Specialty catalogs are a promotion and distribution technique commonly employed by direct marketers. They describe, graphically and verbally, a limited range of products. Specialty catalogs are a good promotion/distribution choice for new products. They are also most effective when using a niche strategy. There are several reasons for this:
It is less risky than a mass distribution strategy. If it is not successful, it can be altered with only moderate expense.
It is a stealthy way of testing market acceptance of the product. It doesn't alert the competition, or at least the competition will not perceive it as a threat.
Specialty distribution is better able to obtain high margins than mass distribution. This will allow a price skimming strategy, where it is possible to capture the consumer surplus over time.
Specialty catalogs allow the marketer to better target prime segments, like the early adopters and innovators that will be prepared to try a new product.
Catalog response is immediate. Product problems will become evident before too many products are shipped.
Catalogs are less expensive than sales forces. The average cost per sale is lower than most forms of advertising where low volumes are involved.
The printed medium is suitable for new products or any other situation where detailed information needs to be communicated.