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Two stories in the same vein…

• In Iowa, the Daily Nonpareil reports that “after years of distributing a full-color, multi-page advertisement each week,” Hy-Vee is changing its approach to advertising, instead focusing on “a combination of direct mail, in-paper advertisements and digitally-based communications.”

• The Wall Street Journal reports that Sears Holdings hasn’t bought or run paid national television advertising since late November.

Here’s how the Journal frames the story:

“That compares with about $8.4 million the Sears brand spent on national TV ads in December last year, while the Kmart brand shelled out roughly $6.5 million during the same period, according to iSpot estimates. Sears Holdings Chief Executive Edward Lampert has championed the use of digital marketing over traditional TV and print advertising, arguing that digital is more cost-effective and quantifiable.”

The story notes that Sears’ rivals Macy’s Inc. and J.C. Penney Co. spent tens of millions of dollars during the final month of 2017. Macy’s shelled out some $32 million on national TV ads during the first 29 days of December while Penney spent roughly some $27 million during the period.”
KC's View:
It seems to me to be an indisputable fact that more companies ought to be using their data to create a more surgical approach to advertising and marketing. It sounds like Hy-Vee is making a gradual shift, and that Sears has made more of a jump … though certainly for different reasons. Sears is a company virtually without hope or future, and so I’d guess its decision was more about economics than it was about vision.

Of course, if a company doesn’t have data, or an effective way of mining it in a strategic way, or a commitment to making this shift to a 21st century approach, then they’re pretty much screwed.