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December,  2006
Volume II   Issue 16

"Happy Holidays!!!"
by Jack Miller

This month I arranged for Santa Claus to contribute a special Christmas
edition of MarketIntellibits.

Santa is a master of marketing, and is arguably the world greatest
practitioner of market intelligence. He begins with extensive market
research, with thousands of researchers in department stores and shopping
malls everywhere, finding out who wants an iPod, or a new bike, or the
latest Power Rangers Megazord. These researchers, cleverly disguised as
Santa himself, do an outstanding job of probing and finding out what the
market really wants. But Santa’s research has to start even earlier so that he
can be sure of adequate supply in case of allocations, and while the rest of
us were enjoying the warmth of summer, Santa’s assistants were
conducting focus groups. As a result, Santa was able to project that TXM
Elmo would be the hot toy for 2006, and Santa was able to stock up before
shortages hit.

Many of my more astute readers may suspect that the story about the sleigh
and the eight reindeer is a myth, just another urban legend, and they’d be
right. In reality, Santa has a logistics system that is the envy of FedEx, and a
CRM system to help manage it. He has a fleet of sleighs, and a veritable
army of reindeer to power them. The reindeer are eco-friendly, requiring no
fossil fuel and all waste material is fully biodegradable.  

Santa is also expert at market segmentation. Certainly, he begins with
geographic segmentation to facilitate efficient delivery, and also segments
by language so that toys can be provided with instructions in the proper
language. The instructions are still unintelligible, of course, but at least they
are in the correct language.

But Santa’s market segmentation doesn’t stop there. He segments by age
and gender to assure delivery of the appropriate toys, and also segments by
the critical "naughty" and "nice."

That’s a lot to keep track of and Santa uses his advanced CRM system to
manage his data base. Unfortunately, Santa is now in the midst of converting
to SAP, and this is presenting some challenges. He regrets that as a result,
he just does not have time to contribute his article for MarketIntellibits, so
the secrets of how he does all this will remain secret a while longer. Santa
did say, however, that next year he plans to add benchmarking to his market
intelligence repertoire.  

For help locating that hard to find toy, email No
guarantees, but  we’ll see what we can do. For help with some of Santa’s
market intelligence tools contact Jack Miller at  203 925 0326 or email
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Copyright 2006, Jack Miller

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