How Paper Catalogs Remain Relevant in a Digital Age - Deepstash

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A Paper Catalogue

A Paper Catalogue

Whether or not you should pursue a catalogue strategy is a question that deserves significant thought. As digital marketing becomes more complex, it may make a lot of sense to send out correctly designed catalogues to the right customers. For e-commerce retailers without physical stores, catalogues can effectively mimic stores’ sensory experiences to enhance customer affinity.

Multichannel retailers can add an effective catalogue marketing channel to their store and e-commerce channel strategies.

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Digital Marketing Isn't As Lucrative As Before

Digital Marketing Isn't As Lucrative As Before

The costs of digital advertising are skyrocketing. By some metrics, prices on major platforms such as Meta, Google, and TikTok grew by anywhere from 61–184% year-over-year in 2021. At the same time, returns are plummeting; recent changes in privacy policies, such as those by Apple, have made it more difficult to target ads to consumers, who are increasingly likely to tune out the advertising that they see anyways. All of these trends are making digital advertising increasingly unprofitable and ineffective, forcing companies to rethink their marketing strategy and spending.

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The Rise Of Paper Catalogues

The Rise Of Paper Catalogues

The audience for catalogues is growing, even as the pandemic subsides. The emerging remote/hybrid work culture and consumers’ increased screen time will make analogue experiences such as catalogues increasingly appealing and effective. 

Just photos Vs Photos with text: While both designs are effective compared to not receiving the catalogues, designs with photos and textual narratives are 40% more effective in sales and customer engagement than designs with only photos and product names.

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The Lure Of Hedonic Products

The Lure Of Hedonic Products

Catalogues featuring hedonic products have 120% higher marketing ROI than utilitarian products, consistent with psychological theories. Higher-priced products also achieved 50% higher marketing ROI compared to lower-priced products.

The finding that the catalogue’s effectiveness is product-type dependent can help explain why while many hedonic and experiential brands such as Birchbox and Lego are implementing catalogue strategies, many traditional utilitarian brands such as Ikea have discontinued them.

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The Bottom Line

The Bottom Line

As retailers and brands increasingly compete beyond mere performance attributes to win the hearts and minds of consumers, they ought to think carefully about the aesthetic design aspects of their marketing programs. High-quality physical catalogues with stunning imagery combined with compelling narratives can create the sensory awe that would be hard to replicate on a digital screen.

These sensory experiences can then lead to long-lasting impressions and stronger relationships with customers, and translate competitive advantage for the company.

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