Research and Development is not "R & R"

It’s easy to get so engrossed with a project that you work with blinders on. During Research & Development, “R” is often undertaken exclusively at the start of a project, then “D” takes over with an all-consuming life of its own.

I approach work with a marketer’s perspective – it’s in my nature. So even while Catalogs.com for iPad is moving forward at an exciting pace -- with great placement in the iTunes store, new retailers every day joining the program and a major marketing tool ready to go to the printer – I keep the “R” radar alert.

I am digesting stats about iPad sales and tablet projections. This is just the beginning of a new way people use computers: I can’t believe the numbers. Since iPads were introduced in April, 7.5 million have shipped. Two-thirds of Fortune 100 companies are deploying iPads for business use. (“Apple’s iPad sales secret? It’s all business,” MobileBeat, Oct 18.)

I am glad that Catalogs.com is in the “tablet” space already. A year from now, it will be more difficult to stand out. It’s exciting to be on the front of the wave.

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The marketing piece that is ready to go to the printer is a major color production. There are multiple components: a brochure, really clever self-mailer and other collateral. It’s like nothing we’ve ever produced before. I have been busy working on it nonstop.

Why are we printing a marketing tool? Multichannel marketing does not mean strictly “online.” It’s important to invest in traditional concepts that will have a tremendous bang for the investment.

The marketing piece illustrates why it’s important not to lose sight of the “R” in any project – I have been fine-tuning our marketing message as the project moves forward. I've been through more than one "version" tweaking to get the messaging just right.

Research shouldn’t stop because a project is in production. The essence of an entrepreneurial spirit is staying nimble enough to react and adjust. When our marketing piece hits the press with my “approved” stamp on it, it will be quite different from where I started a month ago, because the "R" never stopped.

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