March 12, 2002 Volume 1 Issue 40
Google's Catalog Search
Search engines are doing many different things these days.
Which I'm not sure is all for the customers benefit. Meaning, if they'd concentrate on the search side of things 100% of the time, it would probably help us find what we're looking for. Because, as you undoubtedly know, no one engine does the job. Most of them are a 3 wheeled car ... it runs, yet, not as well as it could, or should.
Still, this is an interesting story.
Google has created a search engine of mail-order catalogs. Categorized by subject, in A-B-C order, and by product.
I went to www.catalogs.google.com and this is what I found; the catalog "home page" is simple - a laundry list of categories ... only 12. Which seems a bit weak ... certainly the catalogs of the world can be divided more than a dozen ways. At least I think so.
There is a hot link which says ... "browse complete list of catalogs" ... taking you to an alpha list of more catalogs than anyone has a right to know about. My friends in the industry tell me there are about 10,000 catalog titles in the USA - 1000 that you probably have heard of at one time or another. My guess is Google includes a large hunk of that 1000 - and probably more.
And they are looking for more. Because there is another hot line at the top of the home page that says Help Google Add More Catalogs - Info For Catalog Vendors. Meaning, if you've a catalog that is not included, you can be.
Being a search engine, of course Google has an internal engine to help you find what you looking for. You know I ride a Harley - so, just to see what would happen, I type in "motorcycles" (notice, not just Harley-Davidson, instead the generic word "motorcycles"!) ... and this is just part of what I get;
Dennis Kirk - a motorcycle mail-order company I know something about, with their collection of 3-4 catalogs,
J.C. Whitney - another motorcycle mail-order company, who also has a series of specialty catalogs in the automotive field. They were all included.
Bass Pro Shops - which is an outdoor hunting and fishing operation ... what they know about motorcycles would fit in a thimble
and others similar - such as Sporty's Pilot Shop, which I guess has something to do with airplanes, Ford SUV - that tells the story, and Auto Sport ... which is an automobile catalog - nothing on bikes.
In fact, most of the options had very little to do with motorcycles. My comment above about search engines concentrating on "search" proven. Still, if you're "just shopping", not certain what you need, maybe for yourself or as a gift for another, the Google site certainly gives you almost countless options.
And they make it most interesting, too. As each listing includes a full color picture of the catalog cover, plus a spread of a couple of inside pages. All of which, with a "click", gets big enough to almost read. Almost. Certainly big enough to get the idea ... although I'm not certain big enough to place an order. Google encourages you to phone the supplier as the best way to make your purchase. Fact is, that is the only way to order - can't do it through the Google site.
Much of the "help" copy on the site is an explanation of how everything works. i.e., the navigation bar for the site is shown, followed by 12 points of details. Probably more than you really need to know.
There is also a strong call for interaction with you - the visitor - to make additional catalog suggestions. Or to ask questions. To share. And, if you're in the catalog business, to get yourself on the site. Everything is friendly.
As expected, there is a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section, with just 5 Q & A's;
#1). How do I purchase a product from a catalog? (phone the company)
Are there any catalogs that will not be accepted? Yes! Google's policy is not to host catalogs that focus on liquor, tobacco, firearms, or similar products.
On the other side ... this pitch to catalog owners; "Google's enormous user base performs more than 150 million searches a day, so your catalog will be seen by customers it would take millions of dollars and years to find through traditional means. And remember these users are actively looking for the products you sell." All probably true.
There is almost no good reason NOT to get yourself listed - as there is no charge. You provide a few catalogs - and it happens. Google will even provide you with names and addresses of those who request your catalog. Those (I would guess few) who go to Google rather then to you when they're interested.
So, this service, although not "perfect", is probably worth diving into. As a cataloger.
And, if you are a mail-order catalog buyer, shopping for something specific, or just surfing, you will find catalogs.google.com worth a visit. EnJoy!
Energy bars aren't for every one. Some say they taste bad ... and they are right!
Yet, I like that with the simple name Power Bar. Carry them with me when I'm on my bike ... a quick and easy feed that works for me. With Gatorade to wash it down (another story at another time).
So, I went to www.PowerBar.com to see what they had to say. Since I'm writing this toward the end of the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, and because PowerBar is involved with supplying product to the athletes, lots about their participation on the site.
What got my attention, though, was the icon "Lance Armstrong". Currently the best American on two wheels that you peddle - a bicycle. This guy wins the toughest races in the world. And since I just finished reading his book It's Not About the Bike I dove in. Of course the message is Lance and PowerBar have a "deal".
This site is much more. They list all the flavors ... my favorites are Peanut Butter, Chocolate, and the combination of the two!
They have section titled "Taste". That's a gutsy thing to do. They give you the product ingredients. And, of course a FAQ section.
Plus, there is an online store. Where you can order direct. There is a nutrition section. An exercise and training section. PowerBar supports athletes at many levels - offering grants, too. They talk about all online. And they do all the corporate things, like include press releases.
The site is easy to get about. Drop in for a visit -- www.PowerBar.com.
Marketing Products to Buy
Time is a great teacher.
Along with mentors. The boss, fellow-workers. Friends. Just being around students at school, the members of a temple, mosque, synagogue or church, an association or club. A friends company. The competition. The neighbors. Kids. By osmoses much sticks.
My time in sales since age 12, in marketing and direct marketing since graduation, have allowed me to have a few thoughts to share. They're available in a collection of products. And you can own any or all!
There's a book - Power Direct Marketing - into it's 4th printing, the last with a revise tossed in at no extra charge. And an audio tape package that goes well with the book. Plus, a set of video tapes that are true workshop style learning devices. And even a couple of CD's.
Programs on the strategy and tactics of planning. On direct mail. The whole creative process. Database marketing. Customer relations. And more. All available at special 21st century pricing.
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For details and to place your product order visit Marketing Products at MagicMarketingMinutes. Or fax 1+810+815-2520. For questions on quantity orders phone Ray at 1+928+785-9400.
There are times the feature article in this E-zine and the Anonymous quote are on the same page. And other times on a distinctly different page. Not wrong - just different.
This is one of those times when it's different. So, to make it a tad more interesting - here are a pair from Anonymous
"Working together works."
"Nothing big ever came from being small."
"Quotes with Direction" has been a part of my web site collection from day one. If you like quotes visit the archives ... www.rayjutkins.com/quotes/. There's a new batch up every 4 weeks.
by ROCKINGHAM*JUTKINS*marketing, all rights reserved.