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50% of companies wrongly think it’s not appropriate for them to have a catalogue

50% of companies wrongly believe it’s not appropriate for them to have a catalogue, according to a new report released today.

To download a copy of the report please visit or for more details phone 0845 2300 258.

The report, ‘Channel Vision,’ put together by design, print and marketing specialists Catalogues 4 Business,  questioned 123 organisations within the UK, asking them a number of questions around their current and future business and marketing plans.

When asked which tools are the most important for them in delivering sales, the top three answers given were an e-commerce website, email marketing and a catalogue. Yet half of the same respondents don’t believe they have a business that is suited to having a catalogue.

Ian Simpson, Managing Director at Catalogues4Business comments: “If a business has products or services that it sells online it is likely to be able to deploy a catalogue. I think it’s an education game. When you mention catalogues, people automatically think they have to be an Argos with lots of money to have a catalogue, or worst, they’ve got a brochure so think to themselves, ‘why even bother having a catalogue, I’ve already got one’!?!”

Indeed, nearly 10% said they wouldn’t need a catalogue as they already have a brochure. Whilst nearly 30% say catalogues cost too much.

Ian says: “If a marketing tool covers its own costs, and brings in sales, then it’s not expensive. So it’s interesting to see companies saying catalogues cost too much, especially as not one respondent in the report said they would see taking on a catalogue as a risk. It’s a matter of mindset. Unfortunately people do see catalogues as brochures, but they are two completely different things. When executed properly a catalogue can be a very powerful sales tool.”

Without a doubt, of those interviewed who already use catalogues (78%) as part of their marketing mix admitted that their catalogues account for 31-40% of sales, and over 35% said that in excess of half their total sales were generated directly through their catalogues.

Interestingly, those surveyed (13%) also argued that their customers preferred using the web, yet 33% of the same respondents admitted that post has more of an impact than ever, now that there is so much overload from email.

Ian adds: “Again I think it’s a matter of education. People get fixated with the online world, but forget people still like to have something tangible, or even prefer receiving something in the post, because it’s such a novelty these days. It’s too easy to press delete to an email, but a catalogue will get your attention. Plus a catalogue is also one of the best ways to drive online traffic, and of course drive sales which we see here with those using catalogues already.”

The interviewees from the report were drawn from businesses, both consumer and business-facing, in a real mix of sectors. Many of those interviewed were small and medium-sized enterprises, but the report also captured the views of some of the most significant players. One in ten had a £50 million plus turnover and 6% have annual sales exceeding £100 million.


To download a copy of the report please visit or for more details phone 0845 2300 258.


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