In May, Victoria’s Secret announced that they are not going to produce their catalogs any longer. The retailer printed 300 million copies annually! Environmentalists hated them (I sort of liked them). But the $150 million that it took to produce the mags can definitely go toward a better marketing investment.
When I saw the headline announcing this switch, I thought to myself that the catalog probably provided as much brand lift and secondary marketing benefit that it did as a direct sales tool. As it turns out, VS tested the idea of going catalog-less in late 2015 by reducing the distribution by 40%. There was literally no negative impact to their sales.
While discussing the decision, representatives made a statement that I think all marketers need to consider: ‘We asked ourselves what we would do if we were starting this business today.’ Smart and refreshing words. I think that’s a great approach to whatever marketing challenge faces your organization today. Not what got you here, but what you would do without all of that history (aka baggage). You’d probably change a lot. Most of it.
Now, Victoria’s Secret needs to continue with visual platforms for obvious reasons. Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and probably some pre-roll ads coming soon to a screen near you. What will the mail carriers have to look forward to?
Author's note: Yes, it was very difficult refraining from puns and double entendre while penning this blog. But, I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t lace the piece with even one brief one. No ifs, ands, or butts.