Amazon recently revealed its decision to produce a 100-page toy catalog this holiday season. This marketing move comes on the heels of the demise of Toys R Us and its storied “big book,” which had become a holiday staple. From where we sit, at the birthplace of Programmatic Direct Mail®, kudos!
Call it what it is — genius. We do.
Here's Fortune’s analysis of Amazon’s decision:
“Creating a printed catalog … seems like a throwback to old-fashioned retail methods. But it could be a genius move to increase [Amazon’s] visibility and desirability among young consumers.”
You bet! In fact, we’ve been saying just that about why Programmatic Direct Mail® is such an effective approach for reaching younger consumers of all stripes and types:
“After spending all day in their digital flow, [younger consumers] can be charmed by finding a catalog or postcard in the mailbox with their name on it and relevant to one of their interests.”
Now consider those insights in light of the latest DMA Response Rate Report, which reveals that online display advertising has “dropped to last place for both response rate and ROI” while direct mail remains an industry leader. The decision for a data-savvy colossus like Amazon to jump on the direct mail bandwagon couldn’t be more logical.
Cataloging why tangible marketing works
The effectiveness of direct mail pieces like Amazon’s proposed catalog lies in their tangibility. PebblePost boosts that effectiveness by adding the magic insight of online intent and behavior. Unlike ephemeral digital display ads, direct mail has a staying power that allows consumers to spend quality time — on their time.
When discussing Amazon's proposed catalog, Geek.com agrees, saying:
“As Bloomberg pointed out, there is something endlessly satisfying about flipping through paper pages of inventory; physical catalogs offer something that digital shopping can’t.”
Marketing is about choosing combinations that work
Smart marketers are never satisfied. They’re always trying different combinations, keeping the strategies that work and discarding the ones that don’t.
That’s the beauty of what Amazon has decided to do. This holiday season, parents and kids can comb through the Amazon catalog at their leisure, find exactly what they want, order it online and have it delivered directly to their front door. Or, those who still prefer brick-and-mortar shopping can use the catalog to pare down their choices, then make their purchases at a physical store. (Bloomberg reported that Amazon “even looked at acquiring some Toys R Us locations earlier this year.”)
We applaud Amazon’s move. But fear not, marketers, you don’t have to be Amazon to make that approach work for you. And what better time to try it than the holiday season when Facebook's and Google’s rates spike and display inventory is in short supply?