We found 98 items categorised 'Marketing'
Australian retailers have always been fond of print catalogues and now Roy Morgan has given us the numbers that show why. According to a report released end December 2012, it seems that even in the digital age, this hard-working, traditional tool is valued highly by all age groups from 61% in the 14-24 group through to 75% in the 50+.
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This morning on my run (a great way to clear the cobwebs) I was mulling over a brand positioning issue that we seemed to be stuck on… until I realized what was needed was to bring the thinking back to first principles…
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So, you want content that engages, inspires and turns audiences into customers? Look no further than Paddy Pallin’s latest “Northern Territory Experience” video.
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Trawling through the archives recently I came across a great article by Heidi Cohen in ClickZ (6.8.12) on what makes really hot content for social media – photography!
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There’s plenty of talk these days about content. What the focus should be on, though, is what we call “Creative Content”.
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Recently one morning my day started pretty much like every other day. However something I witnessed while walking in my local park got me thinking.

The other morning I got up and took the dog for a walk. On this one particular day, two observations I made while in the park prompted me think about what branding means in today’s world of consumers.
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We look at trends that are empowering consumers and giving them a reason to open their minds, hearts and wallets.

1. Gamification
2. Status Upgrade
3. Random Act of Kindness
4. Social Influencers
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Spanish Chef Miguel Maestre has been appointed as the latest face of the Howards' Kitchen campaign – Spice Up Your Kitchen. The Cumming's team designed and produced the video which launched this event on their website.
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Did you know that YouTube, the #2 search engine, rewards those with more engaging content? Back in October they released details of adjusting the ranking of videos to elevate those that keep viewers watching longer.

So, the more creative, clever and engaging the content the higher your video will perform.
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Content marketing was all the rage in 2012, despite being misunderstood and often misused in terms of its scope. The potential for driving sales and brand growth sometimes fell short due to a quantity over quality approach.
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With so much attention on digital media these days it almost seems a little retro to be writing about print catalogs but Bloomingdale’s have released
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In an age where there are new acronyms coined every week I don't feel compelled to disseminate all of them. Unless, of course it makes sense. And, having discussed this with a number of other marketers over the last few months or so, the ZMOT ("Zero Moment Of Truth") is a concept which has resonated increasingly.
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A recent Roy Morgan study shows that Australians still have a high regard for the usefulness of catalogues
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There’s been a lot of talk about “Big Data” recently.
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We've written previously about photography being hot for social content. A new article just out tells us how important photography is to affluent males buying online.
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In a marketing environment where differences are nuanced by degrees to enable better targetting, sometimes similarities can be unexpected and fruitful.
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Mashable on Fashion vines: what can you achieve in 6 seconds?
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Analytics regarding “mobiles” as a category have always annoyed the hell out of me.
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The Problem We had To Solve

For the past 10 years we had produced iconic annual catalogues for Howards Storage World, each year becoming more sophisticated and solution-centric for the Howards customer.

In late 2011, Howards approached us to take their catalogue online.

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Sometimes you need some space to get things in perspective.
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Mr Porter, the men's online apparel site, makes great use of video to inform and engage their customers. With their stylist Dan May, they've developed a series of videos ("Five Ways to Wear") that take specific garments (such as a cardigan) and show how it can be worn stylishly.

On another angle to engaging their customers through content, Mr Porter also uses video in partnership with a bespoke travel agency to address lifestyle issues.
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Macy's success at migrating their businesses to the new paradigm has been the subject of many case studies, articles and presentations. 

Here, in a broader article on using social media generally, but Pinterest and StyleHaul in particular, VP Jennifer Kasper comments "As social channels become more visual and as we see authentic images working more effectively to communicate with our customers we're very excited that those are platforms we might be able to tap into differently."
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Amazing how sometimes the seemingly most complex questions can be reduced to the fundamentals.

Marcus Sheridan came up with what the New York Times called "a revolutionary marketing strategy: answer customers' questions." So when Seth Price made this even simpler with an infographic, how could we not bring it to our readers' attention?

