June 04, 2010

Even Monks Are Now Abandoning Catalog Marketing

From Multichannel Merchant ... here's the quote about the closing of Abbey Press:
  • "All businesses have a lifecycle, and the monks felt that the catalog business was past its peak as a dominant business model".
And to top it off:
  • Wilson says Snail’s Pace will reflect changing marketing paradigms: “You’ll see less money spent on advertising, catalogs, direct mail and the like, and more effort put into reaching exactly the right customer prospects through social media channels, the Internet, and through media that they are currently consuming.”
Now half of you will say that "... print isn't dead, my vendor/co-op just showed me matchback results and 81% of my sales are attributed back to the catalog." And you may be right, assuming that your matchback results tie out to your mail/holdout test results. Have you done the analytics work to prove that your matchback results are accurate? Has your vendor recommended mail/holdout testing to validate matchback results?

If your matchback vendor hasn't recommended executing mail/holdout testing to validate matchback results, be afraid ... be very afraid.

I'm not saying you shouldn't be mailing catalogs ... I'm saying you should make profitable decisions. Look at what is happening all around you, and pay close attention to how customer behavior is shifting.