Susan J. McIntyre

Susan J. McIntyre is Founder and Chief Strategist of McIntyre Direct, a catalog agency and consultancy in Portland, Oregon offering complete creative, strategic, circulation and production services since 1991. Susan's broad experience with cataloging in multi-channel environments, plus her common-sense, bottom-line approach, have won clients from Vermont Country Store to Nautilus to C.C. Filson. A three-time ECHO award winner, McIntyre has addressed marketers in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, has written and been quoted in publications worldwide, and is a regular columnist for Retail Online Integration magazine and ACMA. She can be reached at 503-286-1400 or

Q: "Our catalogs tend to be crammed with photos 
and descriptions. How do I demonstrate to upper 
management the value of design elements, white space and larger photos per spread?"
 — Angela Sanchez,
 creative director, NLC Products

In late November, we surveyed the All About ROI editorial board members and other marketing insiders to gauge their views on the year ahead. At press time on the eve of the 2009 holiday homestretch, with their hopes for a better sales outcome than 2008 looking modest at best, few saw an especially bright light shining by December. Instead, many settled in to make the appropriate adjustments for reduced demand.

Catalog Success recently took two of its longest-standing columnists to task. Strategy scribe Stephen R. Lett and Catalog Doctor Susan J. McIntyre have spent the better part of their careers producing or helping clients produce print catalogs. But do catalogs have a future in this integrated selling environment?

PATIENT: My catalog’s in a fairly crowded market. All my competitors look similar and carry many similar products. Is that the best way to do it? Will I sell more being more like the competition, or should I work to be really different? CATALOG DOCTOR: Being different is better for your catalog, but there are some wrinkles, too. Learn the signs and symptoms of being too much like your competitors. Do your customers get you mixed up with your competitors? If so, you’re losing out on building customer loyalty and higher response. Sit back, let me tell you a story. Five

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