I've got it pinned up on my wall...
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The success of QR codes has been somewhat patchy but 2 developments will drive their uptake - increased user base of Smartphones and Google glass (it will also help if you have some good content for the viewer when they make the effort to engage with you! - CAS ed).
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Stories are THE best way to engage your customers.

If a "picture paints a thousand words" then what does a video paint? - a whole story!

People solve problems with video (YouTube is the second most popular search engine after Google - CAS Ed) and "well-crafted videos can do something for your business that nothing else can - replicate face-to-face interaction with you, your services and your brand."
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The Millennials are expected to outspend Baby Boomers by 2017 and by 2030 will have larger spending power than all other generations combined.

Here are some recent US articles we've sourced which might help you understand and market to them more successfully:
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With the spending power of Millennials set to overtake Boomers by 2016 we decided to take an ongoing look at what makes this group tick. Following on from last week's first instalment we look at some values Millennials share with Boomers as well as what Millennial Dads are doing that is different to their parents.
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One of the most important considerations for serious consumer marketers these days is User Experience (UX).

 Your customers understand your brand and its values via various touch points - advertising, store design, customer service and, if you are a consumer marketer, your catalogue.
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There's been a lot written about online and mobile since we last met. I thought I'd give a quick run-down on what we read about the US holiday shopping period (Thanksgiving - Xmas). Whilst there are lots of percentages and few hard numbers the trends are strong.
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In our ongoing look at this impending economic powerhouse we cover 3 recent articles that give further insights into what makes them tick.
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I'm sitting in my backyard admiring the frangipani flowers that are in full bloom at this time of year. It's extraordinary how even Mother Nature lets plants "market" with flowers in a range of colours designed to attract different pollinators.This started me thinking...
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A recent report just made available by the National Retail Federation Foundation (US) has some interesting insights into the current 4 traditional consumer groups
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"Uber Digitals", as Cisco calls them, are the 18% of mobile users who use their mobile devices in-store. This group has doubled in size since Cisco's previous study of retail behaviours last year.
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A recent UK study shows why customers' service expectations are becoming so high - and it's being driven in part by device usage and behaviour.
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As one of Australia's most awarded retail catalogue designers, we love it when a doyen of the online retail industry endorses our way of thinking.

Net-a-Porter's decision to release their new publication "Porter" comes in the face of so many marketers who have pulled back from print in the belief that it is old-fashioned or "not working."
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With Cisco predicting that by 2016 two-thirds of mobile traffic will be video, clearly there is a demand to understand more about this powerful channel.
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In this month's roundup of all things Millennial we look at common values of the group, privacy and how they use social media, the new Moms and, finally, a tactical take from Macy's.
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The recent Australian Centre for Retail Studies Breakfast Seminar gave lucky delegates a concise insight into a number of trends Dr Sean Sands identified out of the January 2014 National Retail Federation Big Show in New York.
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The "Take 10" concept from Marketing Profs is a great way for time-poor marketers to cover a specific topic in enough detail to make a measurable difference. And so it proved when award-winning direct marketer Lois Brayfield of US agency Jack Schmid dissected one of the most fundamental of all marketing actions.
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While much has been (and continues to be) written about the all consuming "mobile shopper", three recent articles put that in context and call "platform domination" into question.

The first of these "Mobile Shoppers Favour Retail Sites Over Apps" by Mark Walsh looks to an NPD study which made a topline finding that 75% of Smartphone owners are using their phones as part of the overall shopping experience.
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There's been much hype and little substance locally to the "video as content discussion". Not that there's no video out there but it isn't as prevalent as the US and Europe in the consumer marketing space.

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"Top 5 of This", "Top 7 of That", "Top 10 for 2014"...


List upon list upon list.


Give. Me. A. Break!


It's become quite an epidemic. There's a list for everything and while this started out as a well meaning way to ensure we all got snappy takeouts we could apply quickly... it's not happening.

