Based on the goals you outlined in the previous step, you now need to choose the best type of catalog to meet your goals.
While all printed catalogs consist of pages bound together to deliver a multi-paged marketing message, specific types of catalogs have different purposes and determine the layout and flow of your catalog content. To help you choose the best type of catalog, we've outlined a few below to help you choose the right one for your catalog marketing strategy.
Informational Catalogs: Informational catalogs can be for customers, prospects, stakeholders, or employees, as they are text heavy and primarily intended to educate or provide information on your business or a given topic. For example, if it is intended for employees, this could be a training manual used for internal purposes to strengthen the foundation of your company. For customers, this could be an introduction to your company or a newsletter outlining the details of your company's latest updates. For stakeholders, this could be an annual report highlighting your business's accomplishments over the past year.
Informational catalogs are primarily for teaching, informing, or branding aesthetic purposes. Catalogs like these aren't trying to make hard sales. Their goal is to establish a certain persona for your brand that encourages your audience to choose your brand over a competitor.
Promotional Catalogs: Promotional catalogs, also referred to as promotional product catalogs, are the more common type of catalog we think of when thinking about catalogs. These catalogs feature a selection of items or products offered by your brand.
The goals of a promotional catalog typically include getting your audience to make a purchase, increasing sales, announcing a new product or deal, or highlighting an entire category of products or services your business offers.
Service Listings: Service listing catalogs are specialized for businesses that primarily offer a range of services. For example, common industries that use service listings include hair salons, lawn care companies, home improvement businesses, and health care providers. These catalogs aim to drive readers to call, visit a website or location, or contact you to get a quote or schedule an appointment.
Category or Topic-Focused Catalogs: These catalogs feature a specific division of your business or a particular line of products you offer. These are often individually branded and designed to reflect the division they represent. For example, a tech division of a business could publish a catalog that visually features its technology and the tech support they provide.
Full-Line Catalogs: Full-line catalogs list every individual product or service and configuration a business offers so a reader can quickly reference it to get the pricing of a specific good or service. These catalogs enable the marketer to provide mail-in forms or direct links to an ordering page for readers to place orders online.