Catalog Creative Breakthroughs (1,612 words)
7. Tying the Printed Catalog to the Web
This is new creative ground for most catalogers. Dell and Gateway 2000's direct sales via the Internet are reportedly upwards to $5 million a day with as much as 30 percent of the sales coming from the consumer sector. These companies are the models to emulate. The creative challenge for both business and consumer catalogs is how to make the printed promotion and the Web site work together. As a start, every catalog needs to advertise its Web site in the catalog—at least on the back cover and order form.
It might be a while until the entire catalog is online, but at a minimum, every catalog should be attempting to generate catalog requests or maybe feature a small number of proven "hot" products. The medium is going to grow in importance, so there is no time like the present to get your feet wet. You can join one of the numerous catalog Web sites:
• Shop At Home:
• The Catalog Site:
• Mall of Catalogs: www.sni.net/marketeers/mallofcatalogs
• Catalogs Across America:
• Catalog Central: catalogcentral.com
The Garfield comic strip is rated number one in the world in distribution and number of readers. When Garfield launched a new catalog, Garfield Stuff, this past year it was a natural to use its Web site (www.garfield.com) to generate catalog requests. Because of its international popularity and because the Web site was mentioned in the comic strip, the medium has proven to be very strong in getting new inquiries. Conversion is excellent, as well.
Finding that New Idea
Many professionals will tell you that there are no new ideas. But there are a number of ways that innovative individuals and companies keep "pushing the creative envelope" and in improving their ultimate catalog product. Are you doing the following to help generate new ideas for your catalog?