Earlier this year, SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) asked their members whether they thought the printed product catalogue was dead.
The results, interestingly enough, were inconclusive with the preferences split right down the middle.
There is no disputing the fact that digital catalogues are cheaper to reproduce and easier to distribute. They can also be kept up to date on regular basis, but there are several myths that SEMA’s research disspelled.
1. CDs are more eco-friendly than paper. Not true, paper being easily recyclable is actually more eco-friendly.
2. Digital Catalogues are easier to reference. Again, it seems that salesmen are quicker and better at finding the right part in a printed catalogue.
3. Incidental buying is higher through digital media. Actually that’s not correct either, website or CD-based catalogues tend to be search only on “as needed” basis whereas their printed counterparts have a much bigger “flick-through” appeal.
4. Everyone uses internet these days. It might be hard to believe but even in the developed countries there is still a large number of people who for one reason or another don’t like using the internet.
Despite all the above, digital media still provides a very inexpensive way of reaching a lot people very quickly. Tyler Tanaka, chairman of SEMA’s Street Performance Council summed it up very concisely:
“Regardless of which method you choose, just make sure that the most important question is answered first. Go ask your customers, poll your consumers and do what is best for them. What might seem economical or intuitive to you may prove to have a completely different perspective when you listen to them. "