A couple of years ago, proposing an on-line catalogue would have been proof of a company’s innovation and commercial dynamism. In 2017, to be considered on the front line, it is once again advisable to propose for your customers the pleasure of turning printed pages. A turnaround explained by the versatility of the good old paper catalogue that has never stopped responding to companies requirements.

Ease of use

The beauty of giving a paper catalogue is that it lets customers leaf through it at their leisure and to share it. This ease of use, the direct access to the products and the freedom to consult them, explains the high level of confidence that printed catalogues inspire in consumers from all over the world. This is attested to by studies and polls including the Australian Catalogue Association, where 70% of buyers stated that they prefer paper catalogues, compared to 10% that only consult on-line versions.

Sharing information

This trend is also apparent in the Scandinavian countries where 38% of consumers found their product in a paper catalogue before buying it online.

This flexibility of use combined with its quality of presentation and information enables printed catalogues to establish a company’s reputation. It conveys the brand image and facilitates access to other channels of information in a marketing approach.

The paper catalogue, cornerstone of multichannel strategy

Printed catalogues are the incontestable vectors to lead prospects to your company’s internet site. Here, consumers can find complementary information, a more complete graphic presentation, pages dedicated to social networks, as well as real time customer services.

The best news is that the QR codes lead directly to the products’ online file and its contents, which in augmented reality allows customers to handle the product as if it was in their very hands. Ikea has not been slow in seizing this function, thus enabling its customers to visualise the furniture in their own lounge rooms. The paper catalogue has become the centre piece of a marketing mix strategy that gives immediate access to digital platforms, whereas the opposite is impossible.

Attract and project the company’s brand image

Viewed from a multichannel business perspective, the paper catalogue, with its unfettered presence, enables companies to forge their brand image and position themselves by employing appropriate layouts in direct relation to their digital graphic charter. The reader identifies more readily with this universe.

Once this proximity is created, the company can refine its clientele’s profile type to obtain better sales returns thanks to targeting. Customers are attracted by an interactive printed catalogue that allows them to quickly familiarise themselves with a product. They can then, thanks to QR codes and their smartphone, contact a shop that distributes the product and purchase it in the space of a couple of clicks. The sequence is completed naturally with a process of product transparency and with strengthened confidence at each step.

Improving digital marketing with paper catalogues

Even if 18% of the French have put a “No advertising” sticker on their letter boxes and a third of them appear resistant to printed catalogues, their loyalty remains intact. The printed catalogue is still the preferred tool by comparison and possesses a renown superior to the online catalogue.

Far from being left for dead, the paper catalogue, with its multiple uses, is from now on at the centre of all marketing strategies. Digital marketing’s future will not be written without it, but thanks to it.

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