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We've all read how video is going to "take over" everything from search (YouTube #2 for search) to mobile traffic but a white paper from the National Retail Federation's library adds some additional metrics to the discussion.
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It wasn't long ago that the standard of printed matter in our letterboxes was of such high quality that a new term was coined. "Unaddressed Advertising Material" was the new "Junk Mail."
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If you think that "Green Marketing" was a fad that has long since been pushed into the background by the GFC and all those pragmatic Gen Xers, you may need to think again.
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Following hard on the heels of last week's article "Perfect Market Knowledge - No Replacement for Great Ideas"  by Geoffrey Gifford, I came across a recent article by my good friend Ruth Stevens in "Target Marketing"
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If you have anything at all to do with consumer marketing you could do a lot worse than read, and stay connected with, Google's Project Engagement.

I sure am!

In the first paper published in May this year, Tara Walpert Levy looks at how you can connect with your consumer in the "Participation Age".
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I recently came across a new concept (for me) which seems to makes a lot of sense - it's called Return on Engagement.
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A recent article by Ruth Stevens in Biznology on B2B Content Audits reminded me of the necessity of doing the basics right and learning from the results - and something that can be equally applied to B2C marketing.
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This month's roundup of Millennial Marketing articles includes general ways this cohort are changing marketing thinking, specific factors they are reacting to, their comfort with technology for their young children and their desire for overseas travel.
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A new survey by global data privacy management company TRUSTe has found that consumers are becoming more concerned about privacy than they were - and they are changing their online behaviour accordingly.
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For those wanting to target the higher net worth consumer, a study released in September last year is worthy of note.The Ipsos Affluent Survey USA shows that the well-off continue to be enthusiastic consumers of traditional media, notwithstanding a small decline of 2% over the previous 12 months.
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A few years ago I worked for the retail division of a large entertainment company in California. Every week we would have a large marketing meeting involving 20 - 30 people. We would all show up with spreadsheets and presentations. Most of my week was dedicated to producing a report for that meeting.
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LVMH and Alfred Dunhill have been using "Shoppable videos" online to appeal to their exclusive audiences without seeming to "sell". Viewers are invited to click on products that appear in these high end video productions - LVMH's latest features Saddlers Wells dancers. The audience is then able to review and click through to purchase products they have seen in the videos.
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Two separate speakers at SXSW pointed out that Mobile Marketing may well be a longer term sell than many expect. Rather than selling, they say, their companies are "helping consumers buy".
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If you can get a consumer connection through an emotional "hook", we think you're well on your way to making a sale. 

Certainly, we've seen the marked difference an emotionally engaging photograph or article in one of our online catalogues has made to a client's results.
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While the era of the phone/digital camera might suggest that anyone can take a picture, when it comes to producing photography that sets you apart, talent and experience are what top consumer marketers rely on.

That, and strategy.
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Does it matter what we call what we do? According to Stephanie Miller, Senior VP at The Direct Marketing Association (US)*, it does. She recently led an interesting discussion on old DM techniques Vs new "Big Data" techniques.

While she presents both sides of the debate (divide?) she doesn't lose sight of the customer's role in the whole story. Are you an old bull or a young bull?
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Last week we reported the development of the sub-$20 Tablet and this week we follow up with the latest digital usage patterns survey of over 2,000 users over the age of 14 by Deloitte.
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Content Marketing Sydney was the mecca for Australian content marketers last week as the Content Marketing Institute's founder Joe Pulizzi brought together a raft of international and local speakers for Content Marketing World Sydney.

With the number of delegates almost double that of last year it was clear the message was getting out to marketers that this was no quick fad. In fact, many of the central thoughts have been around for quite a while. 

Bringing those all together, making them the focus of a marketing strategy and giving them business structure, however, is something new.
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Want to know what the more innovative brands are doing to get their content marketing shared? Of course you do. For those of us who were not able to attend the recent the Brand Innovators Social Media Summit in New York, this Content Marketing Insider blog post summarises it for you.

Got room for yet another Three Letter Acronym (TLA) in your marketing lexicon? Add LEE to the list. It stands for - Listen. Engage. Experiment.
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In two separate recent articles, leading online retailers are reported as turning to the use of hard copy printed material, to increase sales. 

