Posts Tagged ‘Northwood’

  • Catalogues finish fourth in national marketing mix

    The Australian catalogue industry has come in at fourth place in the multichannel marketing mix, according to new data released in the Annual Catalogue Industry Report 2012/2013, which was released on 10 July.

    According to the report, the local catalogue industry represents around AU$1.5 billion to the local market and is ranked among the most useful by consumers when making purchase decisions.

    It is also estimated that catalogues reach 18.25 million Australians each week, with 66 per cent of the population aged 14 and over reading catalogues and 73 per cent aged 50 plus reading printed catalogues, compared to only eight per cent viewing online. Catalogues are also considered more trustworthy than the internet by consumers, according to the report.

    Kellie Northwood (pictured), executive director of the Australian Catalogue Association (ACA), said the report is an important step for the catalogue industry in presenting evidence in support of its place in performance along analysis and reporting alongside more traditional marketing platforms such as television and radio.

    “We’ve always known the relative size and popularity of the catalogue industry, but this is significant because there is real data behind why retailers invest so much in catalogues and why consumers find them so useful,” she said. “Catalogue volumes have achieved a record high in production numbers, reaching 8.2 billion in 2012 as the confidence in catalogue effectiveness continues for retailers.”

    Grocery and discount variety stores are the most prominent users of catalogues, with the pharmacy, auto, hardware, take-away, utilities, fashion and outdoor industries showing a strong increase in catalogue volumes in the 2012 financial year.

    “Catalogues are reaching 18.25 million Australians every week, which is a testament to their effectiveness and popularity,” said Northwood. “For consumers, the inherent value of catalogues remains the same – they are engaging, tactile and effective. For retailers, catalogues provide the opportunity to communicate both product and brand messages to an undistracted audience.”

    According to the report, women remain the highest readership across all categories, excluding automotive, while the largest catalogue readership was within department and discount variety stores and supermarket promotions.

    “This is reflective of catalogues’ value, in that they are read and utilised by the main purchaser of household goods,” said Northwood.

    Data collected by Roy Morgan from January to December 2012 asking Australians to rank the media most useful when making purchasing decisions, revealed that catalogues ranked in the top three across 17 of the 28 categories.

    The industry report incorporates the findings of AMP Capital’s Shopping Intent Report 2012, which concludes that the medium with the highest level of influence on shopper purchases remains the catalogue, ahead of television and search engines.

    This is apparent even among young shoppers, with 28 per cent of 18-24 year olds and 30 per cent of 24-34 years old nominating the catalogue as their first preference.

    Across all population segments, catalogues are considered more trustworthy than the internet, excluding ‘youthful digilovers’ who view catalogues equally as trustworthy as internet advertising.

    A Sydney University study of in-store radio versus catalogue advertising revealed that significant increases in sales volumes can be achieved through advertising weekly specials in a catalogue.

    Of the five products studied, catalogue advertising was shown to increase sales revenue by 290 per cent over the period of the campaign. For every $1 spent on the catalogue, an additional $14.70 in sales was generated.

    “Catalogues have tremendous cut-through when compared to other platforms. However, we’ve always maintained that they are best utilised as part of the multi-channel offering alongside other mediums such as TV, radio and digital,” said Northwood.

  • Two Sides targets Australia’s top finance companies

    Two Sides is taking Australia’s top financial institutions to task in a bid to end what it calls misleading communications about the environmental benefits of e-statements to customers.

    On 5 June, the paper and print industry lobby group said it had sent an open letter to the chief executive officers of the country’s leading financial companies, to rethink their companies’ communication strategy to customers on the benefits of e-statements over paper statements.

    Two Sides is targeting companies that claim that switching to online communication is better for the environment without verifiable supporting evidence. Two Sides is arguing that this messaging is misleading to consumers and encourages them to not use paper.

    “It is becoming more and more common that big corporations are unfortunately trying for quick wins when implementing e-commerce initiatives,” says Kellie Northwood (pictured), national manager of Two Sides. “As consumers we are constantly being told to change our behaviours, go online, opt for e-statements to be better for the environment, these claims are grossly misleading.”

    Before environmental claims are made Two Sides recommends that organisations obtain detailed information about the consequences arising from the switch to e-billing and the subsequent environmental cost of all the electronic equipment involved in the distribution and receipt of electronic messages from manufacture to disposal.

    “If the major Australian financial institutions want to encourage customers to switch to e-billing because it is more cost effective, then we have no quarrel with that,” Says Northwood. “However, we do ask the major banks and credit unions to stop making a false link between reducing the use of paper and helping the environment, unless they have verifiable proof that this is so.”

    According to Two Sides, the true picture of the environmental benefits of paper is being overlooked by these false messages. One email, with a 400-kilobyte attachment, sent to 20 people, is equivalent to burning a 100-watt light bulb for 30 minutes.

    “Paper is a renewable and recyclable product that, if responsibly produced and consumed is an environmentally sustainable media,” says Northwood.

    The open letter said:


    In recent years, the wider business community has evolved and developed an increased awareness of corporate responsibility and sustainability issues. Organisations have assumed their share of accountability for maintaining standards of ethical, social and environmental performance.

