Catalog Marketing - 5 Tips to Drive Success to your Business
Countless businesses use catalogs to promote, list and sell their services and products-they are a popular and effective means of showcasing products. For many, a catalog is a key tool in their marketing plan, enhancing other initiatives like email marketing and other print-focused products, such as flyers and postcards. Also, catalogs are a great way to get a lot of information in front of your customers in an eye-catching and physical format. And, unlike other forms of marketing, catalogs from requested companies tend to stick around longer in the hands and homes of customers, who peruse and refer back to for ordering and browsing, keeping you and your products in front of them longer.
But when it comes time to think about the marketing of your catalog, what do you focus on and where do you start? What will make your catalog a success?
Let's look at a few ways you can market your catalog to boost the success of your business.
1. Research, Research….and Research Some More
If you do not currently have a good handle on who your target market is, now is the time to do it. There are many ways to do this, with some of the most popular being surveying your customers to find out more about how and what they purchase, or if you have good relationships with your distributors, questioning them for information. The goal is to put in the hands of your ideal customer something they find useful and valuable, and will want to use to buy from you.
Additionally, it isn't just the customer you want to get to know. What they buy is as important in your catalog marketing plan.
2. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
So once you find out who your target market is, you will want to send out a huge catalog to everyone, right? Not so fast! When marketing your catalog, you need to look at where you will get the most bang for the buck.
Catalogs are by no means cheap, so knowing what products are the "rock stars" versus the "has-beens" is crucial to your strategy. Take a fine-tooth comb to your merchandising reports, and look for the big sellers, so-so sellers and the duds. Have you done a catalog before? If so, compare where these are within the pages of the catalog. Location, size of image, spreads, features, highlights-these all play a part in how much visibility the product receives.
3. Location, Location, Location
We have all gone into department stores, and notice the "hot sellers" strategically placed near eye-level, usually at a prominent location with plenty of information or special pricing highlighted. Think of your catalog in the same way. Countless small images of your products provide no differentiation, and put the same emphasis on the hot products as well as the less than hot ones.
4. Reach Out…Again
Your catalog is not a "one and done" initiative. Your catalog may be out to your distributors, on retailers' counters or in the hands of the customer, but that does not mean it is doing everything it can for you. Customers are bombarded with advertising, and while your catalog may be very good, it runs the risk of getting lost in the sea of other sales collateral. To combat this, staggered mailings are a great way to keep you top of mind with customers and distributors as they look for what you have to offer.
Remember, think of your catalog as a weapon of mass distribution-using reminders about special offers, free shipping on orders, new products that are in the catalog are a great way to drive more business.
5. Analyze This
Analyzing the performance of your catalog is an important part of your catalog marketing project. Looking at the results of it is the way to fine-tune and improve it for the next run, season or launch. Ask yourself things such as: what sold well, was the timing similar or different than a previous catalog, and what the response rate from customers was. The data collected now will help you tenfold for future catalog campaigns.
Catalogs are everywhere. And for good reason-very few products or initiatives can capture such a large product or service offering of your business, and bring it to a large audience so well. Treat your catalog like a racecar that needs tuning and tweaking to work it's best- left alone, it might chug along for a while, then either stall or sputter, getting you nowhere. But when you modify, test, and tweak it for performance, you will get a machine that charges ahead, driving you to more business.