Do Printed Catalogs Still Have a Place in Marketing in 2019?

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As the majority of brands are spending heavily on digital marketing, it’s easy to assume that the era of print marketing is gone. Many innovative brands are claiming that print is still working for them and in some cases much better than other marketing mediums when it comes to grabbing the attention of their customers.

But are printed catalogues worthy of having in your marketing arsenal in 2019? Should you invest in print marketing when driving sales online has never been easier than it is now? Read on to learn about the latest marketing insights on the topic that will help you make the decision.

The Coming Era of Modern Printed Catalogs

If you have been observing the evolving marketing landscape closely over the past few years, you already know that printed catalogues aren’t just old-school marketing tools anymore. Printed marketing materials are all set to stand out once again, considering the overwhelming amount of digital information that web users are gradually growing desensitised to. Even in an era when more and more brands are born online, modern printed catalogues are offering an opportunity to grab the attention of buyers much in the same way as they did in the 20th century.

What the Latest Research Suggests About Effectiveness of Printed Catalogs in Marketing

Did you know most people spend an average of 15.5 minutes going through a catalogue? (SOURCE: USPS, Catalogs: Trends and Updates, May 3, 2017) Not just that, they typically hold on to printed catalogues for several weeks if not months. This makes catalogues a great customer acquisition and retention tool.

Another USPS study found that we process digital and physical media quite differently. So, while people tend to process digital content much quicker these days, they spend more time when it comes to looking at physical ads. Plus, they show a stronger emotional response towards physical content and remember it for a longer period of time. This proves that physical content does seem to leave a stronger and longer-lasting impact on consumers’ minds than digital. (SOURCE: https://www.uspsoig.gov/sites/default/files/document-library-files/2015/rarc-wp-15-012.pdf)

Now, here comes the best part. According to DMA (Data & Marketing Association), the response rates for printed catalogues have risen significantly in the past few years. What’s the reason behind this? It’s because the current generation of millennials haven’t received a huge volume of promotional mail as the previous generations have. This gives the experience more emotional impact when they receive print marketing materials from a brand they know about. (SOURCE: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/21/millennials-are-more-interested-in-catalogs-than-your- grandmother-is.html)

How You Can Use Printed Catalogs for Marketing in 2019

Printed catalogues, just like other pieces of physical marketing content, can play a very important role in a brand’s overall marketing strategy. As with other common forms of content marketing used today, it’s best to leverage a printed catalogue to drive traffic to physical stores, websites, landing pages, or mobile apps. Find opportunities to help your catalogue readers cross over to a digital platform (a microsite, for example) using QR codes or other innovative techniques.

Using customer data from digital ad campaigns and other sources, retailers are now using printed catalogues to focus on reaching more of those consumers who actually spend more, or at least are likely to spend more. This way you can derive better ROI from your print marketing campaigns, which include the printed catalogues.

Wondering how would you figure out the conversion rate of your printed catalogues? It’s not as complex as it seems at first. All you need to do is link those who received your catalogue with the sales data. If the catalogue initiated the customer interaction and resulted in a sale, you know that it worked well for you.

Final Thoughts

Even though printed catalogues may well seem old-school, but considering their performance in recent times and their brand-building potential, they are likely to remain in retailers’ marketing arsenal.

Since digital content has become ubiquitous, the current generation finds it appealing to experience the change of format. So, it’s no longer a competition between print and digital. It’s all about utilising the strengths of each of the available marketing mediums to inspire, engage and satisfy your customer while growing your company’s bottom line.

In 2019, use printed catalogues to help consumers make informed decisions and make them feel like your brand is a part of their lives. Make them feel familiar with your product offerings, and give them the much-required break they need from all too frequent digital content consumption. They will thank you for it, and your sales figures will most likely show the positive signs you are looking for.

Author Bio
Adam Smith is the Marketing Manager at Mixam.
Having successfully launched in the US, the UK based company is rapidly expanding by disrupting the online market with fresh ideas, new innovations and a real passion for printing.


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