Unlike corporate marketers, catalog circulation consultants get to work on a number of catalog brands in a variety of industries and merchandise categories. Catalog consultants have many advantages, including getting to observe all types of activity, tests, and innovations across a variety of catalog titles.
Catalog circulation management consultants can do many things to support the catalog team. Here are the top activities that they handle and/or advise their clients to do:
1. Develop plans for circulation that meet both financial and strategic objectives.
2. Locate and analyze the best sources of customer acquisition.
3. Integrate the digital and print customer contact strategy.
4. Execute and interpret catalog hold-out tests and catalog frequency tests.
5. Manage database hygiene, merge/purge, and dedupe services.
6. Use data to drive catalog strategy and make informed decisions.
7. Perform catalog marketing audits.
Engaging a Catalog Circulation Consultant
Once a scope of work is determined and a budget and contract is set, consultants schedule weekly or monthly meetings or conference calls with clients. Some options include:
● Information and catalog plans can be shared via email and screen sharing platforms.
● In-person meetings are useful (but entirely optional) for one or more of the following discussions:
Areas to Discuss with a Consultant
● Present annual catalog marketing and circulation results
● Review catalog marketing audit key findings and discuss corrections
● Discuss future circulation plans and catalog strategy.
Catalog Case Study
One of our Food & Beverage catalog clients had a challenge in managing their growing catalog budget. During our initial consultation they mentioned that they needed help determining their optimal catalog circulation and contact frequency. This is a common concern faced by online retailers who add direct mail catalogs to an existing digital marketing program.
Together we developed a plan to answer their questions and set their future catalog strategy.
Some of the activities that we guided included the following:
1. Setting-up an extensive catalog hold-out test.
2. Managing the merge/purge process to ensure integrity in the results.
3. Setting-up multiple catalog test and control groups to look at various customer segments within their house file. The test was designed to evaluate the role of catalogs in driving profitable incremental sales company-wide and provide key information to determine catalog contact frequency.
After six months, we had good, actionable data and created an annual catalog circulation plan for our catalog client. We were able to scale back catalog mailing frequency to unproductive segments, saving our client $119K in unnecessary expenses. The savings were used to fund new customer acquisition and generate more sales.
If you’re ready to take a step forward in improving your catalog business performance, we’d like to be considered as your catalog consultant. We help B2C and B2B companies leverage catalogs and other direct mail to drive traffic, generate sales, or acquire new customers, as part of an overall customer contact strategy. Contact us for your initial consultation.