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Staples, Inc. Message Board

  • coupon73 coupon73 Jul 17, 2004 3:09 PM Flag

    Staples SMB Marketing Non-existent.Why?

    I NEED HELP. I own a small business with 30 employees. I also own Staples stock. Here is my quandry:

    While Staples touts that the lions share of its' profits result from Small to Medium businesses,why do they not advertise to gain more Small to Medium business NEW clients?

    Every Sunday I literally bite my lip when I see Staples,OfficeMax and OfficeDepot placing their inserts into Sunday Newspapers and spending all of that money. Hey, I own Staples stock....why do they spend all of this money reaching families in their homes when their majority profit source is small to medium business?

    I do believe that occasional Marketing via Newspaper Inserts is good(Back To School etc.)BUT what about direct mailing small to medium businesses to hunt new Clients?

    Is Staples involved in Marketing and advertising lunacy to forget marketing to their core that drives "90% of Staples profitability" according to Staples' President.

    Staples has ZERO budget allocated to hunting new Small to Medium business clients via direct mail or any other source.

    Somebody help me here.

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    • Sorry to rattle on again...But this really bothers me and I am looking for help. Staples does have a 'Direct' marketing division...but it reaches EXISTING Staples clients...which is fine.

      I am just looking for the answer to the question,"what does Staples do to advertise and market to potential NEW Clients from what obviously is their strongest profit source: small to medium businesses?"

      The answer for all of those,like me,who own stock: NOTHING.

      If anyone can tell me otherwise,please let me know here.

    • check out www.staplesbusinessadvantage.com

      • 1 Reply to martinasher2002
      • Thank you for the website, as a small business owner I never would have found out about the full range of Staples services had you not given me this website.

        Factually,not one Newspaper that has arrived in my home(or my Mother's home in Florida) with a Staples insert in it has ever told me about this site...Get my Marketing drift?

        However, a direct mailed flyer/circular program designed to reach small and medium businesses at their place of business would be the perfect media to add this website as a promotional tag.

        The more I learn of Staples and its' wonderful broad range of services,the more I wonder why I never knew of these before...and the more upset I become at the tens of millions of dollars being spent by Staples to advertise in Newspapers reaching families in their homes.

    • Staples Business Depot does in fact market to the small business market. Every small business owner has a residence. Every employee of that small business has a residence. Why would they send one flyer to the business, when they can send one to each of the businesses employees? There is more chance that someone will read the flyer and present the offer to the purchaser of that business.

      With new small businesses opening all the time, it would cost the company more to mail directly to the new businesses, and to directly seek out new customers this way, when it is easier, cost effective, and more efficiant to mail it to their homes instead. Also, Staples strives to market in the newspaper that has the most reach in any particular market; therefore the advertisments will go to everyone who subscribes, business and residence.

      So, to sum this up, its not a waste of money to advertise in the Sunday Paper, everyone has a home, and thats the best way to reach people.

      • 1 Reply to josh45087
      • WOW. How could you be so far off base...it's all about the BUYER in the small business.

        Here is an example: in Atlanta,Georgia there is a population of just under 4 Million. Let's say that equates to 1.3 million households(at appx. three people per residence).

        Further, lets say that the Atlanta Journal Constitution has a 60% Market Share and their Sunday newspaper reaches appx. 800,000 households(roughly 60% of 1.3 million available). Let's guess and say that there are 100,000 small business owners and decision makers in that same 1.3 million household corridor(one out of every 13 has a purchasing voice in a small to medium business).

        Now follow me please...If Staples pays $42.00 per thousand in insert fees and $38.00 per thousand in print fees(a total of $80.00 per thousand) to reach 800,000 homes via the newspaper,they have just spent $64,000(a week) to reach families in their homes. The simple math suggests that less than one in thirteen of the homes has a business decision maker in it!!! Why spend all of this money? And...why send THEM a Back To School insert(or any insert aimed at families on any given week) when they may not have kids and further may want to buy Office Furniture that week!?

        Here is what we should do in the above scenario. First we create a retail flyer featuring products and services aimed at the small business decision maker. Next, we spend $32.00 per thousand to insert in a co-op small business direct mailer and the same $42.00 per thousand to print as above(total $74.00 per thousand)AND deliver by co-op mail to the 100,000 Business decision makers. OUR TOTAL COST TO REACH 100% OF ALL ATLANTA BUSINESS SMALL TO MEDIUM DECISION MAKERS: $7,400.!!!!!!!! A far cry from the $64,000. being spent weekly to reach people in their homes via the Newpaper. Also this scenario would deliver a customized,full sized small to medium business piece!

        And this ladies and gentlemen is the problem...because THESE are the people that drive our stock prices up and make our profits together soar(90% of our profitability). Yet these are also the people that we have no MASS ADVERTISING PRINT STRATEGY TO REACH.

        I am ashamed for our Marketing people.

    • Any chance of you changing the subject! I am convinced you are truely insane. Give it a rest already no one on this site agrees with you.

