The Case for Catalogues, Why Even Amazon Has Bought in

Each business must work to find a successful combination between digital and print marketing. Providing alternative methods increases your likelihood of reaching a potential buyer, but how do we figure out which medium will be successful for the right demographic, or even the right product? In today’s market e-commerce sites like Amazon have invested into print catalogues with measurable success, even among millenials. While digital channels have been expanding over the last twenty years, so have print catalogues, and their returns have been impressive to say the least.

In Jonathan Z. Zhang’s recent Harvard Business Review study, he found that not only have catalogues increased in production, they have shown a nearly 200% increase in response rate since 2004 alone. To better understand what industries would see these results and how businesses should target consumers with an expensive print piece like a catalogue, which can cost more than $1 USD per piece to produce and distribute, Harvard partnered with an online jewelry retailer to test the market. What were the results? The jewelry retailer claimed a 600% ROI. 

The next two questions after seeing such high results are: how did they measure this success and, considering monthly jewelry sales can see large influxes around times like holidays, how did they establish a control group? One group of clients were sent a promotion email, while the jewelry retailer layered on a catalogue with the email in the second group. The catalogue group saw a 49% sales increase compared to the 28% seen in the email only. Perhaps just as significant, the catalogue group saw a 125% inquiry increase compared to the email campaign’s 77%. The results e-retailers should pay attention to: layering on high quality print pieces in targeted campaigns not only drives traffic to your site, but measurably increases sales.

With much of the country behind a computer for longer periods of time, especially during lockdown, noise is at an all-time high in the digital ad space. In layman’s terms, print pieces still have a role to play in marketing mix, as long as they are concise, high quality and provide some form of value to the consumer. 

About

Janet Osterdock is ZOOM Media’s President and CEO where she focuses on campaign development and implementation. Janet founded ZOOM Cross-Media in 2009 with a team of highly skilled industry specialists. She has a heart for service and works side-by-side with clients to deliver integrated high-impact campaigns. In Janet’s words “implementation is everything and it can make the difference between average performance and outstanding performance.” In her spare time, Janet volunteers in pet therapy at Shriner’s Hospital for Children.

Adam Osterdock is ZOOM Media’s Director of Business Development where he focuses on the integration of social, digital, and print media implementation in marketing campaigns. He rejoined Zoom directly after graduating from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, where he earned the Cal Alumni Leadership Award and represented UC Berkeley at multiple international business competitions. In his spare time, he volunteers by teaching workshops at the local community college on small business development and business-case analysis.

Zoom Media

Zoom Media