THE MODERN ADVERTISER
1. Appreciates the importance of industrial advertising even though it represents, in dollars, a relatively small percentage of the amount spent for all advertising.
2. Studies differences between industrial and consumer advertising as to factors that make each effective.
3. Becomes acquainted with the methods used by industrial advertisers to make the job of the salesman easier.
In modern advertising, industrial copy represents less than 10 per cent of all advertising expenditures.1
1 The total advertising volume estimated for 1960 is $8.5 billion. For industrial advertising the estimate is $845 million. See ‘Tomorrow is a big market’, Associated Business Publications, New York, 1954. This is an appraisal of the American market-backward to 1935 and forward to 1975.
This percentage is so small that some advertising practitioners tend to overlook its importance in our economy. One reason for this oversight is that consumer advertising has more attractiveness, uses more artistic, colorful illustrations in mass publications and appears in more glamorous television shows. Furthermore, the copywriters for consumer advertising prepare advertisements on which agency billings are relatively higher. The copy writer for the consumer advertisement can let his imagination go into clouds of ecstasy about the delights obtainable from the use of a soap or a soup; but the man who writes industrial advertising must stick closely to the cold facts-facts that will be read by technically trained men who buy on a logical rather than an emotional basis.
THE FUNCTIONS OF INDUSTRIAL ADVERTISING
The real importance of the industrial advertising man is in his behind-the-scenes contributing to your standard of living. He is one of the most important influences in educating and persuading manufacturers and processors to purchase more productive equipment and to adopt lower-cost technical processes. These in turn, help the producers to make better products at lower costs. As a result, consumers can buy more consumer goods, thus raising the standards of living for all. This role is, in a way, more significant but less glamorous than that of the consumer advertising man.
In the summer of 1953, the Sales Executives Club of New York sent a questionnaire to 1,328 sales executives in firms selling to the producer design, plant engineering, and metalworking markets. The questions and the average of the answers of the 228 respondents are given below.
Questions Average of answers
What do you estimate is the average cost per call by $17.24
1. In your opinion, out of every 100 cold call made by your 9.2
sales force, how many orders do you get?
2. In your opinion, out of every 100 calls made by following 16.0
up an enquiry from your publication advertising,
how many orders do you get?
3. In your opinion, out of every 100 calls made after 38.4
your prospect or customer has studied your catalog and
invited your salesman to call, how many orders do you get?
The following table shows the over all average cost of orders developed under the three conditions under which the calls were made:
Conditions Orders per 100 calls Cost per order
1. Salesman calling cold 9.2 $187.39
2. Following up ad inquiry 16.0 $107.75
3. Call on invitation after catalog studied 38.4 $ 44.89
The sharp contracts between numbers of orders per 100 calls and the cost of these orders certainly indicate that every effort should be made to increase the percentage of calls salesmen make on invitation.
Source: See Marketing Memo, Sweet’s Catalog Service, Dec. 1. 1954.
Much industrial advertising is done to increase the effectiveness of the salesman. It costs money to have salesman call on prospects. In the industrial field, the average cost of a salesman’s call on a prospect was found to be $17.24, according to a survey conducted by the sales Executives Club of New York. Data was furnished by 223 representative manufacturers of industrial materials, equipment, and services. Of these companies, 81 per cent indicating upon the product or service being sold, its cost, and the amount of engineering and research necessary to meet customers’ demands. The total range of costs per call was from a low of $1 to a high of $130(see Table 32-1).
Using these figures and the average call cost of $17.24, the Sales Executives Club found that the average cost per order was about $187 for cold calls, about $107 for advertising follow-ups and about $44 per order when the prospect had studied a catalog.2
2 “N. Y. Sales Execs report Industrial Calls $17.24, “Advertising Age”, July 13,1953
The above figures are averages for certain general classes. Each company must, of course, determine for its particular situation the appropriateness or inappropriateness of the marketing tools available. Advertising for many industrial firms becomes an effective, cost-reducing selling tool when rightly used.
Generally, the greater the number of favorable contacts with the customer, the greater his recognition and preference for the brand or company.
