Direct Marketing: Catalogs Still Sell.

How this traditional marketing medium is still delivering tangible ROI in an overwhelmingly digital landscape.

With the wide range of new media channels available and media spending trends shifting toward digital, it’s sometimes easy to forget how some of the most traditional marketing mediums can still be the most effective. Though it represents one of the simplest and oldest forms of direct marketing, catalogs are still a reliable way to target existing customers, build brand loyalty and engage with new customers.

In fact, B2C industry leaders like IKEA, Jos. A. Bank and Procter & Gamble as well as B2B leaders like Siemens and VWR are still using print catalogs as an integral part of their media mix.

With millions of products in hundreds of divisions distributed all over the world, Siemens uses catalogs to give their customers a clear understanding of their offering, like this catalog we created for their motors.

Build Brand Loyalty

Unlike other mediums, catalogs have a much longer “shelf life,” often hanging around customers’ homes or desks for days and even months. According to Direct Marketing News, “Catalogs usually reach those consumers when they’re relaxed. As a result, they’re more willing to spend time with a catalog, thus more likely to consider purchasing the advertised products. Additionally, time spent with a catalog in hand can help drive brand engagement.”

In addition to their massive product catalog, VWR distributes industry-specific catalogs, like this publication we create for life science laboratories.

Integrate with Digital

For most companies, catalogs are one part of a larger marketing effort. One of the newer benefits of catalogs is their ability, through smartphones and tablets, to enable users to connect to additional content and marketing – further driving brand engagement. This year’s IKEA catalog, (which will be distributed to 211 million customers) is the first to contain pages that, when a customer takes a photo of them with a smartphone, unlocks additional digital like more product information and color options.

Scanning 2D bar codes is another way to drive engagement. For our B2B clients, we’ve done product catalogs with QR Codes that link directly to product demonstration videos – adding a digital element to a static medium. This trend is expected to grow as according to Forrester Research, 65% of 2D barcode users are between the ages of 23-45.

As one of the leaders in the medical device market, ConMed had us create this catalog to show their wide range of products for multiple surgical indications.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minimize Costs, Maximize Effectiveness

Anyway you look at it, the costs of producing, printing and mailing a catalog are high, especially when compared with digital mediums. However, there are ways to reduce those costs while maximizing a catalog’s effectiveness. Catalogs are least effective as broad marketing methods. Digital mediums and direct mail are your best bet for achieving the widest reach. When sent to a select, targeted database however, catalogs can be very effective. Also with the proliferation of tablet use, we’re seeing a growing trend in companies distributing their catalogs digitally – eliminating the expensive printing and postage costs associated with the medium.

Known industry-wide as a grower of high-quality "plug" starter plants, Gro’n Sell had us create both the print and digital versions of their seed catalog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drive Sales

The bottom line is that catalogs are very effective at helping companies market directly to their customers and drive sales:
• Home furnishings company Serena & Lily attributes 65%-70% of their sales to printed catalog marketing
• Jos. A. Bank’s sales from their digital and print catalog are up 39.3% in 2012
• VWR’s elements catalog generated $1,149.170 in advertising sales, exceeding expectations by nearly 15%.

Contact Us to learn more about how a catalog could help drives sales and increase brand loyalty for your company.

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