5 Insights Distributors Need To Know: ZOOMcatalog Industry Marketing Report

At the end of 2020, we asked suppliers and distributors what they thought about the last year and what they expected for 2021. They dropped some seriously insightful knowledge that surprised us.

You can get your hands on the full Industry Marketing Report here, but we’ve also boiled down all of the answers into the top things distributors should focus on in 2021: 

1. Distributors are prioritizing their brand. 

Over 74% of distributors customize catalogs with their logos, personal branding, and contact information, putting the distributor’s brand front-and-center in the eyes of their end-buyers. Another 80% puts customizable content at the top of their wishlist when it comes to the kind of marketing materials they get from suppliers.

As the year goes on, we fully expect customization to become a best-practice for distributors working with digital catalogs.

How to use this insight: The promo industry is a business centered around promoting brands and creating experiences. Customization is an important part of that business. Make a lasting impression with your end-buyer by putting your logos and personal brands on customized catalogs and flyers. Make sure your marketing materials are promoting your brand. Whether it’s on social media, in your emails, or on your website, ZOOMcatalog is the place where you can search thousands of digital catalogs or flyers, personalize them with your own branding, then share the customized product content with those end-buyers you’re looking to attract.

2. Digital flyers are low-hanging fruit. 

Flyers are quick-hit marketing pieces. They’re bite-sized booklets usually between 1 and 4 pages long that focus on promoting a specific product, category, seasonal event, or a distinct brand. 

Flyers are perfect social media posts or weekly feature emails, and across the board, distributors are increasing their flyer usage. 70% of distributors are already using flyers as their primary tool for sharing product information.

Better yet, over half the suppliers we surveyed produce up to 50 digital flyers a year. That means there are a lot of great flyers out there ready to be customized with your branding.

Don’t expect this number to drop either, since flyers are easy to find, customize, and share with customers, it will continue to be a go-to resource for distributors in 2021. 

How to use this insight: Be the distributor with the best digital flyers. Hop onto ZOOMcatalog, browse the freshest flyers added by industry suppliers, drop your own logo and info onto it, and start sharing them in your emails, on social media, and on your website!

Pro Tip: Set a recurring calendar reminder to do this on a regular basis and you’ll find your SEO and online reach will expand quickly (and so will the number of customers looking to work with you). 

3. Discovery and distribution are moving online.

Distributors are looking online for new products and ideas constantly. To put it in perspective, over 77% of distributors said they head to the internet before they look anywhere else for inspiration. 

To top it off, 50% of the suppliers we surveyed focused exclusively on digital catalogs and flyers in 2020. That’s right: digital, not print. This number will continue to grow year over year, especially as the digital market expands.

How to use this insight: Prepare for a year filled with digital. Suppliers build beautiful catalogs filled with inspiring images and large product shots, and you can find them all on ZOOMcatalog, along with the tools you need to customize and share them.

From email marketing to social media, the focus on digital catalogs and flyers will be bigger than ever before, and you can be the distributor who’s already ahead of the game. Bookmark ZOOMcatalog.com and search it for daily inspiration. Find marketing materials and products to build into your social posts and email blasts. Suppliers are adding fresh content daily!  

Pro Tip: You can sign up for our mailing list and receive a weekly digest of new catalogs and flyers.

4. Distributors aren’t leveraging paid social media. 

Social media dominates the consumer landscape. Everyone checks their newsfeed 24/7. That being said, distributors aren’t using it the same way other businesses are. As a matter of fact, less than 10% of distributors use paid ads at all.

How to use this insight: First, you need to understand your audience and meet them where they are. If they are on Facebook, start sharing your customized catalogs and flyers on Facebook. If they’re on Instagram, meet them there. Try to identify what they like and dislike, and then cater your content to their preferences.

Once you’ve established rapport, consider running ads that would appeal to those on Facebook with similar audience characteristics to yours. With less than 10% of distributors using paid ads in their marketing, there is a massive gap that you can exploit and start to dominate. 

5. Video is ripe with opportunity.

Video content is growing faster than any other content medium, but 64% of distributors do not produce or share it. On the other hand, 61% of suppliers are producing and sharing video content regularly.

See the opportunity?

One of the biggest digital catalog trends in 2021 will be adding video to catalogs. You can find a ton of great video content browsing supplier catalogs like the Gemline 2021 Spring Lookbook

How to use this insight: Suppliers are creating great content, so start taking advantage of their work. Add videos to your social media, insert them into an email, share them on your website. If you’re unsure what videos you should be looking for, check out this article on 4 ways to increase sales with video

How’s that for some useful advice?

These are the strategies and tactics distributors are using in their everyday marketing efforts. Try them out, make them your own, and start putting better digital catalogs and flyers in front of your end buyers. 

If you liked those insights, there’s plenty more where they came from…

We asked 300 distributors and suppliers about their 2020 performance and 2021 expectations and wrapped them all into a cohesive report. Take your marketing to the next level this year, get your hands on our Industry Marketing report right here.