For catalogers, the role of the Web has been clearly defined over the past few years. That’s why a growing number of catalog/multichannel companies have combined what used to be separate catalog and Web units. In essence, the Web has become one-part alternative to the catalog combined with a one-part alternative to the toll-free number. Pretty simple.
Of course, it’s way more than that. But if you’re a catalog marketer by trade and have a clear understanding of those two key roles that the online world serves for you, you have a handle on it.
So we’re all experts and we all get it, right? A-ha, wrong! Just when it seemed so simple and easy that even a caveman could do it (don’t sue me Geico), the whole Web 2.0 concept rolled in. So guess what, the next 10 or so years, you’ll have a whole new regimen of on-the-job training. Although search, e-mail marketing, affiliate marketing, blogging, RSS, social networking, etc., are hardly new concepts, their roles are just now taking shape for catalogers.
Who Really Knows Web 2.0?
By a show of hands, how many of you consider yourselves experts in Web 2.0? One, two, three … anybody else? There’s your new challenge. We focused a good portion of the July print issue of Catalog Success on Web 2.0, but admittedly, we only scratched the surface. There are ways to make Web 2.0 help you make money, but many of them are still evolving.
If you’re, say, a VP of marketing, how comfortable would you feel telling your CEO — who’s still trying to figure out how to tweak your catalog circulation so you can afford those crippling postal rates implemented last May — that your company should invest more in blogging and customer interaction entertainment features for your site? “What’s the bottom-line payoff?” your CEO will ask. “Um, well … just trust me,” you’d say. “Trust me, there’s a payoff to be found somewhere. Besides, it’s the thing to do; more and more companies are doing it.”