Ultimate Marketing Championship, Round 2: Catalogs vs. Ecommerce

What if marketing materials were prize fighters, UFC-style? That’s the premise behind this series that pits two distinctly different types of marketing materials against one another to determine which is better at achieving a shared sales goal.

This edition features a blow-by-blow account of a three-round matchup between catalogs and ecommerce websites. Let’s get ready to rumble!

Round I

Ecommerce comes out swinging by contending it’s the future, but catalogs counter that they’ve been successful for so long that they’re no stranger to evolution and survival of the fittest. At first glance, the two seem toe-to-toe; both are good at landing sales.

Round II

Ecommerce, caught off-guard by the power of catalogs, staggers out of its corner. The two trade blows: Both offer a convenient way for customers to shop from home, and both reach highly targeted audiences, but ecommerce requires outside advertising. Catalogs are their own advertising. It’s a close one, but catalogs win Round 2.

Round III

Catalogs come out swinging, taking advantage of ecommerce’s shortcomings. Both reach targeted audiences, but only catalogs can guarantee repetition to the very same customers. Ecommerce tries to land a haymaker by pointing out that it is available on mobile devices, but catalogs easily dodge and deliver an uppercut by pointing out that catalogs are more portable and shareable between friends and family. Catalogs deliver a one-two punch, because they allow customers to order not only by mail or phone, but also by directing customers online – therefore, catalogs can do everything ecommerce can do, and more. Ecommerce goes down for the count!

Check out Round 1 of the Ultimate Marketing Championship: Postcards vs Facebook.

About the Author:

Brian M. serves in various capacities as a freelance writer, content developer and public relations specialist for growing small businesses. His previous roles included managing editor for a hometown newspaper and club bartender for a group of quasi-alcoholics. When he’s not writing, he’s usually counting lost follicles and wondering what he ever did with his time before his two children were born.

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5 Responses to Ultimate Marketing Championship, Round 2: Catalogs vs. Ecommerce

  1. Paul March 31, 2012 at 4:51 pm #

    Agreed. Catalogs are also a lot harder to forget about and aren’t confined to our computers. Just by being an object in the kitchen, on the coffee table, or even in the bathroom it gains a substantial amount of exposure by being a part of one’s daily life.

    What is round 3 going to be? How about business cards vs linkedin?

  2. Brian April 2, 2012 at 10:02 am #

    Excellent point, Paul. It’s hard to say how many sales are generated just because a catalog was lying around for someone to pick up and peruse.

    Round III is Posters VS Radio Ads (coming soon!), but I love your biz cards v linkedin idea… I’ll make it one of the upcoming posts!

  3. Paul April 3, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

    Great. Looking forward to it. I will make sure to have some popcorn made!

  4. Brian April 4, 2012 at 10:41 am #

    Sweet – I’ll post here when it’s up!


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