A favorable contact may be in the form of use experience, a report from a pleased used, a demonstration, a news item, a catalog listing, a salesman’s call, or a paid advertisement. Of these, the marketer has the greatest degree of control over the salesman’s call and the paid advertisement. As Howard G. Sawyer has stated:
Studies of business and industrial buying practices show that the companies most likely to be considered in a purchasing decision are those that have made those two types of contact most frequently. In one test, 2,657 men (who indicated they had buying influence over unit air-conditioners) were asked to list in order of preference the brands of air-conditioners they would consider for purchase and to mention the names of companies that had recently contacted them through salesmen and advertising. Ranks in preference and contacts were almost identical.3
3 Howard G. Sawyer, “Can Ads Sell as Well as salesmen?” Printer’s Ink, July 16 1954. Copyright, 1954, by Printer’s Ink Publishing Company, Inc., New York
The salesman is limited in his scope of activity. This is indicated by the percentage of buyers in four manufacturing industries who remembered seeing salesmen from five leading oil companies. The percentages ranged from 7 to 30.
Also, an analysis of one year’s sales by R.G. Le Tournequ, Inc., showed that 39 per cent of its customers had not previously been known to them as prospects, had not been approached by salesmen, were not on the company’s mailing lists.
Salesmen have difficulty in keeping contact with the many rapid changes in personnel of industrial firms. McGraw-Hill circulation records show that out of any 1,000 industrial buyers during a 12-month period, 148 will change their addresses while still holding the same or similar jobs; 65 will change their titles (due to promotions, etc.) within the same company 326 will die, retire, or move to another company.
One of the functions of industrial advertising is to reach the inaccessible purchasing influences.
United States Steel Company asked 11 of its subsidiary companies to furnish names of all the people their salesmen contact in33 prospect and customer plants; 105 names came back. Yet a check of those plants revealed that in addition to those 105 individuals, there were 1,850 buyers with titles indicating buying influence for U.S. Steel products. The 1,850 buyers were not seen by salesmen, but they were subscribers to publications in which U.S. Steel advertises….
Advertising – it must be said cannot button hold a prospect, cannot adjust its message to each individual case, carrot answer on a waver-but-not-yet sold order, and it does not possess in anywhere nearly so great a degree the unquestionable advantage of selling through individual personality.
However, it can be more truly and permanently representative of the company’s personality. And this is an advantage that should not be underestimated.4
Many industrial advertisers whose products are sold to consumers through distributors and dealers have to furnish merchandise aids: store displays direct mail services, and attractive packaging that meet their needs in the same way that the consumer advertisers have to provide merchandising aids. These selling tools are developed by industrial advertising men in much the same manner as they are prepared in companies that sell consumer products only. Advertising for industrial publications, however, requires special knowledge that meets the needs of the technically trained reader.
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS OF TECHNICAL ADVERTISING
Many of the products advertised to industry are ingredients or parts of equipment whose identities are lost when the product reaches the ultimate user. Chemicals and metals are common examples. Textiles, such as cloth for automobile seats and insulating materials for refrigerators are sold to other manufacturers who utilize them in end products. The manufacturers’ purchasing experts must be given the kinds of product information that they want highly technical. They want formulas, physical properties, and technical descriptions.
The advertising copy writer for basic raw materials cannot be expected to know all the technical details that apply to al of perhaps fifty products made by his materials manufacturer. The copywriter must ask the experts for help. They, of course, are likely to provide technical information, which the copy writer may not understand or be able to interpret to the readers. Frequent consultations between the experts and the copywriter are necessary until an advertisable idea and a plan are developed.
Sometimes the problem can be solved by publishing an advertisement in a many industry magazine that describes the product in a way that is understandable to a wide variety of technical men, each of whom will be able to see possible applications to his industry.
There are some advertisers to whom technical advertising is vitally important because acceptance and use of their products begin with technical people.
These people may be engineers- chemical, research, design, mechanical or they may be technicians- chemists, metallurgists, and the like. They are, at any rate, specialists in their work.
Table 32-2. Costs of Industrial Salesmen’s Calls.
Rising costs of personal calls have emphasized the importance in today’s selling of backing up the salesman with business paper advertising, catalogs, direct mail, visual sales tools – to the end that they can spend more of their precious time in presenting product specifics and closing orders.
Source “Industrial Salesmen’s Cal Costs up 80% , “ Sales Management, April 4, 1953; Research Department of McGraw-Hill Publishing Company, Inc.
Industry Costs,. Median averages
Chemicals $ 4.00 $ 6.00
Primary metals 5.24 13.30
Fabricated metals 6.45 10.71
Machinery, except electrical 6.47 11.00
Rubber products 6.75 12.00
Miscellaneous manufacturing 7.07 11.89
Transportation equipment 8.00 14.97
Electrical machinery 9.00 9.90
Paper products 9.38 17.50
Instruments 9.50 14.00
The men who scan, with interest and understanding, the algebraic formulas involving differential equations, which are concerned with the deflections of perpendicularly loaded split circular rings, or the prediction of reaction equilibrium, or the structure of acetoacet – orthochloroanilide - they’re people, but they’re people with pride of intellect – and with a lot to say about what goes into things chemical or mechanical.
