaluate how they can market their products and services more effectively. Old marketing strategies and tactics supposedly won’t work on them anymore. However, a significant generational analysis from Ipsos MORI says that most information about millennials are “simplified, misinterpreted or just plain wrong, which means differences can get lost.” Therefore, the public adopts a caricature impression instead of a more accurate and exhaustive understanding of the sizeable millennial population.

B2B marketing and sales professionals now acknowledge millennials as participants in the B2B buying process. The challenge now is to engage this group of people using effective strategies and tactics while using an accurate picture of their attitudes, preferences and economic power.

Marketing and sales leaders must shun stereotypical judgments when formulating their approach to engage millennials.

Enter the pushed-aside method of marketing mail. Now that businesses prefer digital advertising, sending physical mail is not a viable option. They think sending physical mail is a waste of resources with minimal return on investment.

Snail Mail Perception

One common misconception about millennials is that they are digital addicts who purely prefer to do all things online—from communicating, shopping to banking. They allegedly prefer cashless and paperless transactions. And therefore they hate getting regular snail mail at home and in the office. However, recent studies show otherwise.

B2B Marketing percentage chart about millennials liking or disliking different types of mailed ads
Percentage Chart About Millennials Liking or Disliking Different Types of Mailed ads

In a US Postal Office research about millennials, the report revealed that millennials do like receiving regular mail for its meaningful, personal touch. They receive less mail compared to baby boomers and Gen X, but they generally have positive feelings towards getting mail. The only friction around regular mail is the comparably laborious process—as opposed to sending and receiving email.

According to the research, millennials veritably like, as well as respond to, marketing mail.

Sixty-two percent of millennial respondents indicated that they visited stores within a month of receiving marketing snail mail—that is, compared to 55 percent of Gen X and 52 percent of baby boomers. More than six out of 10 millennials also said they appreciate receiving coupons for restaurants and other stores via mail.

Shopping for tickets and groceries, banking, and making restaurant and hotel reservations are everyday online transactions. Thus, procuring mail is now a rarity for a whole generation. In truth, for millennials, receiving mail is a more personalized, more thoughtful process than receiving online newsletters or emails.

Implications for Digital Marketing

Findings from the US Postal office research suggest that there is more to the millennial generation than what we already know or what is generally assumed about them. They are a more nuanced generation that values personalized and meaningful communication. Perhaps this is one consideration for businesses to recognize when looking into connecting with the millennial buyer’s persona. B2B marketers shouldn’t rule out marketing mail as a medium to reach their audience, because this can be an opportunity to effectively reach them with exclusive content relevant to them.

Marketing to the newest, biggest marketing population is no easy task, so due diligence is critical in defining the millennial market and understanding how to engage them. Adapting to millennial culture is one way for businesses to prove their agility and grasp of the consumer market. Businesses can reach out by sending quirky messages, exclusive offers, custom communications, tokens, and other incentives to the millennial market. Perhaps now is the time to bring back snail mail as a marketing technique because there is a market that appreciates, responds to, and enjoys it.

Business Data Is the New Oil of the Digital Age

Welcome to the modern era, where business data is the new oil of the digital age and is drilled for not with heaving oil derricks but with Enterprise Information Management (EIM). EIM  is the big-picture wrangling of all the data encompassing a particular business.

Businesses today compete by using Data. Look no further than Amazon, Facebook, and Google which are built off of a foundation of customer data. However, this data source is normally comprehensive in nature. It includes the routines, principles, and practices that go into that information’s accessibility. It is also the means by which that data is governed and protected, and how it is leveraged throughout the various levels of a company.

Want to determine how best to satisfy customer needs? Keen on identifying bottlenecks in a process? Are you ironing out means of achieving business goals? Enterprise Information Management is the asset used to accomplish these goals.

In a world where would-be oil barons struggle to maximize the amount of black gold they can draw out of the ground, EIM is the mechanism Bold Businesses use for success.

Enterprise Information Management (EIM) is the new oil for businesses
Business Data Is the New Oil of the Digital Age

The Types of Enterprise Information Management Systems

It is difficult to imagine that any organization will be successful without access to the right data, at the right time, for the right people, to address the right purpose. However, many organizations only manage one aspect of their data – the physical storage – and neglect the other components needed to use data to its fullest extent. – The Data Administration Newsletter

There are a multitude of businesses with varying goals and needs. So too are there various systems to be leveraged to answer their information needs. Here are a few common examples:

  1. Content Management Systems are programs used to create and manage digital content. These systems facilitate collaboration in the workplace through streamlined document- and digital asset management, as well as records retention functions.
  2. Business Process Management Systems are platforms used for automating, measuring and optimizing processes related to the delivery of goods and services.
  3. Customer Experience Management (CEM) Systems provide tools for businesses to track, organize and manage all interactions with the customer throughout the customer lifecycle.
  4. Information Exchange Systems are collaboration- and document-sharing tools that allow members to work seamlessly and efficiently.
  5. Data Discovery Systems are tools that help organizations identify where data is stored – as well as its uses, how it is distributed and to whom. These tools can also be used to identify sensitive information and develop processes to protect it.

In some organizations, starting small and focusing on a specific business goal will eventually lead to enterprise-wide program.

Developing an EIM – A Need-Based Approach

The development of an enterprise information management framework will largely depend on the organization’s needs and priorities. When creating the EIM framework, the first question must be if the structure aims to answer specific business goals or if it will be an enterprise-wide initiative.

Some goals to assess during the development phase might include:

  • Is the ultimate aim to increase revenue?
  • What must compliance needs be met to reduce corporate risk?
  • Is a reduction in the cost of running the business an objective?
  • How well is the organization insulated from retaining continuity during and after disasters?

A business can take one of two approaches when addressing the information and data management needs of the company: it can use various programs and applications from different providers in addressing specific needs of the business, or it can adopt a self-contained suite of systems working together seamlessly.

 Why the Fuss Over EIM?

Managing and utilizing business data should be a top priority. A robust and dynamic enterprise information management system gives insight, which supports fast, data-driven decisions. It also empowers team members by connecting people with the right information and processes.

An enterprise information management system might not have a direct financial impact on the business. But cost-savings and increased productivity contribute to the achievement of business objectives.

Having an EIM in place protects the business from internal leaks and other external threats. It also minimizes the risk of exposure by helping meet governmental data compliance regulations.

But mismanaged data can also cause irreparable damage to a business. Security breaches and hacking are an obvious and prevalent harm.

Epsilon, a digital and marketing company in the US, learned this lesson to the tune of $4Billion. In 2011, hackers infiltrated Epsilon’s database and stole clients’ information.

Mismanaged data can also compartmentalize a business. Hampering the flow of information often leads to reduced productivity, redundant processes, and poor customer service. In extreme cases, a business may face sanctions and litigation when government regulations and policies have been violated.

Whether it is thousands of barrels of oil or terabytes of data, the goal for any successful Bold Business is the same. It is to optimize its gathering and usage. Thankfully, when it comes to the digital space, there are enterprise information management systems to keep things from getting messy.