Creative Partners Group

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Questions About Online Catalogs?

[We posted the following almost 15 years ago. Little has changed, except that most people now know the value of online cataloging that we did more than a decade ago. Additional questions can be made via our inquiry form»]
  • Is your catalog printing and mailing budget increasing every year?
  • Do you wonder what becomes of all those expensive catalogs you send out?
  • Are your sales reps spending their time answering requests for specs? 
  • Is your product difficult to capture fully in print, perhaps because it's highly configurable?
  • Do inquirers demand faster access to product information—can't  wait for "snail mail"? 
  • Would you like to rapidly expand your marketing reach to the far corners of the globe?

If the answer to any of these is YES, then you need an online catalog!

What is interactive cataloging?

A traditional catalog is a one-way communication—from you to your customer. An interactive catalog, on the other had, is two-way communication. Through the give-and-take of questions and answers, you and the customer can determine which of your products is best for his application. A well-designed interactive catalog not only acts as your sales rep proxy, it also works as an agent for the customer. You both win!

Why an online interactive catalog instead of an off-line method, like CD-ROM?

Online delivery is the best way to provide continuously updated—fresh—product information. There is no lag time between catalog updating and catalog distribution. When you add, change, or delete product offerings, the information is published immediately. You no longer need to wait for the next catalog edition to introduce a new product—and your customer never experiences the disappointment of finding the perfect product only to learn when he calls to order it that it’s discontinued.

Online delivery is the best way to deliver content worldwide in real time. The infrastructure is already in place and is hardware-independent. All of your online catalog investment goes directly to marketing your products—none of it goes to writing new software, buying hardware, or dealing with compatibility issues. The Internet is always open. It never goes down for maintenance or upgrades. Anyone, anywhere can access it with inexpensive, universally available tools.

Online catalogs only go to people who are motivated to get information about YOUR product RIGHT NOW. When someone logs on to your online catalog, it’s an automatic qualification of interest. You don’t waste time and money sending literature to unqualified, even unknown prospects. Prospects and customers never have to wait. When the job is hot, your company is right there to fill the need.

Only online catalogs can tell you who looked at your catalog, where they came from, what they looked at, and how to contact them. Simple registration schemes can provide your sales people with the information they need to home in on highly motivated, self-selected prospects who already know about your company and products. They can spend more time booking orders and less time explaining "Your Product 101."

Only online catalogs are both paperless and postage-free. The per-page cost of Web-based information compares very favorably with per-page print costs. The Internet is also designed to be fault-tolerant and will continue trying to deliver your message until it succeeds. You never waste money printing and mailing a catalog only to have it returned marked "Addressee Unknown."

Why is Creative Partners Group the best choice for building an online catalog?

Catalog know-how. Our e-catalog team has 25 years' combined experience in print and CD-ROM catalog design/production. We aren't Web developers who think we can develop a catalog—we're technical/industrial catalog producers who know how to use the Web to your advantage. You don't have to worry about being a "guinea pig" at the mercy of a programmer-type whose cataloging experience is limited to looking at Victoria's Secret™.

Here for the long run. the principals at CPG have been in business for more than 25 years. Web developers consider themselves long-lived if they've been in business since 1994! We are here to provide great sales materials for our clients while capitalizing on any and all technologies that will give them a competitive edge. You know we'll be here to support you long after the flurry of building your catalog is done. You'll get the benefit of our experience as technology continues to advance.

It's the message, not the medium, that's important. Our goal is to exploit the Web to your benefit. We don't get up in the morning and say "Hey! What cool things can we do on the Web today?" We ask ourselves, "What cool things can we do today to grow our clients' business?" To us, the Web is not the be-all and end-all; it's one more tool in the marketing arsenal and we want to take advantage of it on your behalf. You're guaranteed that our goal is to promote your company. Nothing more, nothing less.

We are a full-service business-to-business advertising agency. We know that you have MarCom needs beyond the Web and beyond catalog production. We are here to service those needs in any and all appropriate media.

You get to choose how many MarCom service providers you care to manage. It could be as simple as managing just one. The big picture. We believe in developing a strong, integrated MarCom mix using all channels to the fullest. You don't get taken for a ride on someone else's whim.

Why should I look outside when I have a whole staff of IS people?

You might well ask, why should you buy a car when you have a whole staff of engineers?

Our solution is complete and proven. We know exactly what steps we need to perform in getting your catalog online using best of breed technology and software. There are no false starts, no blind alleys, and no experiments. You know up front what your costs will be and you decide when or if you deviate from the original plan. There is nothing extra to buy and no increase in your head-count.

We have a one-track mind. When we build your catalog, that’s our whole focus. You don’t just get our resources whenever we have nothing else to do—your project is our top priority.

We talk to you (and listen too). We know that most important part of building your catalog is understanding your products, your selling propositions, your marketplace, and your customers. We spend at least as much time obtaining this information as we do creating your custom application software. We keep you informed throughout the process, with frequent progress reports and project reviews so that you are in control the whole way.

We view technology as the means, not the end. Our main purpose is to increase your company’s profits. We use technology to enable you to increase your revenue, pure and simple. We understand that, in the final analysis, it is ROI that counts in any marketing communications project, regardless of method.

 

Newsflash

Yesterday all servers in the U.S. went out on strike in a bid to get more RAM and better CPUs. A spokes person said that the need for better RAM was due to some fool increasing the front-side bus speed. In future, buses will be told to slow down in residential motherboards.