Catalogue design sits at the heart of your Direct Marketing effort, so it pays to be able to see the bigger picture.
Real Direct Marketing was arguably invented in America in the late 19th century. This was because many people lived too far from any shops. So press ads were used to market and sell products to people. This meant that America – a very capitalist and competitive society then as now – became the place where Direct Marketing was subject to fierce evolution.
Ads, and later catalogues, were exhaustively tested – ad size, ad position, headline, copy, picture, price, offer and so on. And because of the large size of the American market, these tests were big enough to be statistically significant.
So by the 1950s, America was ahead of the world in terms of the theory of what worked, of what sold. But from the 1960s, Britain took the lead in creativity. And when the best of both are mixed together, the results can be staggering (c.f. Ridley Scott, or 'Episodes').
All of which is a preamble to saying that firstly, the more facts you can gather before you brief your agency, the better. You may not be able to print millions of catalogues divided into four creative tests, but you can call up 20 of your catalogue recipients and ask them what they think of the catalogue.
You can also discuss your company with a new agency, and answer the odd questions they should sometimes be asking you. Because a good creative mind first stores the facts, and then lets them percolate – and that’s where the magic happens. And that magic is worth a lot of money to you, which is why it's very good value.
So, almost hidden amongst the spreadsheets and statistics of theoretical Direct Marketing, lies its creative heart. You would do well to nurture it.See some examples of our Direct Marketing