Wow! Time flies between blog posts if I’m not careful. I realized this morning that I hadn’t written anything in more than a week. Since my time the last few weeks has been spent working on catalog pages for the various retailers my company works with, I figured I would take a few minutes and share my thoughts on tactical execution of marketing programs. Why are certain tactics selected year after year and yet have limited return on the time and money spent to develop and distribute materials?
National retailers, for example, have depended on printed catalogs for many decades. Hundreds of thousands are delivered to homes around the world. As a child, I remember receiving the Sears Christmas catalog or Toys R Us supplements and pouring over them for hours. Pages would be dog-eared and passed on to my grandparents for Christmas or birthday gift ideas. But the question I have is whether or not catalogs remain a staple in the consumer world?
Considering the amount of time I’ve spent developing content and design for just a few pages, I can’t help but think about the time spent on the retailers’ side — combining all products and manufacturers into a book that makes sense to the consumer and will earn the best response in sales. But then I wonder about the web pages and store fronts where thousands of visitors each day browse and buy product from those same manufacturers. Is the amount of time and money spent developing catalogs really worth it? Or is this just another case of continuing a tradition just because that’s the way it’s always been, and it’s really not necessary?
Here are a few posts that have additional thoughts — Catalogs Still A Valuable Tool, Even in Internet Age, Glossy Catalogs Still Lure Shoppers. I’m actually torn. I see both sides of the need but am interested in your thoughts. Please share.