When Am I Going to Start Getting Targeted Catalogs?

By | March 2, 2012

The high volume of catalogs I receive has always irritated me, but after doing a series of interviews with printers who have installed the new generation of high-speed inkjet presses (those capable of producing commercial quality color), they irritate me even more. It’s time to stop sending bulk catalogs — period.

I’m one of those people who only shops in catalogs once per year. I shop catalogs at Christmas when I’m looking for something different for family or friends. I sit down at the end of November and early December, place my orders, and then throw away every catalog I receive from that point on until the following November.

I am very consistent. I do it every year.

I’m also consistent in something else. I don’t buy luggage from catalogs. I don’t buy men’s shoes. I don’t buy tools. But I do buy jewelry, children’s educational toys, and electronic gadgets. Why are these companies wasting paper sending me information on hundreds of items I have never bought through catalogs and never will?

If it’s because it’s been most cost-effective to send undifferentiated catalogs than to print targeted ones, those days are over. It’s time to improve ROI through more effective use of their lists and stop hogging up the landfills while they are at it.

Maybe it wasn’t cost-effective to create slimmer, targeted catalogs even a few years ago, or perhaps the quality wasn’t there, but it is today. It’s time somebody told them so.

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3 thoughts on “When Am I Going to Start Getting Targeted Catalogs?

  1. Michael

    Your old catalogs should be recycled, NOT going to a landfill.

  2. Pat Benhmida

    What you’re asking for is what my mother would call an invasion of privacy.
    Check out the Forbes.com article about How Target has perfected the technique of analysing consumers buying habits and figured out that a teenage girl was pregnant before her father knew. How companies learn our secrets is not so secret anymore. I agree with you and wish they’d hurry up and get more sophisticated about how they use the treasure of data that’s out there for the picking.

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