Whether in the form of product catalogues or more elaborate, editorial style "magalogues" featuring products available on their sites, these e-tailers see print as both another touchpoint and as a "bridge" to those on their customer data base who may not be regular visitors to their sites but who still enjoy the convenience of shopping at home. 

"We're meeting customers where they shop," said Wayfair's GM of merchandising for lifestyle brands.
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The bad news for Facebook is that Instagram has taken over as teenagers preferred social network. The good news for them is they own Instagram.

Which is just as well as it seems to also becoming a major player for content marketing.
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There's a lot we can learn from history. In "4 Illuminating Lessons From One of History's Most Inventive Content Marketers," business strategist, Scott Aughtmon writes about discovering what he believes is one of the first examples of  Content Marketing -  "Poor Richard's Almanack" published by Benjamin Franklin to promote his printing business - way back in 1732.
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We've made comment elsewhere in the Toolbox about who we see as one of Content Marketing's earliest great practitioners - Benjamin Franklin. 

Back in the 1700's he produced, over a 25-year period, "Poor Richard's Almanack" involving all manner of content (including maths exercises and demographics) essentially to promote his printing business.

The content became so successful in it's own right that it sold up to 10,000 copies a year.

There are a number of marketers out there who would use this story as evidence that not much has changed. All this "Content Marketing" baloney is just old ideas repackaged.

So, what's different to Benjamin Franklin's day?
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If you could get your customer to spend 15-20 minutes with your marketing material I bet you'd be more than happy. That's what one UK online retailer is finding with the catalogs they are sending their customers.
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I was out on my LSD on Saturday - that's Long Slow Distance for you non-runners, not some mind-expanding substance! When you are on these runs it helps to think of something to mask the pain.

A lot has been said recently at Content Marketing World Sydney about "keeping the customer as the focus of all your marketing activity", "it's about them, not you", "the customer is the hero, not the marketer". 

But a mindset shift for me occurred when I started thinking about various ways in which content is distributed.
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Here's an idea you might be able to work with when you're thinking about creating customer engagement - for your next catalogue, online web content, ad promotion - whatever.
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This case study looks at how CAS client Howards Storage World changed their marketing strategy from product-centric to content-rich - and the results they achieved.
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Like anybody in marketing these days, I'm keen to make sure I'm up with the general trends at the leading edge of digital commerce. 

But two articles just published (on the same day!) had me carefully looking to definitions and distinctions to try and make sense of what's happening with M-Commerce in the near future.Given that the same organisation (Forrester) contributes comments to both articles is even more confusing!
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We've been helping Freedom produce sales-boosting, award-winning catalogues and content for over 30 years. While it is probably way too early to pronounce the demise of the printed catalogue per se*, online catalogues have certainly become an increasingly significant part of the catalogue landscape.
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For those lucky enough to be at the Mumbrella360 conference in Sydney last week the "must- see" session was Amir Kassei's keynote speech on "Brands of Influence".

Kassei is DDB's Worldwide head of Creative. So why am I, a niche agency* principal, giving him airtime?

Simply because the concepts he advocates as well as the work he showcased were inspirational. And, in a world where we need more inspiration, his presentation was a breath of fresh air.
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I first came across Gary Vaynerchuck on wine.tv around 3 years ago when he was just "The Wine Guy", not the greatest thing that happened to social/content marketing since the invention of the internet.

It was then that I got swept up with him and his enthusiasm at a different, which isn't to say less cerebral, level. And it's hard not to be swept up. He's just that kind of guy.
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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.
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For the past 30 years, printed catalogues have been consistently one of the most effective sales drivers for major retailers. Today's catalogues are much more likely to contain customer-engaging, rich content rather than just traditional product and price.


Despite the production process being improved in terms of efficiency, quality, and best of all, cost, some retailers are overlooking the opportunity to include this proven marketing tool into their new more digitally-oriented marketing strategies.

