Industry Marketing Report Deep Dive: Why Customization is Key

Apparel, hardgoods, food, tech – the promotional products industry is many things, but one thing it’s not is one size fits all. Tailoring your content to fit the specific needs of individual customers is key to a successful marketing campaign. 

Numbers Tell the Story

When we surveyed the industry, we discovered that 74% of distributors already customize supplier catalogs before showing them to end-buyers. That’s a solid percentage of distributors using customizable content to enhance their marketing.

What’s a more sizable number? The 81% of distributors who wish they had more content to customize. They’re clamoring for amazing, ready-made digital marketing materials. 

And it’s easy to understand why. Gone are the days of cookie-cutter campaigns. As algorithms and automation generate more and more of the content we see online, custom content does more than get us noticed, it gets sales.

That’s why 60% of the suppliers we surveyed invest in tools to help their distributor customers to easily customize their catalogs. 

The Tools You Need

As Steve Valeri, alphabroder’s Vice President of Marketing explains their philosophy behind customizable catalogs, “How do we give customers everything they could possibly need to sell these products?” 

As Steve explains it, harnessing the power of customization is critical for distributors when they approach end-buyers. “If you’re going to share it,” Steve says. “You might as well make it your own.”

(Learn more about alphabroder’s digital journey and on Going Digital.)

Gemline takes a similar approach. As Saadia Bryant, VP of Marketing, Product & Design, explains, Gemline has turned their website into a hub of customization. It’s a place where distributors can customize and download digital catalogs before approaching their end-users. 

(Hear about Gemline’s customization tools in our Going Digital interview.)

In the most basic form, suppliers can design catalogs with an eye towards customization by leaving white space on the cover for distributor and end-user logos. But thanks to recent technological advances, the options for customization go above and beyond putting a different name on the cover.

From flyer builders to custom presentation tools and new ways to create virtual samples, the options for digitally customizing your marketing materials are practically endless. Check out last month’s article, “Marketing Tools in a Digital World” for more details on these impressive tools. 

Expand Your Options

Explore more insights like these in the ZOOMcatalog Industry Marketing Report. We surveyed hundreds of leading promotional products companies, dove deep into their strategies and tactics, then bundled it all together to help you elevate your business.

Whether you’re a distributor looking to customize catalogs for your clients or a supplier searching for tools to empower your partners, we can help. Our team is well-versed in creating custom solutions to your digital marketing dilemmas. Contact us at and let’s expand your options today.