A catalog can create skyrocketing sales and profitability.

And, they are experiencing an invisible and little-known boom.

What is their #1 reason for success?

The catalog gives value to the prospect … and company.

In fact, one of the fundamental rules or principles in successful marketing is to give value.

Value increases response.

Value increases profitability.

Value increases loyalty.

Most marketers do not give value in their marketing.

Instead, they sell.

They pick pockets – and the perception of their prospects is one of resistance.

Selling may achieve a certain level of response.

But selling doesn’t achieve maximum response.

Let me give you an example of one of my catalog clients, Super Circuits.

Super Circuits came to us with a catalog that only did traditional selling.

Super Circuits is a B to B catalog with great pricing and an amazing variety of products for security professional and business owners.

They have the most advanced security video equipment you could find anywhere.

After reviewing the catalog, I found several major defects that are all too common in marketing.

Here are the 8 key problems I discovered in my critique… and the solution. My agency and I came up with:

#1: There was no value-added information or contents in the catalog. We then created direct response content so the prospect would learn valuable information in the sidebars, advertorial product descriptions, helpful advice and checklists.

This is what we call VIVA – Valuable Information Value Added.

It makes the difference between a winner or loser, mediocre return and super return.

#2: Direct response copy was not used. Anytime you break the rules of direct response copy, you suffer declined response. There was no “you” orientation. The benefits were hidden. Only the features were presented. The paragraphs were too long. Sentences were too complicated. So we went about the redoing of the copy completely.

#3: The pictures and graphics were not relatable. This is a major mistake in a catalog. The products were not displayed well or without a human touch. That’s why direct response art is so critical. Art for art’s sake is not what you want. You want art that is going to increase readership and return.

#4: The offer was weak, violating a critical direct marketing rule. A marketing campaign needs a powerful direct response offer in order to be able to increase response. So we worked closely with Super Circuit to create an offer to increase the average unit sale. We were able to increase it by 30%.

#5: The personality was weak. Personality is who’s behind the company. Personality can help increase response for almost any company. So we developed personality of the President and integrated it throughout the catalog.

#6: The cover was a boring display of features. We transformed the cover into a magazine style, highlighting key benefits and teasing the readers. To engage them, we highlighted what was the most sensational and most popular products.

#7: Poor media selection. And finally, we improved the list data, providing the client with the most advanced data possible.

#8: No segmentation. We then recommended targeting key customer and prospect segments. For example, manufacturer vs. retailers.

And of course, don’t forget that importance of properly integrating retargeting, Facebook custom lists to your customers and those getting the mailing, a look-alike audience, and more.

These principles work for online and hard copy catalogs.

The bottom line results? Super Circuits response was more than tripled, the average amount of sales increased and the catalog was a double award winner. It grew to dominate its sector.

This new catalog won the PIA Best DM B2B Award in 2010 and the Gold Award for the MarCom Awards.

If you have a catalog, now is the time to dramatically improve it to increase response.

If you don’t have a catalog, now is the time to test one … and see if it doesn’t supercharge your growth and profits.

Need help to reposition or launch your catalog marketing? Call me at 310-212-5727 or email me at craig@cdmginc.com and let’s talk.

Which cover produced the highest response?

Catalog Can Create Skyrocketing Sales

Email me your guess at craig@cdmginc.com and I’ll let you know.

Here are the rest of this week’s articles: