The goal the article, of course, is to get you to think.
Mr. Schell points out that there are successful catalogers catering to a younger audience. We don't hear enough about that. I know of a business that was founded by catalog marketing experts, right in the teeth of the Great Recession ... this business is growing rapidly, catering to a 30-44 year old audience. It can be done! Unfortunately, it seems like it is the exception, not the rule.
Mr. Libey points out that catalog success can be found in B2B catalog marketing. That's true. 85% of my client work is in B2C, where we are facing very different challenges. B2B catalog marketing is a blend of classic catalog marketing, e-commerce, replenishment needs, unique products not found elsewhere, volume discounts, and human beings. This results in a very different dynamic than the issues that challenge B2C folks.
Again, the goal of the article is to get you to think. I'm not about to promote solutions, there's no more certain way to be wrong than to tell everybody what to do and how to do it. Each situation is different.
That being said, there are themes that I stand behind.
- Brilliant merchandising usually wins.
- Great customer service usually wins.
- Reducing catalog marketing expense to customers who don't want as many catalogs results in increased profit.
- B2C customer files are aging rapidly, and our industry won't talk about the implications of this problem.
- Matchbacks and Attribution benefit our vendor community more than they benefit us.
- We are letting our vendors push us away from innovation, especially in customer acquisition and print production.
- We need smart people.