3 Key Insights from alphabroder’s Digital Evolution

When alphabroder decided to switch from print to digital, they didn’t hold back. The marketing team at alphabroder approached going digital with the same gusto and enthusiasm they would any major project, and their efforts paid off in spades. In 2020, alphabroder’s Essential Apparel catalog was the most viewed digital catalog of the year. 

When we sat down with Steve Valeri, alphabroder’s Vice President of Marketing, to talk about the strategy behind their decision to completely switch to digital catalogs, he had a lot to say about the industry, marketing strategy, and customer satisfaction.  

We boiled Steve’s insights down into these three key takeaways, but Steve had a lot more to say, so you should check out his full interview when you’re done here.)

INSIGHT ONE: There’s No Going Back

Steve turned the tables on us during the interview and asked his own insightful question: “Is it likely a company is going to back away from using email and start investing in stationary and envelopes again?”

When it comes to going digital, alphabroder saw very little benefit in half measures. In fact, they saw that their customers who stopped using print all together grew more and grew faster than those that didn’t. 

“Don’t be afraid of it,” Steve said. “This is happening faster than you think, and you need to adopt it now.” 

INSIGHT TWO: Focus on Adoption

Recognize that after you switch to digital, you’re committing to helping your customers transition too. Don’t expect 100% buy-in overnight. Instead, focus on lowering the barriers to adoption. Make sure you provide the kind of training that highlights the benefits of digital marketing materials. 

Teach your customers how to bookmark your digital catalogs. Something as simple as adding a bookmark to your browser might seem rudimentary, but you can’t presume to know everyone’s level of tech-savviness. 

Steve lists two more essential skills for adopting digital materials: knowing how to email catalogs and knowing how to clip images for social media. 

INSIGHT THREE: If You’re Going to Share It, You Might as Well Make It Your Own

Customization is one of the keys to success with digital marketing materials. So Steve and his team worked closely with ZOOMcatalog to create the alphabroder Catalog Subscription Program. 

This program allows alphabroder’s customers to upload their information to alphabroder’s website. Once they’ve subscribed, they’ll get back a customized version of every digital catalog alphabroder produces throughout the year, delivered directly to their email inbox. (Contact your alphabroder rep to learn how to sign up.)

As Steve says, one of the driving forces behind every decision the marketing team makes is: “How do we give customers everything they could possibly need to sell these products?”

For more insights from Steve, alphabroder, and other leading promotional products suppliers, check out the Going Digital interview series. You’ll find full interviews, insights, examples, and all the resources you need to complete your own digital transformation. And keep your eyes peeled for more interviews from Gold Bond and Goldstar, coming soon!