You probably read the press release this morning about JCP finalizing the elimination of their catalog marketing channel.
JCP states that elimination of the catalog channel will cause annual profit to increase by $25,000,000 to $30,000,000 per year. That's a lot of profit, folks.
Catalog marketing is in a peculiar place.
For some, the catalog is now meaningless. Truly, it is. Your attribution/matchback models tell you that the catalog means everything ... your mail/holdout results tell you that the catalog is no longer profitable. You know that only 5% of your new customers come from catalog marketing.
For others, the catalog means everything. Truly, it is. Your attribution/matchback models tell you that the catalog means everything ... and your mail/holdout results tell you that the catalog is vital. You know that 70% of your new customers come from catalog marketing.
Do not listen to the print-based industry or your co-op ... they have a vested interest in proving that catalog marketing works.
Do not listen to trade journal blogs that say sensational things to attract readers ... they have a vested interest in using news from catalog companies to generate profit for their business ... without you, they are unprofitable.
Do not listen to the social media elite or the digerati ... they have a vested interest in promoting new technology as a solution to anything.
The only way you know for sure is to execute mail/holdout tests. Your customers will tell you, honestly, if catalog marketing "is" the brand, or if catalog marketing represents an aging component of a modern brand.
I do have a little experience in this matter, give me a holler if you'd like help with the process!