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In the world of fashion, the Helen Kaminski brand has become a "known" international name which stood for high quality, designer raffia hats and bags. Yet, the more successful they've become in terms of sales, the greater the need to control what they want the brand to stand for.
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Data, big or small, is generally not absolute. It requires interpretation, extrapolation (and sometimes inspiration) to create what marketing people refer to as "insights". And from there, those insights need to be tested in a real world context to see if they are indeed the answer to your marketing prayers.

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Australian retailers now have to compete on the world stage. And if you read the Sydney Uni research released recently, we've got a bit of catching up to do. I'll rephrase that, a lot of catching up to do.
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As they say, no-one plans to fail, they fail to plan. And this is never more true than with a catalogue campaign.
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As every retailer is fast becoming a Direct Marketer (because customers respond best to a personalised experience) I've found it's worthwhile re-looking at some basic Direct Marketing rules. Doing so can free up funds that will have a compound effect, not just a simple saving going to the bottom line...
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No prizes for guessing what this article is about. If you use catalogues and want to make sure you are on the right track without the headache of undertaking an agency, or internal, review this might just be the answer.
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There are times in every marketer's life when you see something so good you wish you'd been THAT genius and then retired. Immediately. Because it couldn't get any better and you can't top it.
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So, you think print catalogues are dead, huh? Just don't say that to Richard Baker, whose Hudson's Bay company shelled out $USD2.4bn last year to acquire the 90 year-old Manhattan icon Saks 5th Avenue.
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Changing a corporate website is about as contentious as changing the logo. Even the cleaner wants a seat at the table - and we don't employ him!


That we managed to do a complete transformation in under 2 months (including a fully mobile responsive version) we think is amazing. Thanks to all our wonderful people.

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Well before my time, there were print and press Art Directors. Some of the more conscientious of their number became interested in a thing they called "effectiveness". Why would one ad work better than another ? David Ogilvy wrote some rules for his agency. 

A guy named Colin Wheildon* researched the subject for 7 years! And although that research is now over 20 years old there I've found no subsequent studies that have disputed his findings.
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We think this is gold.


We were just about to go "Live" with an article based on "How We Shop, Live & Look" by John Lewis, one of UK's leading High Street retailers.  


Yes, the report was dated November 2013 but we still thought there were lots of good and current learnings for local retailers.

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Change in the way media interrelates means we need to re-evaluate how marketing options can be re-engineered to get the best result. We think now is the time to do that with retail catalogues...


The trusty retail catalogue ("circular" for my US friends) needs to change.


Where we could perhaps once get away with just having the retail catalogue as more like a brand-building piece to lure into store, most retailers these days are also selling online; so now catalogues also have the job of driving web traffic and sales, essentially selling "off the page" - one of the hallmarks of a Direct Marketing catalogue.


For that reason, I think retail catalogues should now adopt some of the strategy and design practices of their direct marketing cousins to ensure we maximise how individual products can be made to contribute more strongly to the overall performance and profitability of a catalogue.


The following steps borrowed from direct marketing catalogue techniques should help you achieve this:


1. Start with floorplanning so that the strongest categories get the number of pages they deserve. Base this on either past or projected sales or profit or a combination of the two. Giving every merchandise department 2 pages just because that seems "fair" is not good strategy.


Allocate these pages to those positions within the catalogue that are most likely to achieve the highest return.


2. Use known eyeflow patterns to create layouts that take best advantage of hot spots so that individual products give you the biggest bang for your marketing buck. These decisions should also be based on expected or desired outcomes.


Unfortunately, as attractive as templates seem to be in assisting with layout production efficiency, they tend to compromise a stricter, and potentially more profitable, product-by-product analysis.


3. Photograph in accordance with the layout so that the image orientation (there should be one) suits the position on the spread. Carefully styled or modeled images are traditionally used for more important merchandise. Be careful, deep-etched (silhouette) images can imply "budget" unless high-quality lighting is used to hero the product in the way Tiffany does.

In particular, the use of photography shot primarily for web, can result in images either being in the wrong position from a layout perspective, or with the wrong orientation for eyeflow purposes. Saving on photography by re-using material shot for a different medium can be false economy.


