The Editor’s Take: Redefine Your Catalog, Don’t Replace It
If you haven’t already, you may want to consider changing the tone of your catalog. Reinvent yourself as a personal shopping advisor; one who gives product purchase ideas with a neatly edited selection of your products — but who then steers shoppers over to your Web site or stores for a more complete selection.
Don’t lose sight of your catalog, even though fewer orders are coming in directly related to it. As you invest in Web site upgrades, don’t rob your catalog budget. What’s more, mail as frequently as your budget will allow, keeping in mind that you may not inspire more phone orders and you might have trouble matching a particular catalog mailed to a given Web-placed or store-based order. But the more you can keep your brand in front of your customers’ eyes with your catalog, the more likely they’ll buy from you. It’s all part of a now-proven multichannel marketing method that’s working better than ever for the industry at large.
More Found On The Web
Speaking of the Web-print connection, I encourage you to make more frequent visits to our recently revised Web site, CatalogSuccess.com. Until just a few months ago, we were admittedly behind the times in the development of our site. But our revamped site gives you myriad reasons to check in with us daily.
After retooling the site in the fall, we dispatched catalog marketing expert Jim Gilbert to write a blog called “Profitable Cataloging.” It almost immediately generated great interest and enthusiasm around the industry. In November, we launched “M&A: Q&A,” a catalog dealmaking column hosted by our valuations and acquisitions columnist, Larry West. I encourage you to keep up with both, and pepper them with your questions. Other Web columns will be forthcoming.
We’ve launched a new job opportunities section on our site with a steady flow of new positions posted daily. There’s also a plethora of tips, links to back issues of our print magazine and our weekly e-newsletter, Catalog Success Idea Factory. And we have a daily news feed to keep you up to date on the latest goings-on in the catalog/multichannel industries. Plus, don’t forget to vote in our weekly poll question in the upper right corner of our homepage, then check back later in the week to see how your peers voted.