A Strange Phenomenom, Indeed!

In a world in which digital marketing continues to outpace its print brethren, a new catalog brand seems to mail every month. That’s not the strange part. What’s strange is WHO is mailing these catalogs. Some of these brands include merchants who currently sell through bricks and mortar stores (both branded and big box) and employ catalogs to drive traffic to both stores and websites. Okay, not so strange. What’s really strange is to see an increasing number of E-Commerce sites mail catalogs.

In an article published in AdWeek, called “A Growing Number of E-Commerce are Moving into Print,” the author observes this trend (link below.) The article points to the tactical nature of catalogs and how this extra customer touch-point seems to be moving the needle by driving online sales.

In my opinion, the real take-away is to realize the changing role of the traditional catalog. A mailed catalog is primarily a driver to get customers to DO something. That doesn’t mean it needs to present your entire merchandise line OR even your entire story. I’m not saying we throw out the “proven rules” but instead we must think about how this tactic accomplishes three things:

1. DISRUPT their lives by grabbing attention … with something they’ll care about.

2. DELIGHT customers by sharing a story … something they’ll care about.

3. DRIVE customers to DO something … yes, to do something they care about.

Catalogs have become an important advertising tactic that many brands are mailing with success. But if they are not presented with attention-grabbing eye candy or uniquely branded content or products, then most likely they become a good candidate for a “throwback thursday” Facebook post.

Article referenced: http://bit.ly/1sJxtgv

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The Catalog Blog covers opinions and information on all things catalog. Have something to add? Leave a comment below. Catalog University is devoted to helping you get ahead in the fun and fascinating world of catalogs. If you want even more information about cataloging, including FREE Pub Talks, be sure to sign up for the Cat-U mailing list. We will never share your name with 3rd parties.

Lois Brayfield

CEO; J.Schmid & Assoc, Inc.

Dean of Creative; Catalog University

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