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.