The New Catalogue

Stack of magazines

In an age of digital distraction and ever-shorter consumer attention spans, the catalogue is re-emerging as a powerful way to engage customers to interact with brands on a deeper level—and it’s not in the traditional format you expect. It’s smarter, smaller, and less expensive to produce. It can deliver big impact by supporting digital experiences while still giving your customers the physical, tactile experience they crave in the virtual world. Experiences that can help your brand cut through all the digital clutter and stand out from the crowd.

Traditional catalogues have a reputation for being time consuming and costly to create. That’s why retailers and eCommerce stores are now turning to shorter, lifestyle catalogues. This new generation of catalogue is timely and relevant. And it’s helping marketers in business of all shapes and sizes bridge the gap between offline and online communication, giving their customers the best of both worlds.

New catalogues are:

  • – Smarter. They are driven by consumer data gathered through multiple marketing channels, helping you target the right customers at the right time.
  • – More economical. New production and printing capabilities have taken the cost and complexity out of tailoring versions of a catalogue to individual customer segments.

“Catalogues may seem old school, but their increased capabilities and the brand-building potential suggest they’ll remain a staple in retailers’ toolboxes – and consumers’ mailboxes.”

Denise Lee Yohn, Harvard Business Review1

New Catalogue Formats: Inventive, Inexpensive, and Easy to Produce


When your budget for direct mail is limited, using a bi-fold or tri-fold postcard mailer as a type of catalogue is a great way to start experimenting with direct mail. That way, you can see if it’s an effective marketing effort worth growing and investing more in. By including personalised URLs (PURLS) or QR codes in your mail pieces, you can more easily track results. Micro-catalogues are also a perfect vehicle for featuring a specific selection of your products that you want to promote.


A compelling mix of magazine and catalog, magalogues combine product information with editorial content. This innovative concept is taking the traditional catalogue to a new level while helping to reduce production costs. Magalogues have become popular because they allow retailers to express their brand personality through storytelling about their product alongside compelling images—without sacrificing informational content. All of these factors are making the magalogue an attractive option for marketers.


The mini-catalogue delivers big impact in a smaller package. Many marketers are finding that supplementing full-sized catalogues with this new category of “mini-catalogues” can help them do business more economically while improving key metrics such as response rate. Mini-catalogues mail at approximately the same cost of a standard automated letter and can provide up to ten pages to promote products which can help cut mailing and production costs. At the same time, they can be as effective as larger catalogues in driving customers to company websites.

“Traditional” catalogues with a digital twist

For businesses with a larger budget or extensive product line, the classic catalogue style is still a viable option. However, these aren’t your grandmother’s catalogues. Today’s longer-form catalogue has evolved from mainly being a direct sales tool, to being a mobile, website, and in-store traffic driver. They have become digital enablers—supporting innovative technologies such as augmented reality (AR) which bridges the gap between our physical and digital worlds. For example, a popular catalogue created by a major furniture company uses AR to bring their pages to life; customers simply hover over the page with their smartphones to place a 3D image of the product in their space.

Catalogues add value to the multi-channel experience

Marketers who take advantage of the full range of marketing channels available are better positioned to enhance brand awareness and reach their target audiences. Leveraging more than one marketing channel helps deliver a diversified, connected, customer-centric strategy that increases the chances for successful customer acquisition. With their ability to bridge physical and digital channels, catalogues can play an important role as part of an omni-channel campaign.

Today’s smarter catalogues can deliver big impact because they:

  • – Cut through the digital noise yet enable digital experiences.
  • – Enable personalised messaging and targeted outreach.
  • – Support storytelling, the new gold marketing standard.
  • – Offer a platform for bold visual images.
  • – Can cost less to produce and are easier to create.

Source: 1:USPS Delivers , This post was written by Ink on Da Paper