Sure, these people may read the comic strips in the daily paper. They may buy neckties as irrationally as the next guy. But in their professions and sheer specialities within their professions, they can be cold in their judgments while intense in their professional interests, and likely to dismiss as “just advertising that is flamboyant,, general, inaccurate, overstates the case, or reveals no familiarity with their field.
They will read long copy and think nothing of it, if it’s right for them. And paradoxically, a degree of favourable emotional reaction can be won from them – in the profitable form of product loyalty – by advertising that adheres to high standards of honesty and that leans toward understatement.5
5 Seth Jewell, “To be or not to be Technical in Advertising Copy” Advertising Agency , August, 1954, p 72
A leading industrial advertising manager, one who is an advertising manager for Crucible Steel Co., has summarised some basic principles about industrial copy:
Factual product information is without doubt the most helpful kind of copy. The industrial advertising man, in the majority, will list the following as his guide for a good ad:
1. Application of the product (actual use)
2. Technical data to support his claim
3. Cost and economy
4. Availability of the prod8ct
5. Offer of more technical information and or field engineering service and
6. Company name and sales department address
The copy must be as clear and precise as a purchase order. Industrial advertising, unlike much consumer advertising, is so basic a part of the editorial content of a trade publication, that it should take the tenor of the editorial itself. Survey after survey has shown that where an industrial advertiser patterns his copy after the style of editorial, he will gain greater readership and more believability…
How different then from the reader of consumer advertising who’s stopped by an ad featuring a decorous blonde who encourages him to use Slick-Groom Hair Tonic…..and he’ll get a kiss from his best gal ! OR the pathetic guy left in the cold at his company picnic because he needs green grass seed to cure his body odor!
The number one distinction, then between consumer and industrial copy is the reader, ‘and his frame of mind when he’s reading as a part of his job versus reading for –pleasure!6
6 Michael Stumm, “What Advertisers should know about Industrial Copy,” Industrial Marketing, November, 1952
INDUSTRIAL ADVERTISING COPY CAN BE LONG
If the copy applies to the reader’s interests, it can be as long as necessary to explain the facts.
McGraw-Hill Research made a survey of 1,069 single-page advertisements in one publication, and found that industrial copy is more widely read and remembered longer if the advertisement is detailed and informative. This finding indicates that the people who read industrial publications want the facts fully explained. They want detailed information in the advertising they read.
In order to evaluate readability of advertisements by the amount of information, full-page advertisements in five issues were studied and grouped into three classes on the basis of their length of text. The classes were divided into short (120 words or less), medium (121 to 200 words), and long 201 to 500 words). There were 426 cases in the short class, 430 in the medium, and 213 in the long.
The use of an index system permitted the making of comparisons without bias due to color or bleed. “Remembered seeing” and “readership” classifications were compared in short copy, in medium copy, ad in long copy. The medium-length advertisements were remembered by 10 per cent more people and the long text ads by 34 per cent more people than the short copy advertisements.
The comparison in “readership’ followed the same general pattern. Medium-length advertisements measured 9 per cent more readership and long text advertisements measured 23 per cent more readership than short text advertisement.
Further analysis was necessary to determine whether the findings were related to the length of the advertisement rather than to the product or service advertised. After cross tabulating the data, it was found that the advertisements using the same techniques of size of space, color and bleed were better remembered and more widely read when the information in the advertisement was detailed and full. The results of this survey clearly indicate that long-text industrial advertisements are recalled better and read more widely.7
It should be recognized, however, that the mere use of long copy or big illustrations does not force readers to read the advertisement. The advertisement must earn readers by offering copy that is worth reading.
If long copy is helpful to the reader, it gets better reading than short copy. In an issue of a technical magazine, two brass and bronze companies happened to have facing pages. They had equal opportunity to win readers. The short-copy advertisement, less than 100 words, gave general information about the items available. The 801 word advertisement had technical copy that gave specific, helpful information. The latter got 70 per cent higher reading.
Position in the publication is relatively unimportant. Generally, consumer advertisements that are placed opposite or near related editorial matter are more likely to be noticed and read than those placed at the back of the publication or “buried in the middle. Therefore, advantageous positioning is often important in the consumer advertising. This is not the case in industrial advertisements. If they have reader interest, they will be read regardless of their position in the publication.
