Why Direct Marketing Catalogs Are Worth It

Last week Michael Fernandez of Advertising Age stated that print catalogs are outdated and marketers should “stop printing them and join the digital age.”

Specifically, he says “Companies need to quit hiding behind false claims and old ways and adopt more creative and sensible ways to reach and influence customers.”

Seems this struck a bit of a nerve with Christine Alexander of Dreaming in CMYK who responded to Fernandez’ rant point by point.

To his assertion that catalogs are “expensive, inflexible, unimaginative and antiquated way of communicating to — not with — customers,” Alexander calls him out.

“Funny. I beg to differ, Mr. Fernandez. Ever since the explosion of digital marketing has occurred, I have heard very little from the digital side actually promoting a marriage between the two media. Digital enthusiasts simply want to see it their way or no way at all,” Alexander asserts.

“On the ink on paper side of things, it’s quite a different tune,” she continues.

“Yes, you have those defending the print medium, those dragging their feet to adopt digital approaches, and those who will straight up brawl with anyone who dare speak ill of their beloved print craft. But there is a much larger portion embracing what the two can do together!”

Fernandez makes the point that companies using catalogs are simply following tradition, chasing trends, rather than ditching print and embracing digital.

To which Alexander replies:

“I will agree – you don’t want to be like everyone else, and it is certainly best to be a trendsetter instead of doing what everyone else is doing. But most importantly, you should be doing what works for your brand.”

Quite simply, she nails it, and brings it home with cold hard facts about direct mail catalogs that prove, without a doubt, that catalogs work to bring in the dollars.

We love the spirit Alexander shows in tackling a topic for which she obviously has passion. The full article full article is definitely worth a read.