The Downsizing of Marketing
Back in the day, the Montgomery Ward catalog was a welcome sight — 600 pages of magic. In the old days, there wasn’t a lot of competition. So big catalogs were sent to big audiences, and the equation worked well.
The advent of database marketing changed direct marketing. From 1980 through 1999, it became fashionable to send smaller catalogs on a more frequent basis to smaller audiences. Direct marketers figured out that not every customer would generate productivity on every single catalog page. It was better to send the same, highly productive page to a highly productive customer than to send every page to every customer and prospect.