Catalog marketing has a problem. Consumers are rapidly going digital, and the mailbox at the end of the driveway is looking more and more like a trash can. Some consumers just don’t need or respond to paper-based “stimulation” anymore, and others simply need less of it. L.E.K. Consulting sees this in declining catalog ad ratios and inability to accurately forecast what was once a fairly predictable advertising medium. While this is all easy to observe, very few retailers have been able to meaningfully right-size their catalog spend due to fear of unacceptably impacting the top-line. In this Executive Insights, L.E.K. highlights two core questions retail executives are forced to answer if they want to succeed in this new digital era:

  • How do we reduce direct marketing costs without putting the business at risk?
  • How and where do we invest to ensure an impactful surrogate for the catalog?
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