Direct marketing, in particular, remote sales (by catalogs), caused considerable damage to traditional methods of advertising. The usual ways of promoting goods and services lose their power. At this time, direct marketing not only does not give up positions but also gaining power. Not the last place in the creation of this trend is occupied by direct sales through catalogs. However, this method of sales is not entirely suitable for small businesses.
Catalog Marketing Definition
Direct marketing catalog is actively used in the practice of this type of marketing. It can be carried out by individual producers of goods, intermediaries specializing in such a form of trade, large retail trade enterprises.
Catalogs are traditionally a multi-page edition with photos of goods and prices. However, this approach of catalog marketing to reach customers is being radically revised, and Internet catalogs are increasingly becoming carriers of commercial information. They contain various promotional materials informing potential buyers about the merits and opportunities of goods. As a result, catalogs are becoming an increasingly important means of communication with target audiences. So, for example, using them, buyers of consumer goods can discuss the expediency of buying in a home environment and choose the goods most acceptable to them. Of great importance is the availability of catalogs for enterprises that purchase industrial goods.
Initially, catalog sales focused on buyers located in remote settlements. In modern conditions, the traditional circle of potential buyers is significantly expanded due to the fact that business people, and especially women, are showing increasing interest in this form of trade due to lack of time. On this basis, much attention in catalog marketing campaign is paid to the quality and design of the catalogs themselves.
Key Elements of Catalog Marketing
The sales process includes the following stages:
- informing potential buyers about the offered goods by distributing the catalog (direct mailing, distribution or sale in stores, posting on the Internet, etc.);
- collection (by mail, telephone, fax, Internet, etc.) and processing orders of customers;
- completing orders and sending goods to customers (mail, courier, etc.);
- payment by the buyers of the received goods (cash, checks, by means of credit cards or other forms of monetary tools).
Traditional groups of goods for sale by catalogs are books; clothes and shoes; perfumes and cosmetics; jewelry; goods of cultural, domestic and economic use; seeds and plants; separate products (for example, baby food), etc. Sales by catalogs have spread in many countries. For example, in the US, England, and Germany, this form of direct marketing accounts for about 5% of all retail sales.
Three Major Categories of Catalogs
- mail-order catalogs;
- catalogs in stores;
- electronic catalogs.
5 Key Steps to Producing a Catalog That Will Increase Sales
- In order for the remote business to work, it is necessary to predict which offer will be in demand. People from any social class of society can become buyers if to present the goods correctly to them. It is known that retirees become active consumers of goods on catalogs when exactly the goods are directed at their interests, the advertising campaign is adapted to the tastes of the elderly and a special marketing tactic is implemented. There are also goods that have a huge demand among the residents of rural areas, but practically do not find consumers among the townspeople. This is a distance trade of seeds, feed for farm animals, seedlings, etc.
- The second step is to make the directory cause a lot of positive emotions. To do this, together with the first catalog that came to a particular person, you need to send him a gift, even if small, but this will cause positive emotions in the client. It is also possible to give him something for a birthday or another nearest holiday or to offer prizes for attracting new customers. But first of all, it is necessary to acquire a certain database of potential buyers.
- The easiest way is to buy or rent a ready-made database. It will be a great success to acquire a customer database of another organization specializing in catalog sales.
- The next step is to determine how loyal the consumer is. This can be done through the application of an advertising booklet or a coupon to order a catalog to favorite editions of the target audience. For some groups of consumers, the most effective is the placement of direct advertising with a coupon for feedback. Effective is the dispatch of advertising brochures with coupons for the order or the catalogs themselves without a specific addressee. Another effective way of working on the database is sending coupons for gifts or free samples. So you can determine how a person threats to mailings in general.
- A specific feature of the catalog business is the almost complete lack of creativity. This happens because all steps and movements have already been calculated in distance trading. Of course, there are also actions for consumers, presentations, the motivation of new customers and commercials, but they are not in the foreground. In the first place are the goods, their assortment, on which particular page will be a particular product and even on which side of the page it is best to print, how to write about it and on what its qualities to emphasize in order to attract the consumer.