Is There Still Life In The Print Catalog?
A feature in the May 2016 issue, “Is It Time To Turn The Page On Catalogs?,” reflected on the role of printed catalogs as more and more transactions move away from paper, pen and phone orders to online fulfillment.
While I certainly believe that the future of catalogs will be internet-based, there are still benefits to printed catalogs. They can be left behind with a client as a constant reminder of your company, which at the same time promotes the supplier’s product line. Also, although almost all decent size businesses have an internet connection, not every company has speedy downloads due to the fact that there are still a lot of areas without full fiber-optic connections. I hope that suppliers keep using catalogs for the next three to five years, when hopefully the whole country is on fiber optics.
Richard Koolmeyer, MAS
Amsaco (American Specialty Advertising Co.)
While it is exciting to page through a new print catalog, the reality is I hardly ever get one out of the file drawer. The drawer becomes its final resting place until it’s discarded next year. Digital catalogs and online services such as SAGE are my medium of choice. However, too many times, the order confirmation comes back with additional charges that were nowhere to be found online. Now we are in a tight spot. The customer has already been quoted, so we have to take the hit on commission. I believe the “general information” page in the back of the catalog doesn’t work in the online world. I want to see all charges and options along with the product information. If there are charges to be applied, then please own it. Put it in a size I can see.
Printing & Marketing Solutions
Horseshoe Bay, Texas
I’ve noticed that complete product information is not always available on websites but can often be found in printed catalogs. SAGE also needs to be monitored by suppliers to make sure there are no errors or missing information about products, services, etc. Missing or incorrect information means we distributors either look unprepared in the eyes of our clients or our profits are hit. Either result isn’t good. With these major issues addressed, we can move away from print catalogs.
Stacy Weiss, MAS
Your Choice Or Mine
San Mateo, California
Consolidation And Its Industry Impact
Since 2012, there have been hundreds of acquisitions in the promotional products industry involving dozens of companies. The bulk of the larger-company activity appears to be on the supplier side of the industry, but the distributor side has had its share as well. The May issue cover feature, “Industry Consolidation: Are We Better Off?,” examined potential factors that may be causing the consolidation activity and what it may mean to the marketplace.
For those of us in the regional association community, consolidation is definitely a struggle. For instance, we have five companies that were members a few years ago that are now with Geiger, and now under their membership. The same is true for HALO, Kaeser & Blair, etc. On the supplier side, we’re seeing the same thing—as companies consolidate, so do their memberships and trade show booths. This is forcing regional associations to step up their game to remain relevant and attract new members. This is something that is front-of-mind every year during our planning meetings. My gut feeling is it will make us all better in the end.
Promotional Products Association of the Mid-South (PPAMS)