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Printed catalogues have still got it – ACA

Thursday, 07 March 2013
By Print 21 Online Article
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The catalogue printing market in Australia looks set to remain strong despite this month’s industry turmoil following a Roy Morgan study that shows the printed media is far and a way more popular among most Australians than online digital catalogues.

The Roy Morgan research, conducted in the lead up to Christmas last year, reveals that over 70 per cent of Australians aged 14 and over prefer reading printed catalogues over online catalogues.

The research also found that only 11 per cent of Australians read catalogues online and that Australians aged 50 and over were most likely to read printed catalogues (75 per cent). Those aged 24-35 were most likely to read online catalogues (15 per cent), but 66 per cent read printed catalogues, according to the study.

For Kellie Northwood (pictured), Australian Catalogue Association (ACA) executive director, the findings debunk the belief that Australia’s younger generations are turning away from the printed media.

“There are great assumptions that the younger generations are more likely to purchase from digital marketing campaigns or online catalogues, however all the global research conducted doesn’t support this,” says Northwood. “People retain messaging and engage more intimately with paper-based communications – catalogues are no different.”

Northwood believes that the printed medium is too often an ‘easy target’, despite its popularity.

“Unfortunately, as part of the print industry, catalogues are often perceived to have a negative environmental impact in comparison to their digital and online counterparts,” she says. “Paper is an effective and environmental communications vehicle and is inherently sustainable – renewable and recyclable.

“Most likely due to the tangible nature of paper and the ‘invisibility’ of digital communication, consumers are often unaware of the impact on the environment their digital communication has. I often speak with people who are surprised to learn an online search for a contact emits three times more energy than a printed business card,” she says.

According to Northwood, Australia’s retailers, the biggest buyers of catalogue print in the country, are particularly aware of the continuing importance of the printed media and are making an effort to maintain its priority in the overall media mix.

“Retailers already know the value of catalogues and are now expanding into multi-channel communication plans, leveraging from the strengths of catalogues and marrying with digital communication options,” she says. “Letterbox drops supported by text messages, email campaigns, QR coding and more are delivering the highest return on investment for retailers.

“Catalogues are an indispensable part of the marketing mix,” she says.

According to the ACA, the catalogue industry employs more than 120,000 people directly, with Australian retailers spending $1.5 billion annually on producing catalogues, representing approximately 60 per cent of their advertising spend.

One Response to “Printed catalogues have still got it – ACA”

  1. March 13, 2013 at 9:21 am,


    Well worded Kelly.

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