Print is the question: “To be or not to be?” Answer: To be
Within the world of marketing that we operate in it’s interesting how the fundamental concepts remain the same, regardless of the digital transformation that we’re experiencing. Yes, the digital aspect of marketing is fundamental to your program strategy; however, it cannot be viewed as a replacement tactic. It should complement the traditional channels we’ve used since the onset of marketing.
Print is not outdated, it’s simply been updated. It’s been modernized to remain competitive with today’s trends. While the size and scope of the catalog has changed with the shift from 700+ page “big books” to specialty catalogs by product line, the objective of catalogs remains constant: To provide a leisurely experience for consumers to enjoy while shopping in the comfort of their own home. And for marketers, it’s to increase sales. And it’s working. Within the catalog landscape, consumers crave print.
When developing your catalog marketing strategy consider these tips, to infuse your catalog with experience and innovation:
Embrace the digital component: Like digital shouldn’t be a replacement tactic for print, don’t just think print either. Integrate the digital aspect of marketing within your catalog strategy. Think about ways in which you can digitize your catalog to take the in-home viewing experience online. Consider developing an online flip book. Whether a consumer is viewing your brand’s catalog in print or online, you want them to deliver similar experiences and provide an opportunity for your customers to have that “a-ha” moment.
Develop creative features outside-of-the-box: Visuals tell a story. They create emotion. Develop creative elements that make your brand stand out and create memorable experiences. Think about 3-D images to include. Mirror the design of your catalog to match the layout of the in-store experience. Pottery Barn does an excellent job executing this showrooming strategy. For example, when in Pottery Barn teen, you feel as if you’re viewing their catalog. As you walk through the store, you see all of the front-page items towards the beginning of the store. Consistency is key.
Target to consumers’ preferences: The insights data provides are unstoppable. Leverage your data assets to understand your customers’ behaviors. Get to know their likes and dislikes. This knowledge enables targeted content to influence purchase decisions. Remember, content first, channel second. Additionally, conduct modeling to glean deeper insights about current and prospective customers. It takes your marketing up a notch.
It’s a conversation: Think of your catalog as a conversation with your consumers. It’s not the “The End” of your story, but instead, it opens the dialogue for communication with your customers leaving them wanting to learn more. For example, insert an enticing offer into your catalog for consumers to connect with you.“The first 100 consumers to text ‘I love this catalog’ will receive a 20% coupon off your entire purchase good until the end of the month.”