Want to make a bigger impression? Use a mini-catalog

Want to make a bigger impression - Use a mini-catalog

Imagine shouting in a crowded room. No one can hear you. It’s as if you’re invisible.

That’s the way it feels when you rely on traditional marketing tactics to promote your brand and your products. If you want to command the attention of your key prospects, you need to get creative. One powerful way to do that is with a targeted mini-catalog.

This type of print piece straddles the line between a full catalog and a product brochure. It contains a curated sampling of content and product listings that are selected to appeal to a specific segment of your audience. They can also be customized around their past purchases or preferences. 

For even greater impact, mini-catalogs can be coordinated with your mail and digital ad campaigns, so prospects are exposed to these products across multiple platforms.

Why add a mini-catalog to your marketing mix?

A mini-catalog is a flexible marketing tool that offers numerous benefits. First, its extended format enables you to tell a bigger story. For this reason, it’s an excellent brand reinforcement tool.

Not surprisingly, it can be an excellent tool to drive traffic to your website. Here’s how it works: Picture a brief product listing in your catalog that serves as a “teaser,” with just enough information to intrigue prospective buyers. It contains a QR code they can use to visit the page for that product on your website. There, they can view more extensive information, including product specifications, application guidelines, testimonials and more.

Because of its compact size, a mini-catalog is easy to distribute in a variety of ways. You can mail it, hand it out at a trade show or have your salespeople or distributors hand-deliver it to key prospects. In this role, it can be a powerful sales enablement tool.

Printed mini-catalogs share many of the same benefits as direct mail: They provide a unique, tactile experience that improves engagement and memorability. Plus, recipients tend to hang onto them, creating opportunities for repeated brand exposure. Depending upon the value of the content they contain, some mini-catalogs may also have a significant pass-along readership!

Mini-catalog content: Your imagination is the only limit

When it comes to the content for your mini-catalog, don’t just think about product listings – the bread and butter of traditional print catalogs. Get creative! Yours can include:

  • Product information
  • Product reviews
  • New product release announcements
  • Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
  • Educational articles and tips
  • Case studies/customer stories
  • Seasonal or limited-time offers
  • Maintenance or seasonal tips for your products
  • Useful reference information, such as space to write emergency phone numbers or dates for a medication tracker
  • Photo essays (for high-end products)

Imagine what you could include in a mini-catalog to make it valuable to your target audience!

The real opportunity for mini-catalogs: targeted messaging

Variable printing technology makes it possible to produce highly-customized direct mailers and other print messaging at a reasonable cost. Imagine applying this capability to a mini-catalog. You could use it to customize the message, style, language and images of your booklet around their needs, significantly increasing its impact.

This strategy can be especially effective if prospects have previously seen your products promoted in the mini-catalog in other channels, such as email, digital ads and social media posts. Repeated exposure makes them more likely to buy.

This makes personalized mini-catalogs the perfect tool for account-based marketing (ABM) programs. Is it a lot of work to create and deploy this much content? No question about it. But when you’re targeting a small group of high-value prospects, it’s a worthwhile investment.

Mini-catalogs in action: Gardner reference guides

Several years ago, Heritage helped Gardner Products, a manufacturer of fly control devices, to produce a series of mini-catalogs. These “reference guides” were targeted to specific vertical markets the company serves, including restaurants, supermarkets and healthcare facilities.

Each reference guide contained:

  • A floor plan, which teaches customers optimal positioning for its fly control products, 
  • An article that highlights problem areas and expands upon information contained in the floor plan, and
  • A mini-catalog of related fly control products and replacement parts (consumables such as glue cards and lamps).

This combination of educational content and relevant products worked exceptionally well. These reference guides not only helped customers to identify common fly control problems but also armed them with the products they needed to solve them.

Gardner has mailed its reference guides to customers and prospects, distributed them at trade shows and has given them to distributors to hand out during sales calls.

Is there a mini-catalog in your future?

How can you integrate a mini-catalog into your marketing mix? Contact Heritage today to discuss your needs and how we can put one to work for you.

Posted in