Posted on

“C” is for “Creative Catalogs”

A lot have changed in the market over the years – a tough economy, rising prices of goods and customer’s need for high quality products have imposed new demands on businesses. Evidently, the need for helpful, reliable information has never been greater. Catalogs have always been a great source of product information. When people need to buy a product they refer to catalogs to guide them in finding the right product at the right price. But increasing sales does not necessitate creating the perfect catalog. A relatively small improvement in your catalog can already result in a proportionate increase in sales and profits.

So before you print your catalog, make a careful analysis of your old catalog. Pick out the flaws in it and try to improve it. Gather all the letters that you received from your customers and look through their criticisms, suggestions and comments. These may be a big help in designing a better catalog. And as you are designing your catalog think of your customers and the reasons why they would want to buy your product. Think of what they want and what they need and use this in creating a catalog that accomplishes your customer’s desires.

Thus, to create a striking catalog use color combinations that are attractive and pleasing to the eyes. You can use full color in the cover and two colors in the inside. Keep in mind that people respond better and remember longer good-looking catalogs so make your color choices carefully. Likewise, to attract new customers you can add new products and information to the products featured in your catalog. For instance, you can feature bizarre items, include exciting products or include unusual facts about specific items. You can also include information on how to use the product, maintain them and operate them. This information will help your customers significantly and as a result they would keep your catalog for future references. In addition, this would increase customer confidence to your company thereby increasing their inclination to buy.

If there are products in the old catalog that are unprofitable then perhaps you can promote them more strongly in your new catalog. But if it doesn’t really sell, them you can get rid of them or replace them with new items. You need not place them again in the catalog as they can be a nuisance there.

When you are ready to print your new catalog, make sure that you get the services of an experienced and knowledgeable printer with a reputation for quality and reliability. Your local print shop may be able to do the print job for you but there are also printers online that can do it for low prices, easy ordering and instant price quotes. It is up to you to determine which printing service to avail.

So give your business a distinctive personality and create catalogs that can be a special marketer in the minds of your prospects and customers.

Posted on

Black Friday – bah humbug

It’s black Friday. For the past few months, many institutions have been clamoring for your attention because they want your dollars. Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Giving Tuesday. This time of year it doesn’t end until January 1st. Then everything falls off – sales and donations.

I’ve never worked in retail public relations, but I have worked in nonprofit public relations. This time of year is crazy time. The time when you can work weeks on end without a day off. Why? Nonprofits generally make 60 percent of their budget within these last few months. People think about giving more during this time of year and nonprofits have to capitalize on it, if they plan to continue their mission. This is especially true if they don’t take government funding.

I’m sure nonprofits and retailers marketing dollars increase during these last several months. I know in the nonprofit I worked work, every dollar spent, they were gamer, orbweavermake $6. I’m sure there is some equation that retail follows as well. That is why we seem so bombarded with advertisements, mail, email, commercials, banner ads, etc. They want your attention and it works most of the time.

Although, I’ve seen the ads, I really haven’t paid much attention. Today, I looked through my emails, went to the websites of the store I was interested in but frankly, I was disappointed in most of the sale items. The deals weren’t really deals and if they were, they were already sold out. I did find Razer’s orbweaver for $40 off for my gamer husband Shakeboxing. That’s the lowest price I’ve seen it during the past year so I bought it. The only other thing I saw that I wanted was a $88 refurbished laptop but it was sold out. So marketing and PR professionals, working extremely long hours to help their brand successful, failed on this customer. The products and the prices were bah humbug!

I feel for the countless hours public relations and marketing professionals are are putting in. I’ve been there. I have empathy. It’s exhausting but if you want me to grab my dollars, you have to do better. Besides, the holidays is better spend on personal gifts for our loved ones. They matter more!

Happy holidays,

Sharon Couts