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This brings us neatly to direct catalogues delivered into the hands of loyal customers and new prospects. These can be mailed or enclosed with order shipments, inserted into magazines or handed out in-store by multichannel businesses. They can be designed for use by party plan and commission agents to sell products to their neighbours, family, work colleagues and friends. Think Avon, Kleeneze, and the like.


“In the multichannel world, catalogues continue to have a pivotal role. They generate order peaks through all our channels—web, phones and retail—and they are strong brand communications. We never forget that they are also the key point of contact for customers who have limited engagement with ecommerce. Experience shows there are still results you can achieve through print but not on the web.”


Chris Terelak,


marketing director, Charles Tyrwhitt


Catalogues


are on-trend


Pindar research “catalogues are on-trend” carried out by Verdict last year showed that many consumers use catalogues as a first point of contact with a retailer in order to learn about products and get inspiration and ideas. In this sense, using catalogues is pleasurable and enjoyable as it is a much more considered phase of the purchase process. Key findings from the study include:


48%


of all consumers say catalogues are fun to browse


36%


of all consumers use catalogues to seek inspiration


91% have recommended a product


Catalogues can be upmarket, value


driven, problem solving, authoritative, entertaining, aspirational, funky, traditional, useful, however the brand wants to be portrayed. Catalogues are also green. Careful targeting avoids wasted copies. Those shopping from home are not burning petrol on drives into town and also get to save that most valuable resource—time. This, of course, applies equally to online buying and this is where some of the biggest misconceptions about print arise. For between the lines of all the announcements and brouhaha about growing online sales lies the very simple fact that much of the growth in online sales volumes is entirely due to customers placing orders online having been presold by catalogues, direct mail,


magazine advertising and PR. Not to mention those who routinely visit retail outlets to compare and evaluate products, then return home empty-handed to order them online. For many people, websites are merely a modern-day alternative to using the call centre order line. They are the checkout counters at which customers confirm and pay for their order for the goods they’ve chosen offline. Of course, a good website may well convince customers to buy something else, but that’s another story and a role that is filled by the catalogue enclosed with the customer’s order shipment. Print is not dead. Print works harder


than any other medium. It has a productive role to play in every direct and multichannel business.


Although our online traffic has increased significantly, it is imperative that we maintain and develop our print offering as a key element of our overall sales and marketing mix. In pursuing an ever-increasing customer base of internet-savvy small-business owners and students, it is vital that those who prefer to purchase products via more traditional routes aren’t neglected in any manner. Revitalising the print-based marketing


collateral for Viking was, and continues to be, a major element of the Viking rebrand. Loyal customers are hugely important to us and we want to do everything we can to support them and make their lives easier, and we can do this by using a combination of our new catalogues and redesigned website.”


John O’Keeffe, commercial director, Office Depot UK and Ireland


seen in a catalogue 53%


of all consumers use a catalogue at the thinking stage of purchasing a product.


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