Well done Littlewoods for putting men on top

Littlewoods is setting a good example to marketers with its decision to feature for the first time a man on the cover of its Even More catalogue (MW June 9).

The change of image itself isn’t such a groundbreaking move, but the fact that this decision illustrates Littlewoods’ understanding of its customers, the market it wants to expand into and its willingness to try something new is refreshing.

From the results of a relatively simple survey it’s clear that while many men don’t like to shop on the high street and even get their female partners to shop for them, there may be a largely untapped market in catalogue shopping for men. By taking this insight and designing its catalogue to appeal to men, Littlewoods is innovating using market intelligence.

Unfortunately, sometimes even the best marketers can confuse a winning execution with abstract creativity that might look the part but doesn’t have any relevance to the target market. I’m not suggesting we rein in creatives, but basing a catalogue cover or mailshot on what we know about customers – what will appeal to them and encourage them to respond – as Littlewoods appears to have done, will surely help to generate better results.

Looking at the numbers generated by a survey or even from within a customer database can deliver valuable insight, and doesn’t have to be reserved solely for the data people among us.

Richard Roche

Head of media markets

Royal Mail

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