    However, in the crucial area of marketing and communication, in seeking to gain environmental credibility, some organisations are using “green” marketing initiatives, which encourage customers to receive their bills or communications online, stating that this is “better for the environment”. There are also “go paperless” communications stating that, “paper and print are killing trees and damaging the planet.” 

    The linkage made between reducing the use of paper and helping the environment not only creates a false impression about the sustainability of print and paper but, as these claims are also unsupported by facts, they contravene the ACCC: Green marketing and the Australian Consumer Law. 

    Two Sides Australia, a not for profit organisation which represents the print and paper industries, are writing to all financial institutions and asking those who encourage customers to switch to e-billing or any other form of electronic communication, largely to reduce costs, to re-examine their messages to market.

    It is certainly not proven that electronic communications provides a lower carbon footprint. In fact, with all the environmental costs of electronic communication and with many customers printing out their communications at home, at a higher environmental cost than a centrally produced and distributed communication, coupled with the significant impact of ewaste, print and paper may well be the only environmentally sustainable way to communicate.

    Two Sides does recognise the efficiency of electronic communication and that initiatives to reduce waste are to be encouraged. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that electronic communication and, in particular the energy requirements of the increasing worldwide network of servers which are necessary to store all the information needed for immediate access, has a significant and growing carbon footprint.

    Electronic document storage may be recognised as delivering efficiency but not sustainability. On average it takes 500kwh of electricity to produce 200kg of paper, the average amount of paper each of us consume each year. This is equivalent to powering one computer continuously for five months.

    The term “Paperless” is also disingenuous. An online search emits 0.7g of COevery search made whereas a business card emits less than 0.12g of CO2 over the card’s entire lifetime.

    I would be grateful if you would review any marketing communication your corporation is using, or intending to use, which may include misinformation on print and paper claims to ensure that in promoting your products and services you do not damage the Print and Paper industry and jeopardise the livelihood of the 350,000 people employed therein with misleading statements.

    Please find included a Myths and Facts Booklet outlining the environmental credentials and effectiveness of paper and print as a communication vehicle, and I further encourage you to review the ACCC: Green marketing and the Australia Consumer Law, with regards to communications with environmental claims.

    Two Sides Australia works successfully with many companies and we would welcome a meeting with your organisation where we can provide your team with all the facts about the sustainability of print media. 

    Yours Sincerely,

    Kellie Northwood

    National Manager

  • Catalogue Awards call for submissions

    The Australian Catalogue Association (ACA) is calling on all catalogue producers to submit their work for this year’s Annual Catalogue Awards, which is held in Melbourne on 9 August.

    Celebrating its 22nd year, the awards have become an institution in their own right offering a night recognising the excellence of one of the most persistently popular marketing mediums: catalogues.

    Kellie Northwood (pictured), recently appointed executive director of the ACA, said the awards night is an opportunity for the industry, including many of the Australia’s best known retailers, advertisers, marketers, designers and printers to acknowledge the creativity and effectiveness of catalogues as a key element of the marketing mix.

    “The awards provide a unique environment in which our industry, which includes so many professions, gathers to acknowledge the intelligence and creativity involved in producing what remains one of the most popular and effective marketing mediums,” says Northwood.

    Entrants are judged across seven key areas including cover design, internal design, photography, merchandising, branding, copywriting and effectiveness (selling power).

    “The judging panel has always been a prestigious cross-industry group of established leaders from both agency and client-side,” says Northwood. “This year’s panel includes: M&C Saatchi, Our Agency, Centro Retail Australia, Bay Leather Republic, Howards Storage World, Cumming Agency & Studios, Harvey Norman, Innovations, Xavier Advertising, Rhubarb & Custard, BMF, Sinnott Bros and Masters Home Improvement among other major Australian retailers.

    “New categories for the 2013 Australian Catalogue Awards include Environment and Sustainability (for volumes over 250,000 copies) and Letterbox Miscellaneous, for catalogues promoting products across telecommunications, pharmacy, automotive parts and accessories to name a few,” she says.

    According to the ACA, research from last year into the efficacy of retail catalogues by Roy Morgan revealed that over 70 per cent of Australians aged 14 and over read printed catalogues.

    “Catalogues bring the shop front to the kitchen table,” says Northwood. “They encourage people to go to a store, and with the growth of digital consumers, they are driving people online either to make a purchase or do some research.

    “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.

    “A new category introduced last year, Technology on Paper, was very popular and saw some great examples of multi-channel campaigns creating greater consumer uptake of in-store offers. Catalogues have become not only a driver of in-store traffic, but also a driver of online traffic to online stores,” she says. “Catalogues are an indispensable part of the marketing mix and those producing them well are delivering great value to their clients. The Annual Awards are not only recognition, but a celebration of the skills of our industry.”

    Entries close on 31 May 2013 and Ms Northwood expects more than 200 submissions across 11 categories, including the ‘Catalogue of the Year’ award won by Surf Dive ‘n’ Ski, Myer and Kmart in their respective categories last year.

    The awards will be held at Peninsula, Docklands in Melbourne on Friday, 9 August. Click here to enter or for more info.

  • Printed catalogues have still got it – ACA

    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.