Digital or Print Catalogue: How Best To Make Your Content Accessible
One of marketing's toughest decisions these days is choosing the right channel to place content into the customers' hands, none more so than the debate between digital and traditional, "old-school" media.

And, if one of the latest pieces from Hanover Research is any indication, the synergy between internet retailers and paper catalogues seem to be providing a significant "Ah-ha" moment.

"Why Catalogs and Internet Retailers Go Hand In Hand" identifies the digital space in itself as potentially the internet retailer's Achilles Heel. 

"Internet retailers constantly struggle to create engaging brands in the digital realm. Print catalogs provide these retailers the opportunity to interact with customers in a tangible format."

Decreasing website dwell time is leading to one-off searches and perfunctory interaction.

Hanover identifies "this growing trend" as leading to one-time customers being the norm. Given the cost of customer acquisition, that's an expensive norm, in any marketers' language.

"catalogs provide internet retailers with the brand building tool they don't get with the internet alone"

Having come to the conclusion that catalogs provide internet retailers with the brand building tool they don't get with the internet alone, Hanover goes on to consider the cost implications of digital v print catalogs.

Interestingly Hanover concludes that the majority of the cost of a catalogue or digital production is actually the content. 

Where digital has a clear advantage is in its economy of distribution. But the assets which need to be generated (such as video and 360 degree images) can be more sophisticated and expensive than that for the print sibling, so this needs to be factored in as well.

...may well go a long way to explaining the success online retailers are having with catalogues

The final consideration, that of the environment, has an interesting twist. At first glance it might seem to be a cut and dried argument of "man v nature"; the introduction of forest stewardship programs and the hidden environmental cost of a digital infrastructure powered by coal-generated electricity don't make this such an easy choice.

While there may be some subjective conclusions in this piece of research it may well go a long way to explaining the success online retailers are having with catalogues. You can find real world examples of these in our prior article "Online Retailers Discover The Power Of Catalogs." 

And, at the end of the day, the answer, as Hanover surmises, may well be a combination of both channels.To read the full Hanover article click here.

[Another Hanover finding, that "digital catalogs are typically difficult to find and do not lend themselves to direct customer interaction" is something that CAS clients have had a solution to since we developed CASzine, our digital publishing software for catalogues.

CASzine provides a great user experience and can be emailed directly to customers or be discovered by them via affiliate advertising or housed on their own website.

To find out more about CASzine and how this powerful, flexible tool can work for you and your customers, please contact us.]

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