By Daniel Hunter

Thirty per cent of sales have been directly attributed to using catalogues as a sales and marketing tool and a further 29% saw their web sales were being driven from a catalogue according to a new report.

The report, Channel Vision — Version 2.0, put together by design, marketing and print specialists Catalogues 4 Business (C4B) questioned over 100 organisations within the United Kingdom. The report was drawn from a diverse mix of businesses, both B2B and B2C, and combination of industry sectors.

The report reflects that 70% of companies have had their catalogue for over five years suggesting that it has become a central part of their sales strategy. Compared to a similar report released by C4B last year, 33% found that their sales from catalogues are in fact as good as last year if not better.

“It’s great to see so many companies sales figures increase from catalogues, they are an incredibly powerful marketing tool. Like most marketing activities, there must be a strategy in place to ensure that both sales and marketing are working together to maximise the output,” Ian Simpson, managing director at C4B commented.

Social media and digital marketing has continued to grow over the last year with just over 26% adding it to their marketing activities this year. The report found that companies which sell via a catalogue are far more likely to have a website with e-commerce, which in turn makes them more likely to deploy SEO and pay per click.

“Within todays digital era, people do get fixated with the online world and forget that having something physical is a novelty and sometimes even preferred," Simpson added.

"Catalogues are one of the best ways to drive online traffic; consumers are driven to websites via catalogues and direct mail. It’s about integrating offline and online tactics, so that consumers are reached through all platforms.

“39% of companies have reported that catalogues are also used as a brand builder. This is important for companies who are looking to do more with their marketing tools on a constrained budget. If you include companies that use e-commerce and a catalogue, the totality percentage of sales attributed by a catalogue is 59%. That’s an impressive figure!”

While looking into companies future plans, many reported that they will continue to use a catalogue as a main sales and marketing tool, 57% are intending to use their catalogue to introduce new products.

Using catalogues as a sales channel is growing in importance with 37% saying that it will become more important in the coming year and a further 17% saying that it will be crucial.

Questions surrounded their current and future business as well as their sales and marketing plans. Within the report, views of significant players were asked with 13% of those having a turnover in excess of £20 million.

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