It’s been almost a year since we made two major changes in the JCK Jewelers’ Directory Issue. First, we changed the publication date from mid July to late December. Second, we made many improvements in the product listings. We’re very pleased to know, thanks to a just-completed readership study, that our subscribers appreciate both changes.
So far we have only the first highlight information from the study, conducted for us by Globe Research Co., an independent market research company in Melville, N.Y. The study reveals that two out of every three jewelers consider the Directory either “extremely useful” or “very useful” &endash; a truly remarkable response considering that the survey covers all retail jewelers, not just JCK subscribers. Again, close to two-thirds of all those responding to the survey say they find the expanded listings easy to use and more useful than those they replaced.
And use them they do. Almost a quarter of jewelers turn to the product listings for information about once a week; more than half do so at least once a month. Somewhat to our surprise &endash; and satisfaction &endash; the survey shows that use of product listings is slightly higher than use of the Yellow Pages section, which lists company addresses, telephone and fax numbers.
Revising the listings was a complex task. Our goal was to provide a great deal more information about the various products, something readers had asked us to do. To achieve the goal, Linda Whitfield, our marketing manager who has overall responsibility for the Directory, and Kathy Ellis, the Directory editor, reviewed hundreds of reader requests that they’d gathered over the past few years. Then they conducted a number of focus meetings with both retailers and suppliers. With all the information they gathered, and with the help of Ben Janowski of Janos Consultants in New York City, they devised a totally new questionnaire to send to supplier firms.
The responses from the suppliers gave us our new and greatly expanded listings. To give just one example: a search in the “old” Directory under the heading of “jewelry, enameled” merely produced a list of companies making such a product. The “new” Directory includes not only the maker’s name but also information on the metals it uses (10k, 14k, gold filled, etc.) and the types of products it makes (bracelet, charm, pin, etc.).
The new 1996 Directory will be in the mail soon to all subscribers, and its format will be largely unchanged from the 1995 edition &endash; though many hundreds of changes are made in the actual listings and in the Yellow Pages each year. But we always want to improve, so if you’d like to submit ideas for other changes we might make, please drop us a line.