Effective Strategies for Print and Online Catalogs

Last week, we released another new report – this time the topic is “Life Science Product Catalogs: Techniques to Increase Sales.”  In this report we present the perspective of over 1,000 life scientists worldwide regarding their preferences for print and online catalogs, how catalogs influence their ordering and purchasing habits, and which catalogs scientists prefer and use most frequently. Additionally, we analyzed the differences between frequent and infrequent users of catalogs to provide our clients with guidance on optimizing their reach to both groups.

The print and online catalogs from Sigma-Aldrich (NASDAQ:SIAL) are seen by life scientists as being the “most useful” and “easiest to use.” However, in ranking the “most visually appealing” catalogs, Invitrogen (NASDAQ:IVGN) ranked tops for online catalog and New England Biolabs took the top spot for print catalog. Catalogs from Bio-Rad Laboratories (AMEX:BIO), Fisher Scientific (a brand of Thermo Fisher Scientific — NYSE:TMO), and QIAGEN (NASDAQ:QGEN) also ranked highly.

Our study focuses on ways that scientific and lab equipment suppliers can optimize the use of print catalogs and maximize the effectiveness of online catalogs through multi-channel integration, customer acquisition, e-commerce, creative copy, and print production.  Effectively integrating the catalog into a multi-channel marketing strategy requires brand consistency, message reinforcement, and effective database management.  This report will help our clients understand the shifting role of the print catalog and how to effectively use both print and online catalogs in their marketing mix.

For this study, scientists ranked the importance of a number of physical features of print catalogs. Certain eco-friendly catalog options ranked well, but scientists were generally disinterested in other “green” features. Recycled paper was considered very important, and coated paper was considered unimportant. However, annual printings of catalogs ranked even more highly than recycled paper, and scientists were generally disinterested in catalog formats that would allow for updated pages to be inserted.

Our lead analyst, Tamara Zemlo noted that we were able to compare the results of this survey with our findings from 2005, and not surprisingly, we found that online catalogs have made significant gains in that time.  For instance, on average scientists now spend 30 minutes more per week using online catalogs than they did in 2005. We also found that, overall, scientists place more of their orders online now than in 2005, however, 42% of scientists indicated that none of their product orders are placed online.

If you’re interested in learning more, Tamara and our analysts will be hosting a complimentary webinar to present key findings from this invaluable report on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 1:00 p.m. EST (10:00 a.m. PST). To register for the webinar, please send an email with your contact information to Webinars_at_gene2drug.com and reference “Catalogs Webinar” in the subject line.