To customise or not to customise? That is the question. Marketing analysts seem to agree unanimously that customisation is the answer. And with innovative technologies and smart data management now paving the way to fully-customised catalogues, brochures and leaflets, you’d be a fool not to tap into this segment.
In its latest issue of The Future of Advertising report , Salesforce suggested that digital marketing has to target and personalise, and implied that the slowdown of traditional print media could be attributed to the lack of personalisation.
“The customer expects nothing less than personalised communications, including via marketing campaigns,” the report said.
It also expands on this idea that it is no longer acceptable “for a pet store to send a cat food campaign to a dog owner, for a financial institution to send a transition-to-retirement promotion to a 40-year-old, or for a person who has just bought a pair of shoes to be re-targeted with an ad for those shoes”.
With this in mind, the growing trend to personalise catalogues makes smart marketing sense, as retailers have found how to build greater ROIs from an already stunning performer.
Catalogues hold the highest audience reach than any other media channel at 21.8 million every week, according to the Australasian Catalogue Association (ACA). They also perform strongly on the path to purchase, with research revealing 42 per cent of consumers seek price information for goods using catalogues. Customisation is a further addition to the catalogue sector.
Long gone are the days when customisation was about printing the customer’s first name on the front cover, ACA chief executive Kellie Northwood said.
“Catalogue customisation has evolved to pagination by geography and demographics, or image personalisation by gender or audience group,” she said.
“Retailers now know that in order to capture their customers’ attention, they must have relevant content and turn their catalogue into a personal and attuned experience.”
Retailers have accumulated data about their customers’ past purchases, location, profile, and personal preferences for some time – now marketers possess the tools to translate that data into made-to-measure offers, imagery and inserts.
Catalogues can be manufactured to talk to each customer individually. The latest advances in printing technology make the mass production of individual pieces of printed marketing possible and economically accessible. With catalogues turned into a targeted experience, customers’ attention is retained more efficiently, thus driving more sales.
The added value of customising catalogues has already been measured, and research by Xerox shows that revenue generated on a per-catalogue basis can be three times greater than non-customised catalogues. German retailer Bonprix even saw a 500 per cent higher response rate from current customers and a 400 per cent higher response rate from inactive customers on a sample of 300,000 personalised catalogues.
Brands have no need to fear about a data drought with customised catalogues. According to research by Forbes Insights, 62 per cent of customers them declare they are willing to trade personal information in exchange for personalised offers.
Furthermore, research by Xerox found that 60 per cent marketers now declare that they plan to use more targeting in the future.
Chelsea Hinchliffe, publications manager at liquor store chain at Dan Murphy’s (which was a multiple award winner at last year’s Australasian Catalogue Awards), believes personalisation is the key to brands’ future.
“Brands that can ask the right questions, as well as understand and articulate who their customers are, will have the most success,” she said.