Catalog Creative Breakthroughs (1,612 words)
•Watch intently what others are doing… especially those catalogs that are consistently putting up great numbers.
•Look outside your immediate market segment for creative ideas. Are you tracking retail, business-to-business, direct mailers and other industry consumer segments? You might be surprised what you'll learn. Many times people are turned off by another industry segment or communication channel and can't "translate" a brilliant idea to their work. That's the challenge.
•Keep a "swipe file" of creative ideas of other catalog and mail-order pieces. It's amazing how many of those ideas you can adopt, modify or emulate for your own business.
•Read every creative article, book and publication that you can get your hands on. Successful, creative people are hungry for new ideas and concepts that can advance their knowledge.
•Pass on ideas to your friends and colleagues and ask them to reciprocate.
•Attend a least one or two conferences a year where creative people are speaking and demonstrating their wares. Interact and network with peers.
•Become a member of your local direct marketing or creative club or association. These are great places to meet other bright, creative and production people and get ideas.
Good luck finding the next "big idea!"
JACK SCHMID is president of J. Schmid & Associates Inc., Shawnee Mission, KS. He can be reached at (913) 385-0220 or by e-mail at email@example.com.