Saturday, May 19, 2007

Unclear on the concept

Am I the one who's missing something here, or are the guys over at B&H really showing what century they're stuck in?B&H Catalog
Because it seems like you'd have to be really unclear on the concept of digital to spend all the money to print a 720-page full-color catalog, call it The Digital Photography SourceBook, and pay to mail it all the way from New York to California.

So I can't figure out why this thudded onto our porch this afternoon. Well, the thud I understand. And when I went to fetch the mail, I quickly understood the slightly peeved expression on the mailman's face, which seemed so inexplicable when I glimpsed him briefly though our front window.

What I can't figure out is why the guys over at B&H are sending this out.

You'd think they'd never heard of a little thing called the internet before. Except that that's where we found them in the first place.

If it were a catalog for film photo buffs, I could see catering to a customer base that includes people who really prefer the giant catalog. But anyone interested in 720 pages of digital photography equipment is probably going to be pretty comfortable with the overall concept of digital. Which would almost certainly include computers and web browsers.

If they're hoping we'll keep it until we need something...well, hoping that your inventory is sized better than the yellow pages for placement under a preschooler's bottom at Gramma's holiday table doesn't strike me as a particularly successful marketing strategy. Or are printing and mailing costs so low now that it's cheaper than e-commerce?

All we've ever bought from them was a pair of inexpensive computer speakers, so we're not exactly their bestest customers ever, either. At least I hope not, for their sakes.

And I really hope the mail carrier forgives us and we don't spend the next few weeks retrieving our mail from the shrubbery as payback for having to haul that useless catalog.

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At 5/20/2007 4:53 PM, Blogger Don Hudson said...

I hate to see a tree killed for a dopey catalog, but I guess this kind of advertising trumps the mass Email.

At 5/21/2007 8:24 PM, Blogger Marie said...

I am always horrified when they send me one, and then I immediately put it in the recycling bin (with guilt).

If I really want to buy something from B&H, I'll just go over there and look at what they have... or look at their website.

At 5/23/2007 11:05 AM, Blogger Sara Kocher said...

Yeah, I felt guilt as it thunked into the recycling bin, too. Why can't they just send me a postcard with their URL and maybe one or two highlighted items. Or hey, even better, a discount on shipping (paid for by the savings on not printing and mailing that giant catalog).

I'm actually cool with mass e-mails to existing customers (not spam...I mean the ones I sign up for).


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