Do Gucci Catalogs Stack Up in Direct Marketing

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Case 2: Do Gucci Catalogs Stack Up in Direct Marketing?
Catalogs, one type of direct mail merchandising, have been increasing in popularity as consumers look toward convenience in their shopping. Catalog business has even been expanding on the international horizon, Harris Catalog Library has offered 1,250 domestic and international catalogs for patrons to order from. Catalog libraries can be found close to home in U.S. libraries, and as far away as Japanese department stores. The Japanese have been especially fond of shopping by catalog, since by ordering American products directly from catalogs, savings up to 30 or 40 percent can be had over local retailers. Total U.S. catalog sales were $78.6 billion in 1997 and were expected
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This game, therefore, not only benefits Gucci by stimulating readership
(due to the consumer's increased scrutiny of the catalog for lucky numbers); but serves as an inducement for the customer to make a catalog purchase.
Unfortunately, while the marketing department feels that they have a winning strategy, top management is not so sure. Before authorizing the implementation of this plan, top management wants a marketing researcher to discover if the plan is a viable one. Based on the researcher's report, management will decide whether or not to give marketing the green light.
1) Gucci corporate spokesperson, catalog marketing department, personal interview, May 1998.
2) Gene G. Marcial, “Scuffed-up Gucci May Get a SBhuisnien,e”s s
Week (August 4, 1997): 65.
3) Ida Picker, “Brand RescuIen,s”t itutional Inves t(oArpril 1997):
4) Faye Rice, “The Turnaround Champ of Haute CouFtourrteu,n” e
(November 24, 1997): 305-6.
5) “Gucci Resurfaces as Fast-Growing FTirhme, ”W all Street
Journal (October 8, 1995): Col. 1, PA14(W), PA16(E).
Case 2 Questions
1) Marketing research involves the identification, collection, analysis, and dissemination of information. Explain how each of these phases of marketing research applies to Gucci's problem.
2) Is the problem facing Gucci a case of problem identification research or problem solution research? Explain.

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