Should You Launch a Catalog in Today’s Environment?
I love the process of how the price of gas has risen above $4 per gallon.
To greatly oversimplify the situation, part of it has to do with speculators driving the price of crude oil up. And, of course, there’s OPEC holding us over the proverbial barrel. Then there are the pundits on TV who have nothing better to do than tell us gas prices are going up. So what happens? We all get comfortable with gas prices going to the next level now that we’ve had it drummed into our heads — like the tail wagging the dog. And when it happens, we just accept it.
So, what does this have to do with starting a catalog in today’s market? Plenty. There are a lot of naysayers out there telling people it’s a bad time in the business world right now. And let’s face it: There’s plenty of evidence to support that.
But think about the flip side of the coin. This might be an opportunity to seize the moment and a market while others are reluctant to enter the fray. If you’re thinking of launching a catalog, consider the following questions/points:
1. Are mailboxes as crowded today as they were a year ago?
2. Due to that, can your catalog stand out?
3. Do you have the right product, at the right time? In short, now is a great time for products that help people in specific ways. People are still buying, but they’re more cautious on what products and services they spend on. If your product is relevant today, now is a great time to launch.
4. Sure, postal and paper costs are up, but don’t let that stop you. Vendors are looking for business. That means you’ll get extra service and, if you’re a good negotiator, extraordinary deals on producing a catalog.
If you have relevant products and a market, go for it. I’d certainly jump at that.
Speak to you next week. Oh, and by the way, I heard a report that by 2010 gas prices could reach $7 per gallon. Guess the powers that be are priming the pump.
Jim Gilbert is president of Gilbert Direct Marketing Inc., a full-service catalog and direct marketing agency. His LinkedIn profile can be viewed at www.linkedin.com/in/jimwgilbert or you can post a comment here or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jim Gilbert has been creating direct marketing programs that drive superior ROI for almost 30 years. Fluent in consumer or B-to-B, creative, operations, and analytics, he marries the strategic and tactical sides of direct and social media marketing in a seamless fashion that gets results. He's CEO of a multidiscipline direct marketing agency, Gilbert Direct Marketing, Inc., which focuses on direct mail, catalogs, DRTV, telemarketing, print, alternative direct marketing media and social media marketing. Jim has been involved in start-ups, expansions and turnarounds, and is an expert in helping multichannel marketers get to the "next level." He's a former adjunct professor, teaching direct marketing at Miami International University, and is President of the Board of Directors of the Florida Direct Marketing Association. Jim loves to talk direct marketing, and has done many lectures on direct and social media marketing.