The New Marketing Must? Catalogs!

[responsive]IKEA-2015-Catalog-Cover-600x640[/responsive]For those of us who have been around this industry a while, direct mail catalogs are considered a staple of the marketing mix. We think it’s great that many younger marketers (and companies) are “discovering” the power of catalogs to drive sales.

In particular, niche and high-end retailers are feeling the catalog love, as demonstrated by this article by Marshall Marcovitz in The Gourmet Retailer, who calls catalogs “one of the newest trends” in the industry.

“Catalogs are now playing a crucial creative role in modern e-commerce,” Marcovitz writes. “Today’s mail-order catalog is built for customers, like a store window display, as a source for inspiration, the way strolling through store aisles can be. Catalog marketers hope that shoppers will be attracted to the lavish print spreads and mark pages they like.”

And those hopes are generally realized, with the average return being about 4 to 1, Marcovitz notes.

“The average catalog costs much less than a dollar to produce, including printing, mailing, rental of prospect names, and expenses for an outside mailing house. What’s the potential payoff? Response rates and order sizes run the gamut, but typically each catalog mailed results in about $4 in sales,” Marcovitz explains.

The article goes on to give some great guidelines for retail catalogers in the gourmet space, starting by leveraging the medium to tell your brand’s story and drive desire. It’s definitely worth a read if you are on the team that produces catalogs for your company.

It’s fantastic to see print catalogs get the recognition they deserve in the marketplace and to see so many online retailers going to print to acquire new customers and sales.