Industrial advertisements are selective. Audience selection plays an important part in industrial advertising. The reader should quickly identify the subject of an industrial advertisement and the company sponsoring the product or service. The industrial advertiser does not aim to achieve universal appeal. He is interested only in qualified prospects.
Industrial advertising may have hidden objectives. In the case of industrial advertising, many objectives other than immediate sales may be sought. Getting the product accepted as the leader in its field and assuring the reader of its availability at all times are examples of these hidden objectives whose success cannot be measured statically.
Management often has objectives in advertising, which are never actually voiced. Good advertising campaigns have clear out objectives, so it is virtually impossible for adverting to be effective unless management has confidence in the advertising man and states fully and frankly just what these objectives are. Successful industrial advertising men keep their managements informed about the company’s advertising and make themselves accepted as members of management, thus setting up a basis for trust and confidence. To produce effective advertising, advertising, advertising men and management must cooperate fully.
Industrial advertising usually stresses the manufacturer as well as the product. The manufacturer, his facilities, and his reputation are important aspects of industrial advertising. Consumer advertising relies on brand names rather than corporate names. The brand name is often advertised to the extent that the public has no idea whatsoever of the manufacturer’s name. Industrial advertising endeavors to pre sell products by associating the public with corporate names.
WHAT READERSHIP STUDIES SHOW ABOUT INDUSTRIAL ADVERTISING
Numerous surveys are being made of the extent to which readers of industrial publications read the advertising. The nature of the product is, of course, one important factor in readership. Obviously, an advertisement for a lubricant is likely to have a greater number of reader prospects than one for railroad bridges. There are more technical people who buy oil than bridges. In spite of this and other differences related to product interest, readership surveys do elicit significant finding for the advertising man such as the following:
1. Cartoon and humor treatments get less attention than “how to” or reader benefits. One industrial advertiser, for example, ran a double spread in Power Magazine. The left-hand page was in two colors and had a cartoon; the right-hand page was in black and white and offered “how to” information. Only 5 per cent of the publication’s readers noted the left-hand page and 4 percent read most of the copy. The right-hand page, in contrast, got 20 percent Noted and 10 percent Read Most scores.
2. Technical men like to read about technical problems. They even read direct questions such as “How would you insulate this valve?” They like to solve problems and read about the ways other men solve problems.
Three manufacturers of water conditioning equipment used three different types of advertisements. One had an illustration of an owl with the headline “Whose expert advice should you follow?” and argued for the advertiser.
3. Technical men like illustrations that show how a device really works. In one issue of Machinery Magazine, four grinder manufacturers had illustrated advertisements: two let the reader see the grinding workings of the apparatus and two did not. The two that let the reader see the inwards of the machine and how it worked got two and one-half times as much attention as the others. Brief, numbered copy points often help to set up readership.
A Second advertisement had a cartoon illustration and posed the question of “Sludge” versus “Scale” and explained the differences.
The third asked an important technical question, “Which chemicals is best for your plant?” It included a checklist to enable the engineer to answer the technical questions himself according to his own best judgment.
The first advertisement was one of the lowest scoring advertisements in the issue, the second average, and the third was one of the very best.
4. Catalog formats do better than generalized copy. Catalog formats that contain detailed information about a product’s use, effectiveness, or construction is likely to have better reading than general institutional copy. Institutional advertisements with copy such as “our nationwide staff of engineers will welcome the opportunity of discussing this important subject with you” get very little attention or reading. One headline, “How to Give Your Boss Relief from ‘Cost- it is’ Headaches and Get Yourself a Raise!” Get a score of zero on Read Most. Technical readers want specific information about improvements that cut waste, records that show increased production at lower cost, longer life for equipment, case histories that are genuine, and similar solutions to engineering problems. Today’s best-read advertisements provide technical information that rivals in value and accuracy the editorial content of the best industrial magazines.
SOME INDUSTRIAL ADVERTISERS FIND CONSUMER MEDIA HELPFUL IN SELLING THEIR TECHNICAL PRODUCTS
Consumer media are at times used by industrial firms, and the advertisements are adapted to the consumer reader. They are more generalized and less technical. This may be done to get the attention of wholesalers and retailers or it may be part of a planned campaign to make the company name a generic one for that company’s products.
It may be done by the manufacturer of a technical product who wants to widen his market. A good example is furnished by a manufacturer of steam generators for the garment trade. The manufacturer decided to expand his operations into other industries in order to even out his production schedule.
