Print-Plus: Hello Mr. (Catalog) President …
9. No, we shouldn't reduce our print quantity because of an increase in web sales. With the continuing increase in web demand, catalog executives are pondering the idea of reducing the number of catalogs circulated. Here's a typical scenario: catalog circulation has increased 20 percent, traceable catalog sales are down 5 percent and internet demand is up 10 percent to 15 percent. The conclusion you might draw from this might not be the right one. Keep in mind that the catalog is the biggest driver of traffic to the web. Mr. Catalog President, the web isn't a field of dreams. Just because it's built doesn't mean they'll come. The catalog drove those buyers to the web.
10.We've peaked! When you think about other markets, the sky isn't the limit. Even when there seems to be an endless number of potential customers, it gets narrowed down by the size of your market, the number of catalog shoppers within that market, your competition and other factors. At some point, your business will mature and it will become more difficult to maintain the same growth rates. Mr. Catalog President, your business has peaked. You've hit the wall. There are several ways to overcome hitting the wall, such as creating promotional offers, using modeling to improve performance, circulating smarter and so on. However, if you've peaked, rethinking circulation strategies may not be enough. You need to open and/or expand your market. Why not consider creating spin-off catalogs, changing your creative for a broader appeal, expanding your merchandise offers in an effort to grow your demographic universe, using the web more? Create your own focus group within your company. Creative ideas and good marketing can often be found internally.
It's important to set realistic expectations for your business. Solicit input from others. Hear people out even when you may disagree with them. Be willing to test and try new strategies. By working as a team and listening to others, you can have a successful catalog company — even in this day and age!