Behold the Mini Catalog

Looking for a way to increase brand awareness and your customer file without breaking the bank? You might try a mini catalog.

“It’s cost-effective and represents a powerful weapon for customer acquisition,” said Sy Dordick of consultancy Web Direct Marketing during the Alternative Prospecting Intensive workshop at the Annual Catalog Conference. “It’s not a traditional catalog; the focus is on getting an order.”

What’s more, “the mini catalog [customer] will have the same lifetime value as new customers acquired by your [full-size] catalog,” Dordick said.

Columbia, MD-based BYK-Gardner USA, a manufacturer/ marketer of plastics and coatings equipment, tested the concept at the end of 2003. BYK-Gardner inserted a 24-page catalog, a scaled-down version of its 366-page core book, inside industry publications and card decks. “The cost of inserting a mini catalog inside the trade journal is less than the cost of a display ad,” said Michael Gogoel, BYK-Gardner USA vice president/ general manager. Another advantage the mini catalog has over a display ad: It can highlight multiple products.

While the mini catalog proved a worthwhile investment, it “didn’t work well in ‘fringe’ markets,” Gogoel noted. Which simply proves that it prospecting, as in so much else, one size rarely fits all.

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