Last updateThu, 20 Jul 2017 8am

George Prout

Applied Marketing 101: Using value and price to drive traffic (Part 1)

Anyone engaged in retail understands that in today’s environment, it’s hard to drive traffic without providing your target audience with a sense that you’re offering a terrific deal. But how do you create a sufficiently compelling offer without corrupting your margins? In this article and the next, we’re going to first examine this issue conceptually, and then offer some real world examples of how to put Price Theory into practice in the jewelry retailing environment.

Applied Marketing 101: The view from England

As a student of history, it has always seemed a bit surprising to me that American society has enjoyed such extraordinary tranquility, given the fact that our country was founded on two mutually incompatible principles: Liberty and Equality. There has always been a natural tension in our politics that arises from the fact that government initiatives that make us more free make us less equal, while conversely, those that make us more equal make us less free. The political lubricant allowing these contradictory principles to peacefully co-exist has been the uniquely Jeffersonian idea that the government’s power comes at the will of the people, such that we derive our individual rights not from the government, but rather from our humanity. And in turn, our government derives its power from the governed. 

Applied Marketing 101: A credit program that competes with the malls

For the past year, I’ve been investigating a new way of offering credit in retail jewelry stores that potentially represents an enormous breakthrough. The implications from the data we’ve been collecting in test stores are staggering, particularly in the Bridal sector. Just imagine how much your sales and profitability could increase if almost anyone who entered your store could obtain financing. For any student of jewelry retailing, universal access to credit represents the Holy Grail, and it looks like we have actually found it!

Applied Marketing 101: The view from Hong Kong

The Boeing 777 is a long-range, wide-body, twin-engine jet airliner manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes.  As Boeing’s first fly-by-wire airliner, it has computer mediated controls; it is also the first entirely computer-designed commercial aircraft. In many ways, the 777 represents the ultimate expression of the art and science of aircraft manufacturing, which is a good thing, since as I write this, I am sitting in seat 4D, enjoying the first of what will likely be several glasses of champagne, on a Delta “Triple Seven” flight en route to Hong Kong.

Applied Marketing 101: Probability and the primate brain

Nearly everything in life, as well as in business, can be represented by mathematical models. Even if you’re uncomfortable with math, your brain still creates models for a variety of activities, and the decisions that you make are significantly influenced by this modeling behavior. We do this instinctively, since there were distinct evolutionary advantages for our ancestors who were able to correctly gauge the chances that food (a good thing) was just around the corner, or that a lion (a bad thing) was lying in the tall grass. Unfortunately, our capacity for correctly gauging the probability of the occurrence of good or bad things is skewed by the way our primate brains are wired, which in some cases diminishes our ability to understand and anticipate the likely outcome of certain actions.

The Sword of Damocles

Of the many Greek and Roman political philosophers whose writings provided the foundation for modern-day democracy, Marcus Tullius Cicero, who lived during the time of Julius Caesar, was one of the most influential. As a rhetorician and orator, Cicero was without peer, but he was also a superb storyteller. And one of his stories, about a courtier named Damocles, provides an elegant object lesson for those of us who live in these very peculiar times.

Applied Marketing 101: An empirical approach to December reorders

In the late 1800s, an economist named Vilfredo Pareto undertook a ground breaking study of the distribution of wealth in Italian society. He found, unsurprisingly, that eighty percent of the wealth was concentrated in the hands of twenty percent of the population. He was subsequently amazed when, in conducting similar studies of other European countries, he found that each, regardless of their political system, evidenced precisely the same allocation of personal assets. This universal pattern in the distribution of wealth became known as Pareto’s Law.