How to Determine If a Print Catalog is Worth It

by | May 15, 2018

“Many of us have fond memories of looking through a print catalog at holiday time to craft our wish lists. It’s easy to understand why catalog marketing became so popular in reaching consumers. There are many catalog marketing advantages and disadvantages. But, what does it mean for your business today? Here are 6 questions to ask yourself to determine if a print catalog is worth your marketing investment.

1. Are Sales and Marketing Aligned on Business Strategy?

It’s not uncommon for sales and marketing to operate separately. Marketing generates the leads, while sales creates the perception that those initiatives can take place within each department. However, marketing and sales goals connect and share in today’s buying process more than ever.

Marketing shifted from a traditional “outbound” role of providing advertising and collateral to a robust “inbound” role of generating and nurturing leads to feed to the sales team. In fact, the internet changed the buying process. In most cases, a sales representative doesn’t get involved until about 60% of the sales cycle is complete. That’s why it’s important for sales and marketing to be on the same page. Understand you are both working towards the same goal.

2. Do You Know the Impact of the Print Catalog to Your Overall Business Strategy?

It’s easy to assume that because you’ve always done something and seen success that you don’t need to change the model. But, do you have metrics in place to measure the effectiveness of a print catalog over other marketing tactics? Can you tie ROI back to your catalog marketing strategy?

Catalogs eat up a large chunk of your marketing budget. They cost an average of approximately $5,000 to a small-medium business. If you’ve put tracking and metrics in place and can attribute sales back to your catalog marketing, that’s great. But, most B2B companies use catalog marketing still as a sales support tool vs. a proven sales driver. In some cases, you may need to rethink the format of your catalog. Could an online version work better for your product or business? 94% of B2B buyers do their research online before making a purchase {source}. Is sustainability part of your corporate mission? If so, you might want to think of the perception of a print catalog.

3. Do You Segment Your Mailing List?

A relevant, targeted list is key. When you share your catalog with the right contacts, you’ll see greater response. And, you can be more realistic about how many you need to print and mail. This can reduce your overall cost freeing up monies for additional marketing tactics.

4. Can You Calculate ROI?

Consider assigning a unique identifier to help track the success of your sales catalog. This helps to measure ROI. This could be an offer code, phone number or email attached to each print catalog.

5. Could an Online Catalog Replace a Print Catalog?

There are several advantages of using an online version. These include 24/7 access for customers, cost reduction, the ability to track activity of viewers and understand how they access your content. You can also use your digital catalog as part of your automation and lead generation strategy.

6. Have you Tried Something New?

Don’t be afraid to try something new. It’s easy to always do what you’ve done, but try to take a calculated risk. As long as you do your homework and sales and marketing work together, you might just see a big payoff.

There are many catalog marketing advantages and disadvantages. A print catalog costs more and takes longer to create and distribute. In an ever-evolving digital world, there are alternatives for your marketing plan. When it comes time to build or update your marketing plan, evaluate whether you really need a print catalog. There may be a newer, more innovative opportunity than print catalog business to capture ROI. This approach could save you time and money and lead to more success!

Darcy Tizzano, Account Superviser

Darcy specializes in client relationship management which helps her address challenges, manage budgets and execute timelines. Her internal perspective of client business allows her to align the overall marketing plan with the brand.

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Keep up to date on the latest and greatest digital marketing news.

You have Successfully Subscribed!