4. Copy is something retail catalogues have seldom bothered with. We think it's time to re-evaluate this; with so much information and marketing messaging out there customers will need more convincing than just a pretty shot and a cheap price to take the next step to web or store. Give them something benefit-driven they can use to make a decision to want to delve further. Even if it is only 10-15 really well-chosen words. Maybe invest in a professional copywriter, particularly if you have limited space - brevity is an art.


Pureplay online retailers who are just discovering the power of catalogues to drive web traffic should also adopt these principles. Some of their catalogues we've seen recently have seemingly been designed from more of a retail perspective and with merchandising strategy based on "a bit of everything to see if we can attract someone." Not a great way to get the most out of the investment. Even if their use of catalogue is just a "toe in the water," to be a valid test, it's important to give the medium every chance you can for it to succeed.


Implementing all of these changes at once is probably beyond most retailers and, to be fair, it's important to test and measure to determine what is working for you.


Perhaps concentrating on the lower hanging fruit such as floorplanning and eyeflow-driven layouts may be a good place to start.


We started out life as a Direct Marketing agency; driven by clients who had the need, we developed a specialisation in DM catalogues. Then along came retailers who thought they could use catalogues to drive customers to store.


So, having a foot firmly in both camps, when we make calls for changes like the ones here, we like to think we've earned the right to do so.

 

Today's catalogues aren't an easy "fix." In fact, like any good marketing, they take a lot of hard work to produce maximum results.


We believe the guidelines and rules are due to be modified to keep pace with changes in the overall marketing environment. 


And then, when adhered to, they will be proven performers for both bricks and mortar and online retailers.

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Seemingly unstoppable, digital marches on and bricks and mortar crumble in its path. Wait on, that's a myth!

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A prediction of direct mail's continuing relevance from an unusual source.

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Mums are changing.


We've been reading and thinking a lot about this recently. 


Drawing an absolute conclusion from the incredible amount of data that is pouring in is a bit like trying to put a saddle on a galloping horse.

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Can I name drop here?


Not long ago I had lunch with Direct Marketing Hall of Famer, Seth Godin. 


Admittedly there were about 1,499 others at the Business Chicks lunch (yes, they even let some lucky men in, too) but I felt like Seth was talking to me and we were getting along famously. I was a member of his "Tribe". Coincidentally (not!), Tribes were what Seth wanted to talk about that day.

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This is NOT one of those articles full of predictions for the coming year. Frankly, with so much happening in the world of retail, marketing and catalogue design (our area), we find trying to stay on top of all the trends such articles suggest we should be on top of, all a bit daunting. If not downright intimidating.

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The annual ACA (Australian Catalogue Association) industry report just hit our desks. It contains fresh insights garnered from research by Roy Morgan, PwC's Entertainment and Media Outlook, Nielsen, Australia Post and other sources.


If you're a marketer who is looking at how to create more web traffic; or how to create more consumer engagement; or how multi-channel marketing can increase your ROI, it's well worth an in-depth read.


But for now, here are some top-line highlights - these are metrics you may not be receiving from your traditional media planner.

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A recently published marketing study titled "Myth of the Mansumer" might have you thinking the marketing gap between men and women is narrowing. But we're not sure their statistics (while interesting when taken in isolation) are all that conclusive.

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As reported in the Wall St Journal and NPR Two-Way, J.C. Penny recently announced their return to catalog marketing after an absence of 5 years.

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We've seen and written a lot lately about the resurgence of catalogues (not surprising really, given we are a catalogue design company!). The Multichannel Merchant Outlook 2014 study last year gave even more credence to the proposition that catalogues today continue to be a strongly relevant medium.

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Here are two examples of stores whose strategies, and use of rich content, we just love - because selling needs to be more than just product and price.


One is seemingly a content driven site with a store attached. 


The other is a well planned, well positioned "outdoorsy" online store that has a small bricks and mortar presence. And it uses catalog(ue)s plus a good dose of content to promote its wares.

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Two recent retailer-focused articles, one from the UK and one from the US, give weight to the Australasian Catalogue Association's recent gung-ho supplement to its Catalogue Industry Report.

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