December 09, 2007

Would You Like A Copy Of My Catalog?

Several weeks ago, I spoke with an Executive about online and catalog marketing strategy. The conversation went something like this:

Executive: I'm not sure you can help me. Heck, you probably haven't even requested a copy of my catalog, have you?

Kevin: No, but I visited your website.

Executive: See, that's exactly what I'm talking about. How can you possibly offer me useful insights if you haven't had a chance to thumb through my catalog?

Catalogers are different than other marketers. You don't see e-mail marketers walking around with printed copies of their favorite e-mail campaigns.

For some catalogers, the passion is about "the catalog", not "the product". And there's nothing wrong with that.
I wish the e-mail, search, and general online marketing community had the level of passion and intensity that many catalogers have.

Next time you meet with a catalog executive, see if s/he asks if you want to take home a copy of the most recent catalog. If the executive gives you a copy of the catalog, see if the executive also asks you to visit the website.

This passion can blind catalogers. Sometimes, there's profit laying all around a cataloger, just waiting to be picked-up, if one is willing to look beyond the catalog.


  1. Anonymous11:13 PM

    Hi Kevin,
    What was your response to the executive? Mine would have been along lines of "Why should I, as a consumer, view your catalog? What separates it from the other catalogs I receive?"
    He is obviously proud of his catalog, and his reply would give you something to work on==="how can you carry that same intended effect to other channels?"

  2. For the most part, I shut down the conversation. We continue to be in an interesting transitional period for catalogers, folks have to want to listen to a message in order to hear the message.


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