While it’s true that catalogues will always have a place in the marketing mix, their static nature means that the relationship between consumer and retailer remains impersonal and rigid (MW November 24). The format may well encourage people to get online, but to ensure they actually make a purchase, consumers demand a more interactive experience.
Once a customer has visited a website, any further communication from the retailer should be electronic. However, rather than bombarding that customer with e-mails, information from previously browsed products can be included in subsequent communications, meaning that retailers can offer personalised incentives based on real-world intelligence.
E-mail, when implemented correctly, is still the only medium that can bridge the gap between consumer behaviour on the website and the personalisation needed to ensure loyalty.
The image of potential customers browsing a glossy catalogue over a glass of wine gives marketers a warm glow. But to turn them from potential customers to loyal consumers who get consumers, marketers cannot rely on print media alone.
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