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Catalogs: A Great Complement To Your Marketing Program

Make your sales pitch more effective.

CatalogsWith the variety of sales methods currently available, distributors may be overlooking the value of catalog marketing. A company’s sales pitch can be even more effective if a company uses multichannel marketing—a brick-and-mortar location, a well-designed Web site and a product catalog—to reach as many potential customers as possible. By developing an in-house catalog, the distributor can create an even stronger marketing campaign that promotes specific products to a target group of customers. Some important points to consider for a successful catalog:

Talk About Your Business and What You Offer
Let your customers get to know you. Catalogs send a clear and consistent message to your consumers about who you are and what you do. Some distributors take for granted that people already understand who they are, what they do and what they sell, when in fact customers may not be aware of everything their distributorship has to offer. You could lose potential sales to a competitor whose identity is more clearly defined.

A comprehensive catalog will prevent confusion and familiarize your clients with all aspects of your company. Make sure you include all products, services and anything else you have that will benefit your customer.

Keep Your Message Clear and Concise
Keep information relevant and short. Try using point form instead of long sentences. Impart as much information as you can, but avoid unnecessary text. The more concise the message, the more likely your customer is to read it.

Products Should Support Your Core Business
Think about the main product’s problems or challenges, and offer solutions to your customers in the form of items or services. For example, in our company’s Lift Truck Stuff catalog, which we produce for lift truck buyers, alternatives are offered for customers who have battery maintenance issues. Items such as a different kind of battery cap or an automatic watering system can simplify lift truck battery watering, thereby reducing battery maintenance. Offering these types of products customer relationship and increase revenue.

Publish Your Catalog Regularly
Always be visible to your customer. A frequently sent catalog is a great way to do this. A survey by the Direct Marketing Association shows that 46 percent of shoppers keep catalogs for more than three months or until a replacement copy arrives. If you send your catalog out often enough, a constant reminder of your company, along with a list of your products and services, stays with nearly half of shoppers at all times.

Keep the Entire Company Informed
A great catalog takes planning. Be sure to include all departments so your whole company is on board and will know what to expect.

As you can see, there are many things to consider when launching a catalog. With a little time and planning, your company can reap the rewards. A total marketing strategy that includes a catalog, a Web site and a storefront can really increase your bottom line.

Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association

Lisa Berkeley Meet the Author
Lisa Berkeley works at Liftruck.com, the U.S. subsidiary of Liftow Ltd., based in Mississauga,Ontario, Canada.

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