Marketers Are Underestimating Catalogue Power

Marketers Are Underestimating Catalogue Power

The Australasian Catalogue Association (ACA) has released its FY2014 Industry Report, revealing that catalogues have more influence on shoppers than television, email or the Internet.

The report shows that 62% of Australians rank catalogues as the most effective advertising channel in influencing their purchasing decisions, followed by television (52%) and press advertising (40%). Catalogues also placed well ahead of personalised direct mail (29%) email marketing (25%) and social media advertising (17%).

By contrast, 69% of marketers ranked email marketing as the most influential channel, followed by TV advertising (56%) and personalised direct mail (54%).

Australasian Catalogue Association executive director, Kellie Northwood said there is a clear disconnect in what Australians are saying works for them and what marketers think works.

“This is confirmed by the fact that of the Top Five influential channels ranked by Australians, three have experienced declines in advertising spend over the past year,” she said.

Catalogues reach 19.6 million Australians every week and continue to hold their ranking as the fourth largest media channel amongst media peers – internet, free-to-air television and newspapers.

The grocery, discount variety and electrical market segments remain the highest producers and users of catalogues to promote their products and services.

However, the report also highlights a growing trend within the speciality retail market segment, with online retailers increasingly using the physical channel to push sales traffic to virtual stores. The report shows 62% of buyers, 61% of fans and 60% of readers visit online stores after reading catalogues.

ACA chairman, Adam Boyle said the humble catalogue has evolved from a marketing tool once described as a pure sales pull to one that is continuing to hold strong industry value.

“Catalogues remain a powerful and cost-effective media channel. We now see pages filled with clever brand positioning, interactive product guides and celebrity ambassadors. They’ve come a long way and retailers are continuing to compete aggressively with one another in this space,” he said.

Northwood said an increasingly sophisticated level of engagement with consumers via catalogues was an exciting trend to watch in the financial year 2015.

“Catalogues have demonstrated innovation and their place within the digital environment with technologies on paper delivering stronger integration within multi-channel marketing campaigns. Augmented reality technologies are challenging marketers to think beyond the physical and engage consumers within a multi-channel and content-rich experience,” she said.

Key Takeaways: 

  • In FY2014 catalogue Audience Reach was 19.6 million. Catalogues dominate when compared to other medias: television (Free-to-Air) (13.5M); television (Pay TV) (8M); magazines (13.8M); Commercial radio (9.7M) and newspapers (16.M).
  • Catalogue volumes have increased by 0.3% over the 2014 fiscal year. The increase is mainly due to streamlined data and stronger targeting, leading to an increased return on marketing investment (ROMI) for catalogue marketers.
  • More than half (62%) of Australians rank catalogues as the most effective advertising channel in influencing their purchasing decisions.
  • Engagement is high with Australians spending more than 30 minutes reading catalogues during the week.
  • Seasonal style books, product guides and celebrity ambassadors filling the catalogue within information and page-turning content is king for 2015.



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