BioInformatics, LLC Assesses Effective Strategies for Print and Online Catalogs

According to new research from bioinformatics, LLC the print and online catalogs from Sigma-Aldrich are seen by life scientists as being the "most useful" and "easiest to use." However, in ranking the "most visually appealing" catalogs, Invitrogen ranked tops for online catalog and New England Biolabs took the top spot for print catalog. Catalogs from Bio-Rad Laboratories, Fisher Scientific (a brand of Thermo Fisher Scientific), and Qiagen also ranked highly. These findings are presented in a newly released report from BioInformatics, "Life Science Product Catalogs: Techniques to Increase Sales." The report presents the perspective of over 1,000 life scientists worldwide regarding their preferences for print and online catalogs, how catalogs influence their ordering and purchasing habits, and which catalogs scientists prefer and use most frequently. Additionally, differences between frequent and infrequent users of catalogs were analyzed to provide vendors with guidance on optimizing their reach to both groups. "Our study focuses on ways that scientific and lab equipment suppliers can optimize the use of print catalogs and maximize the effectiveness of online catalogs through multi-channel integration, customer acquisition, e-commerce, creative copy, and print production," stated Tamara Zemlo, Ph.D., Director of Syndicated Research and Analysis at BioInformatics. "Effectively integrating the catalog into a multi-channel marketing strategy requires brand consistency, message reinforcement, and effective database management. This report will help life science suppliers to understand the shifting role of the print catalog and how to effectively use both print and online catalogs in their marketing mix." For this study, scientists ranked the importance of a number of physical features of print catalogs. Certain eco-friendly catalog options ranked well, but scientists were generally disinterested in other "green" features. Recycled paper was considered very important, and coated paper was considered unimportant. However, annual printings of catalogs ranked even more highly than recycled paper, and scientists were generally disinterested in catalog formats that would allow for updated pages to be inserted. "We were able to compare the results of this survey with our findings from 2005, and not surprisingly, we found that online catalogs have made significant gains in that time," noted Dr. Zemlo. "For instance, on average scientists now spend 30 minutes more per week using online catalogs than they did in 2005. We also found that, overall, scientists place more of their orders online now than in 2005, however, 42% of scientists indicated that none of their product orders are placed online."

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