Direct mail, and particularly a catalogue, instigates the sales conversation in a very direct way. It tells you stuff you don’t already know. It makes you aware of products you’ve never heard of. It makes the customers feel invested in. Enhances the senses on so many levels. It also simply says - hello!
What is value and how do you calculate it - It’s a interminable question. It means very different things to many different people. There are many attempts at defining it but I really like this is a great little framework by Prof Paul Fifield.
Although marketing relies on creativity, it is not a creative discipline. But all too often, marketers get drawn in to the ‘doing’ instead of the ‘thinking’. And this then splits them into the tactical and the strategic.
You can’t afford to ignore the importance of mobile optimisation if you are to survive and flourish in today’s markets!
The web drives sales both directly and indirectly, and there is a greater use of social media channels for both personal and business marketing. In order to target your customers effectively you have to consider the types of devices that your digital media is viewed on. And this includes websites, email, digital publications and social media.
Direct mail is still here and, believe it or not, thriving! Businesses still see direct mail as a vital, valuable marketing and sales tool; perhaps even more than email marketing. The average opening rate of direct mail is 90% compared to that of 1-2% for email.
Today, catalogues are largely seen as adjunct to web based marketing and primarily seen as a conduit for web ordering, but they have a value that is very different to that of online communications. They are a vehicle not a channel and can get to prospective customers in a very unique way!
Internet users are no longer using the once traditional mediums of the household PC or the laptop when it comes to a Google search and are instead opting to use their mobile smartphone or tablet. We wanted to look at this from a business perspective so conducted a study that questioned more than 300 UK based organisations.
In the fast paced modern world of today with an ever-growing emphasis on digital communication, it’s quite refreshing to think that there’s still considerable reward to be had from developing and cultivating human relationships.
We are all naturally lazy, it’s deeply hardwired and we avoid effort wherever possible. Effort costs energy and we take the path of least resistance. We like to keep things simple. Effort - whether it’s physical or mental - takes up energy. It’s a physiological cost.
Customers value brand above all else, and the bigger the brand the more the likelihood of detachment from their customers; this has to be realigned. Consumers want to be indulged during their shopping experience and for the information to be spoon-fed to them. This may sound simple, but the information cannot be universal to all, it has to be specific.
Simply listening to your customer can transform the way your business functions. A customer’s story is an important tale of their experience with a product. Whether this is a fairytale or a nightmare, there will be aspects of the story that can be taken and adapted (if needed) positively.
How many times have we heard people say: “I only went to the supermarket to get some milk, but came back with a whole load of other things.” We want the same to happen with your catalogue. We don’t want them to just buy the 1 product, we want them to buy 2, 3, and more!
Rarely do we sit down and systematically review our health and lifestyle - unless we are prompted. It’s the same with catalogues, so long as they appear to be working there appears to be very little reason to carry out a review. But, just as with our personal health, things can creep up on a business and bring nasty surprises.
Catalogues have the power to reach potential customers, like no other marketing channel. They are the most tested piece of direct marketing material and have always proved very responsive. Catalogues are as effective as they ever have been at getting your business and your brand, in front of people.
In today’s digital age, social media is used as a sales and marketing platform by almost every company. The main question that people always ask, how do catalogues fit with social media? Although it might not seem like a good fit, it makes perfect sense as we found from our annual report.
Digital encompasses many things and ‘digital’ is somehow more sexy, modern and ‘of its time’. But really it is just another technology developed to help humans communicate. Catalogues are no different and suggest that customers enjoy the experience and responding accordingly.
Catalogues and direct mail are under constant attack from the blinkered digital world. Due to the rise of technology there have been many rumours spread about the use of paper, so here I answer a few points that may bust some pernicious myths.
The growth of online shopping hit a record high in December according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC). The report stated that one in five non-food items were bought online, with a 19.2 % growth in Internet purchases from the previous year. There has been a huge 150 per cent increase in shopping via smartphones compared to 2012.
Catalogues are not typically associated with online media. There is a belief that catalogues are an old school approach to business and sales and marketing focus should be online, through e-commerce and social media. We can actually shatter these views…. with proof. (Yes, we are that powerful!)
In today’s economic climate, sales and marketing budgets are under pressure, a reported one in five (20%) stated that reaching their sales objectives is going to be tough. An equal number are concerned that sales and marketing are not performing, as they should be. This is where the catalogues come in!
Getting customers or prospects to stay on your website or read your catalogue, long enough to place an order, is a challenge. Web designers have a great word for this: ‘stickiness’. It applies to anything that makes your visitor hang around long enough to make an enquiry or place an order.
Lets get straight to the point: Catalogues are still an important part of the multi-channel retailers armoury. They are a proven, valuable part of an integrated marketing strategy and great at driving online sales. And you’d better start believing it.