    • flipperb2004, It's obvious that you have chosen to read ONLY the last few posts...and yes I do have knowledge of the print Marketing side of Staples...Direct and the Newspaper Insert program.

      Print Mass Media can be GEOGRAPHICALLY targeted and successful if it delivers the added bonus of reaching the correct demographics as well.

      Here is an example...(while this is repetitive of what I have already posted)...of targeted print MASS media:

      1)Place the Staples store locations on a map.

      2)Next create saturation mail zones of eight mile radius around those physical Store locations mailing ALL business decision makers(you might not be surprised to learn that we are very smart as to where we place our stores in so far as the resulting SMB stats). These lists are easily purchased.

      3)Then delete from the list ALL current Staples regular customers that make up our current regular customer catalog List by a simple merge/purge.

      4) What you will be left with in Atlanta, as example, is over 100,000 small to medium business decision makers whose businesses are NEAR Staples stores yet are NOT current regular customers...they shop elsewhere for their office supplies.

      5) Next, mail(or better yet, co-op mail) a full sized retail circular customized to reach small to medium buisnesses with targeted products to this targeted audience(no school supplies...Office Furniture,Electronics Of All Types and general Office Supplies).

      There are over 10 million small to medium businesses near Staples stores that are NOT current regular customers,yet fit our 90% profit producing profile. They shop at our Office Supply Superstore competitors,Warehouse Membership Clubs and even the dreaded Drug Store National chains.

      This is targeted print MASS MEDIA, flipperb2004.

      For those of you following this string, I apologize for repeating my earlier post.

      note: in the above example I mentioned deleting our current Clients from a mailing strategy of this nature...I am not sure this is a good move...I would probably suggest that we leave them in to get a double Marketing bang for the buck. By the way...and read this carefully...there is a way to mail in the manner above FOR LESS THAN WHAT WE PAY TO INSERT INTO NEWSPAPERS!!!

    • Coupon 73, you are not the only one wondering about a lack of small business print direction...there really is no true volume to our existing approach.

      But you would really be better off taking it up with Corporate...I will give you a hint when it comes to overspending on Newspaper inserts...it does have to do with Newspaper Insert Contracts..and a "keep up with the Joneses" mentality(you know,if OfficeMax and OfficeDepot do it...).

    • maddogmktg: Thanks for not answering my question regarding Staples "having tried these things before"

      If I were a sales rep, do you think I would waste my time on 22 posts before I talk about Mass Media options?

      I am a proponent of BtoB Mass Marketing via direct mail and there are many options available.

      To your question, "be prepared to answer,how is a vehicle were Staples shares space with other advertisers better than a solo vehicle?"

      Are you really asking this question? Ask yourself, "why it is that Staples shares ad space with 312 pages of advertisers in my Sunday Newspaper...AND has our competitors staring at us in the same exact space?"

      How dare you ask, "how is the audience unique to the major BtoB lists Staples already targets?" Please...I will ask again, "WHAT major mass media lists does Staples already target?"....and once again...remember the terms 'major' and 'mass media'.

      ...And finally, Staples will only know if we test. With people like yourself who refuse to read and/or answer...well you should say,"I'm out of here"

    • Speaking of intelligent conversation:

      Can anyone tell us what Staples does to create NEW small to medium business Clients via any form of print media even resembling the mass Marketing dollars spent and efforts made through Newspaper Inserts which reach families in their homes?

      Don't drop Newspapers as a method to generate business....just deliver to our 90% core profitability profile as well...please...before our lesser competitors do.

    • Please, maddogmktg you seem wiling to help...read slowly...

      None of my posts suggest that Staples does not,on some level, market to small business prospects,as your first statement declares. The failing is in MASS MEDIA Marketing to reach 100% of our critical missed SMB that currently shop elsewhere.

      A co-op direct mail program as detailed in my last post delivers precisely this.

      Also, you state, "Newspaper Inserts,even if targeted as you stated"...Where did I state this? I am on the OPPOSITE OF THE NEWSPAPER side. Direct Mail is the targeted answer...and there is a WAY TO MASS MARKET TO 100% of our missed SMB targets via direct mail at a LOWER price than our current over-used Newspaper Insert strategy.

      Please answer, "What MASS MEDIA strategy does Staples have in place to target our millions upon millions of MISSED SMB that are factually near our stores,yet shopping elsewhere".

      Please keep all answers in the context of Mass Media. Our only current print Mass Media efforts are sending ads to homes via Newspapers...effectively missing our number #1 Target.

      By the way, the definition of SMB is "smaller businesses with under 30 employees and an average of 7 to 12" (Fortune Small Business,June 2004)...truly our sweet spot. This is what I have been referring to all along...thanks for reconfirming.

    • Funny, I didn't realize that shareholders have more information on Staples SB Marketing than people who work in Staples SB Marketing.

      Trust me -- and I'm not going to post any more details that might be proprietary information -- we in SB Marketing DO in fact conduct prospecting to acquire new customers.

      And by the way, "mass media" is by definition un-targeted, so you make no sense when you state that we should target our "mass media" advertising efforts at Small Business.

      FlipperB2004
      Framingham, MA

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