The usual approach to such an expansion is to run advertisements in business papers that reach specific fields. Or, an extensive market survey may be done in order to discover the industries in which business-paper advertising might be done profitably. This manufacturer, however, decided to shortcut the usual lengthy procedures. Instead, he ran a catch-all type of advertisement in Sunday editions of leading newspapers. Inquires from possible new customers were obtained quickly and in profitable volume. The consumer advertising was timesaver for his purpose when compared to the inquiry results usually secured from technical or business publications 8
8 For further information see Nat Kameny, “Industrial Advertising – A time and Place,” Advertising Agency, Sept. !7, 1954.
DIRECT MAIL INDUSTRIAL ADVERTISING
ARTHUR R. Tofte, Advertising manager of Allis-Chalmers Mfg. Co., and Chairman, NIAA Direct Mail Committee, studied the place of direct mail in industry.
His survey showed that 7 per cent of the companies spent as much as half their advertising money on direct mail and that 64 per cent spent less than a fifth of their budget on it.
When asked if they believed direct mail had been an effective advertising tool for them, 93 per cent admitted it was. One member said that $12,000 space advertising in a campaign had brought 200 inquiries. Many others reported very pleasing results, with cost of getting inquiries cut in half or the number of inquiries doubled. The survey indicated a strong ride or enthusiasm for direct mail by those who had made a real trial of it.
The one big question Mr. Tofto wanted most to ask, and on which he felt he would get the poorest answers, brought some interesting replies. He asked if the companies attempted to measure results: 63 per cent said they did, 32 per cent did not. He then asked if they had ever made a direct-mail readership survey. Only 17 per cent said they had. He asked if they kept records of replies as a measure of effectiveness: 61 per cent said they did, 39 per cent did not.9
9 Arthur R. Tofte, “Is Direct Mail Used Wrongly? NIAA Study Suggests It Is” Industrial Marketing, July 1953
Even though most industrial advertisers do not make readership surveys of their direct-mail advertising, certain leaders do. The Esso Standard Oil Company has employed direct mail as an important medium in their advertising efforts for over ten years. These mailing pieces range from a football handbook to scenic views of the United States, and the cost of the operation is shared cooperatively with the dealers.
Recently, Esso set out to discover the amount of readership obtained by the regular direct-mail pieces sent over a six month period. An attempt was also made to determine what effect these pieces had on customer attitudes toward Esso dealers and on purchases.
Addresses were obtained from their mailing lists in 12 cities of 6,0000 population or more in the Esso areas. Using the actual mailing lists, interviewers were instructed to call on 50 names in each neighborhood. A total of 1,670 interviews were obtained in the 12 cities. Interviews were conducted din the home. The interviewees were shown the circular and asked to identify them, and their remarks on readership were taken down. When shown to the interviewee, the copy that had been mailed in September had all references to Esso, to the dealer, and to the dealer’s location masked out. This masked piece was shown first to the interviewee. Questions on previous observation and on product were asked.
The masked September mailing piece had been seen by 57.8 per cent of the 1,670 respondents interviewed. The product was correctly identified by 48.4 per cent, while the Esso Brand was correctly named by 46.2 per cent. The Esso dealer sending the circular rated 37.5 per cent, with his correct location named by 40.6 per cent.
Some part of the September circular was read by 27 per cent of the respondents. Secondary readership by additional observers gave the piece 1.7 readers per home in homes where the person interviewed stated he said seen the mailing piece.
Based on cross analysis of a sub-sample, we were able to conclude that the direct mail was reaching over 50 per cent of the husband in the family, certainly a substantial accomplishment.
The April-August circulars were unmasked: at least one of them had been seen by 66.8 per cent of the respondents. When observation of all six pieces was analysed, we found that 77.2 per cent of the total recalled having seen at least one…
It was then found that 69,9 per cent of all the people interviewed had a favourable opinion of direct mail advertising in general. With further study, it was evident that this favourable attitude increased with increased exposure to the Esso campaign. A favourable impression of the de4aler was created among 69 per cent of the respondents as a result of the campaign. This favorable attitude went up with increased exposure to the circulars…
Almost three quarters of the respondents stated that they regularly patronized the dealer who sent them direct mail; 97.0 per cent were of the opinion that the dealer could serve them satisfactorily. When they were asked what brand of gasoline they bought when away from home, 75.0 per cent names Esso.10
10 Robert M. Gray, “Put a ‘Reward’ in your Direct Mail” Advertising Agency, February 19510
Similar benefits have been reported by other companies from the use of direct mail, but direct mail has not been thoroughly explored by many industrial advertisers. It is likely to enjoy a marked growth in importance during the years ahead.
