Print media and catalog marketing is making a comeback, and in a big way! With the advent of digital media and marketing, and the age of modern technology, the humble catalog often took a backseat and was seen as a forgotten form of marketing. The internet, smartphones, television and radio all became the new forms.
A few years later, and this space is crowded. Advertisements fill up your Facebook feed, your Google search is crowded, and most of the messaging is just becoming white noise and easily ignorable. Successful marketers are noting this and drumming up the nostalgia – going back to the catalog – for many reasons!
The use of the print catalog has evolved in the past few years. Before, consumers would choose their purchase and phone into a call center to place their order. Now, catalogs serve as the first stop on the buying train, and buyers end up purchasing online on in the store. In the same study as above, of women 18 to 30, 64% who first saw an item in a catalog ended up completing their purchase in the store, and 32% went to the retailer’s website to buy it. So, when retailers analyze the buying information as a whole, catalogs are increasing business.
Catalog data has always been rich in insights, but it has historically been slow to report. Waiting the standard 30 to 45 days for catalog match-back reporting is no longer required. Today, it is available daily. Marketers now have precise and timely catalog measurements aligned to the reporting cadence of digital. This means lining up catalog to digital is now possible for timely portfolio investment decisions to compare prospecting across catalog, Facebook, non-branded search and other channels
Nostalgia is a strong business tool. We love to look back on our past and remember happier times, and certain objects help to rustle up memories long forgotten. How many of you can remember turning the pages of a toy catalog near Christmas and looking in amazement at the bright photos of the latest Action Man? Or how about looking through page after page of far-flung holiday destinations that you could only dream of travelling too in a vacation brochure? We crave these memories and objects and print marketing makes them come alive.
The first stage could be shipping a direct-mail catalog to allow the customer to browse through your products and have that physical interaction that is still desired; while the second stage would be for that customer to then use your online store to order the product and receive confirmation. This provides them with an instant response, and allows them to purchase online, which is a trend not going away. Providing coupon codes and landing pages relevant to them in the catalog personalizes the experiences even more.
The catalog is still a relevant and important marketing tool; a business simply has to use a different approach when incorporating it into their current strategies. Now that catalog measurement and reporting are moving closer to the pace of digital, it becomes a test, learn, grow option for fast-growing brands.