Why Catalogs Matter
ACMA? NEMOA? Who are they and why should we care about them? They represent the catalog industry which is a major driver of retail demand, spurring intrigue in all kinds of products that consumers and businesses wouldn’t consider otherwise. Without them, internet sales would be substantially less.
Think Patagonia, Victoria’s Secret, Staples, L.L.Bean, Abercrombie & Fitch, but also less-known brands like Day-Timer (organizational products), Eastwood (auto restoration), Green Mountain Coffee (Vermont coffee). They are on the front lines of catalog advocacy in Washington, with the USPS, the Postal Rate Commission, the Federal Government (with a G), and in the quiet boardrooms of the country’s leading environmentalists fighting for its survival. ACMA and NEMOA are the voices of an industry that matters to online marketing. Without them, traffic numbers go radically down. We see and monitor it. Not every retailer has a known brand or can afford to create one beyond its niche. And, who wants an ordered big brand world, only? Diversity creates choice. Business fights against it but consumers don’t. Check out Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village. In between great ideas from some of the best-run retailers are the same, tired retailers that dull us in the malls. Cataloging is an American industry, like Delta blues and New Orleans jazz. We need them to thrive.
Chris Paradysz is CEO of PM Digital.