Catalogs are widely used as advertising by manufactures, wholesalers house in selling to merchants and industrial buyers. Their usefulness as advertising is increased because of their relatively greater length of life when compared to other forms of advertising.
Catalogs serve a definite marketing function because, in most cases, they are the buyer’s first-used source of information for comparing competing products and deciding which companies should be asked to have a salesman call. Indeed, some industrial advertisers think of the catalog as a marketing tool for buying rather then a selling.
In a good catalog, every word sells, and the pictures as well as the headline give necessary information to the reader. Ti is obviously beneficial to the wholesaler, manufacturer, and mail-order house that catalogs containing comprehensive information and technical data in the hands of all important potential buyers, readily accessible for instant use whenever buying needs arise.
The National Industrial Advertisers Association made a survey of its members and found that nearly one third of the companies let from four to ten years go by before redesigning their catalogs, that 41 per cent of the fourth of the companies distribute their catalogs mainly on the basis of requests for them (see Table 32-5)
Compiling such catalogs is a laborious and time-consuming job and requires specialized knowledge. For this reason, there are various business services in the industrial and institutional field that arrange to develop catalogs for their clients and circulate them to customers.
Sweet’s Catalog Service is an organization of catalog specialists. Founded in 1907, Sweet’s, in a recent year, handled more catalogs then any other organization – over 40 million copies for 1,353 manufacturers.
Sweet’s endeavors to help clients find the answers to their individual catalog problems. It services fall into three categories: (1) catalog design, (2) catalog production, and (3) catalog distribution.
Table 32-3. Practices in Catalog Planning
What action expected from catalog recipient? (587 answers):
Direct order 41.3
Request for further information 27.4
Request for salesman to call 25.4
No action (other purposes for catalog) 5.6
Other action 0.5
Who participates in catalog planning? (398 distribution patterns):
Advertising department 91.0
Sales department 41.5
Special catalog department 1.5
How often are catalogs redesigned? (835 cases):
2-3 years 44.1
5-10 years 6.1
Source: Survey by National Industrial Advertisers Association. See Dun’s Review and Modern Industry, December, 1954, p 83
In the area of catalog design, Sweet’s maintains that good design starts with an analysis of the client’s products and markets. The most effective catalogs are market specialized to meet the different product-information needs of each buying group. Market specialized catalogs describe only products of possible interest to the prospect and interpret them in terms of his special requirements. Moreover, market-specialised catalogs are economical to produce and distribute, and to replace when they become obsolete.
Manufacturers’ catalogs, distributed by Sweet’s, are delivered to selected organizations and individuals representing the bulk of the buying power in each market served. Sweet’s maintains an up-to-date record of the most important concerns and of the individuals in each concern who have real buying power for the following markets: product engineering, plant engineering , general building, industrial construction, and light construction.
Men in the industrial field who do marketing in any of the areas in which Sweet’s specializes are likely to consult them or use their services at some time.
To increase the proportion of calls made after prospects have read the catalog, it follows that a sales executive must increase the use of his catalog. Here are a number of points to keep in mind, based on techniques used by Sweet’s catalog Service:
Design your catalog from the prospect’s point of view. Good design doesn’t mean window dressing. Your prospect has an application. Your catalog should give him the facts he needs, quickly, to decide whether your product might fit.
Aside from organization of facts, the catalog should induce the prospect to call in your representative. After he has made a tentative decision, tell him what he should do next.
Send the catalog to all important potential customers within your distribution network. It is dangerous to assume that hordes of potential customers will ask for the catalog and wait for the mailing when they want production information – they may have your competitor’s catalog handy.
Maintain your catalog. How many prospects have lost it or thrown it out? How many have failed to add recent mailings to their loose-leaf catalogs?
Your catalog procedures should be integrated into your basic marketing plan. Your basic tools are advertising, direct mail, point-of-sale displays, personal selling, and catalogs. Is your catalog coordinated with your advertising, for example? Do you devote any ad space to catalog promotion? Do your salesmen often talk from the prospect’s catalog, rather than bring their own? If your products are bought in more than one market, do you have several catalogs, each geared to a market’s requirements?11
11 See “ Here’s How Companies Use Sales Catalogues: Sales Distributes them, But Advertising Plans Them,” Dun’s Review of Modern Industry, December, 19541
Source : Modern Advertising Practices and Principles by Harry Walker Hepner