A Sneak Preview of Our New Catalog/Multichannel Business Benchmark Report
Here at Catalog Success, we’ve spent the better part of the past two to three months putting together the first of what will be an ongoing, quarterly survey of catalog/multichannel business practices. We’re conducting these surveys in partnership with the multichannel ad agency Ovation Marketing.
A portion of the results of this, our first benchmarking report — which will focus on mailing and marketing issues — will be showcased in the October (print) edition of our magazine. Also beginning in October, we’ll feature all the results on our Web site, where you’ll be able to view the overall findings, as well as separate consumer and B-to-B findings.
But in this day and age, who wants to wait a whole week?! So, here’s a little taste of what’s coming in our October issue and on our Web site. We surveyed our Catalog Success e-mail file, filtered out noncatalogers and received completed surveys from 175 marketers — 97 B-to-C, 78 B-to-B.
Best to begin with the question that illustrates the changing role of the catalog itself. We asked, “What is the single most important business objective of your catalog?” Response from B-to-C and B-to-B varied considerably here. Naturally, the top response in both was to generate sales. But while 71.8 percent of B-to-B catalogers checked it off as their single most important business objective, just 57.7 percent of B-to-C respondents said sales was the most important objective.
More B-to-C catalogers are keen on generating online sales from the print catalog (19.6 percent) than B-to-B (6.4 percent). The other responses given — educate customers, build customer relationships, create awareness about your products/services, generate retail store sales (B-to-C only), generate sales for field reps (B-to-B only) and brand-building — all drew single-digit responses.
We also asked, “What other types of marketing efforts are you using in conjunction with your catalog program?” Here, B-to-C and B-to-B responses were more similar. Web sites led the way, followed by e-mail, search (both paid and organic) and direct mail. The emerging technologies that didn’t generate much in the way of response were podcasts, RSS feeds and online video.