Catalogs Make A Comeback
Growing up I clearly remember spending hours looking at the Christmas catalog. Now I probably wasn’t the key demographic as I had exactly zero dollars to spend for most of my childhood but I was an influencer of decisions (to a degree). I know my kids today are the exact same as I was.
What catalogs offer is a guarantee that people will interact with your brand which is invaluable in today’s marketing environment. Once they’ve received the catalog in their mailbox there is a 100% chance that they will see your products and your brand. Websites will never have that potential. For more info on the comeback of catalogs here’s an excerpt from the Harvard Business Review:
Marketers are increasingly challenged to produce a specific return on investment for their efforts. The effect of a broadcast spot or social media campaign on sales may be hard to pin down, but catalogs — with their definitive mail dates and customer and source codes — are easier to track. Targeting with catalogs is also much easier now, thanks to huge industry databases containing all sorts of information on millions of households. And thanks to online purchasing, many retailers have amassed their own customer databases that can be synced up with them. This combination gets the right catalogs into the right hands.
Retailers have also discovered that catalogs can be used for high quality content marketing. High-touch print pieces filled with stories, fashion show images, profiles of celebrity endorsers and designers, and room layouts have proven to be excellent ways to convey a brand ethos and express a brand personality. For instance, Williams Sonoma has started including recipes in its catalogs, next to the products consumers need to cook them. And Restoration Hardware has elevated brand-building through catalogs to an art form. Its 2014 annual catalog was actually comprised of up to 13 “sourcebooks” with more than 3,300 pages of luxurious photography, profiles of designers and craftsmen, inspirational stories — and yes, products for sale.
Catalogs may seem old school, but their increased capabilities and the brand-building potential suggest they’ll remain a staple in retailers’ toolboxes – and consumers’ mailboxes.
(via Harvard Business Review)
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