Print/Production: Four Challenges to On-demand Catalogs
Two sales representatives carry competing lines of business supplies. Both call on the same customer. The first tries to sell from a 3,500-page “all-products” catalog. The second presents a slim 36-page catalog. It features a customized product selection based on purchase history and is personalized with the company’s name.
Which sales rep is more likely to get the sale?
We all know the personalized approach is more effective. But there are hurdles in the way of establishing an on-demand catalog solution. By knowing what the major hurdles are in advance, you will be in the best possible position to ensure a smooth implementation. The four biggest challenges you are most likely to encounter are:
Customer Relationship Management (CRM): If your customer database is out of date or incorrectly segmented, the effectiveness of your personalized on-demand initiatives will be reduced. The obvious solution is to make sure that customer information is current and organized to align with planned customer-facing initiatives. The effort is almost certain to pay off, and may even help breathe life into stalled CRM initiatives. “CRM solutions are great for collecting information about customers,” says Michael Maziarka, an analyst for digital imaging technology research firm InfoTrends. “But the true value to the organization comes from being able to act on that information efficiently and effectively.”
Product Information Management: If your organization lacks a product information management strategy, you will need to build competency in this area before an investment in personalize-on-demand makes sense. It starts with a realization that product information -- the product descriptions, pricing information, text-based ad copy, digital images and Web content used for marketing and sales purposes -- is a valuable corporate asset. Organizations that develop this awareness typically implement systems to make product information easily accessible across multiple print and electronic channels that reach customers.