Printed catalogs still have their place in consumers’ homes 

In the era of rapid development of digital media, printed catalogs continue to play an important role as a marketing and informational tool. While many companies focus on online campaigns and digital communication, printed catalogs remain popular and effective in many industries. 

Printed catalogs still have their place in consumers’ homes. Despite the changing media landscape and the growth of digital marketing, printed catalogs continue to be popular and utilized by many companies. 

According to a study conducted by the Polish Marketing Association, direct mail is an effective marketing form. In 68% of cases, contact with direct mail resulted in the purchase of a product or service. At the same time, its recipients claim that they prefer to buy goods or services under its influence – often or very often. Research results demonstrate that despite the rapid development of digital media, printed catalogs remain popular and have their place in marketing strategies. 

Printed catalogs also allow for a better understanding of products and offers compared to digital content. The tactile, physical presence of printed catalogs provides additional sensory experiences that enhance the effectiveness of marketing communication. 

There are several factors that contribute to the popularity of printed catalogs: 

  • Touch and Experience: printed catalogs give recipients the ability to physically touch and browse products. Unlike digital content, catalogs provide a better sensory experience overall and enable a better understanding of the materials presented. 
  • Targeting Specific Audiences: printed catalogs remain an effective tool, especially for companies focusing on the local market or specific target groups. Distributing catalogs in specific locations or at trade shows and events attracts the attention of potential customers. 
  • High Quality and Aesthetics: The production quality and attractive design of printed catalogs helps companies stand out among competition. Meticulous design, high-quality photography and printing, and the use of eye-catching finishes can capture the attention of recipients and leave a positive impression. 
  • Information Gathering and Comparison: printed catalogs allow recipients to compare products, gather information and make choices in a more traditional manner. For some consumers, browsing catalogs and comparing offers remain a vital part of the purchasing process. 
  • Uniqueness and Diversity: printed catalogs offer the opportunity to create a unique and personalized presentation of products or services. A company can design a catalog to reflect its brand, style and messaging. Catalogs can also be used for special purposes, such as to promote luxury products, limited collections or seasonal offers.

Effectively targeting printed catalogs ensures successful marketing communication. Delivering value to the right audience while promoting sustainable development and increasing the life cycle of a product, helps to reduce resource waste and create more effective campaigns. “During promotional periods, sales or holiday campaigns, a catalog can serve as an effective tool for presenting special offers, encouraging purchases and building a positive brand image. A company should prepare a printed catalog at strategic moments, such as when introducing new products, seasonal offers or participating in industry events. At the same time, targeting the catalog is crucial to delivering valuable content to the appropriate group and achieving greater effectiveness in marketing communication“, said John Stano, Senior Vice President Business Development & Transformation at Quad Europe.

French innovation in pursuit of sustainable development 

Integrating sustainable practices at every stage of creation helps minimize environmental impact when producing a printed catalog. It is important to consider such practices within the context of the entire product life cycle – from design, production and distribution, to disposal. 

The French program “Oui Pub” represents another step towards sustainable development and conscious consumerism in France. On May 3, 2022, France decided to launch a pilot program based on a report prepared by the Minister for Ecological Transformation. According to this program, paper leaflets and catalogs will only be delivered to households that give their consent. The initiative, called “Oui Pub,” which means “yes to advertising leaflets,” is a response to a common slogan in France, “Stop Pub,” which is often posted on mailboxes to refuse unwanted correspondence. 

After 8 months of testing Oui Pub, CoSpirit Groupe has decided to conduct a consumer sentiment poll to test the effectiveness of the experiment. In the Oui Pub area, already 1 in 4 French people (28%) have placed a sticker on their mailbox, indicating their preferences for receiving catalogs. Additionally, 55% of French people plan to include such a sticker to continue receiving catalogs. The Oui Pub experiment has only just begun and will continue until the end of April 2025, providing an opportunity for further observation and data analysis. 

Sustainable Development and Consumer Needs 

In today’s world, companies face the challenge of scaling down resources while also trying to reach consumers who prefer to receive information and advertising materials in a printed form. However, there is an opportunity to merge these two aspects by creating a strategy that cares for the environment and nurtures consumer preferences. 

First and foremost, companies should strive to minimize their negative environmental impact in their marketing activities. By choosing eco-friendly materials, personalizing content, targeting audiences and educating consumers, companies can strive to balance effective marketing practices with environmental stewardship by meeting consumer expectations while promoting sustainable development. 

It is also worth noting that the role of printed catalogs is evolving alongside technological advancements and changing consumer preferences. Increasingly, catalogs are enriched with interactive elements such as QR codes that redirect consumers to online content or provide additional information. Additionally, many companies employ an omnichannel strategy, combining printed catalogs with an online presence, which allows for better tracking of results and overall campaign effectiveness. 

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