Catalina Marketing Review
Our world is ever evolving and suffice it to say, the world’s population is too—today more than 7 billion people inhabit our Earth.
Every single one of these 7 billion is unique. However, in the world of CPG (consumer-packaged goods) and retail marketing, they sometimes forget this.
Many times, instead of customizing the ads to fit people’s interests and catch their attention, the ads just shout louder.
When one shouts louder, the rest quickly follow. The result is a consumer tuning out all these uninteresting advertisements. There is nothing to grab their attention because most are designed for the masses, as opposed to being individualized.
One company realized the struggle the industry is facing and has come up with ideas and a system to help them.
Catalina Marketing is here for just that—helping the bigger CPG retailers capture the attention of the bombarded consumer.
So, in this review, we'll take a look at the company behind some of the advertisements we see scattered around our screens.
What Is Catalina Marketing?
Catalina Marketing is a unique corporation in that it provides help to the bigger retailers and CPG agencies. By producing personalized, digital-media solutions, it enables brands and retailers to connect with the consumers.
What Does Catalina Marketing Do?
It focuses on creating personalized ads, geared to the individual shopper as opposed to the demographic crowds. By doing this, it’s able to reach out to people and are more likely to make an impression.
Catalina focuses most of its advertising through digital channels. These include mobile phones, online and store media networks. But it also provides coupons with specialized deals to draw in more customers.
According to Catalina Marketing's website, on average, customers ignore about 99.3 percent of the products within a store. Catalina's goal is to ensure that the remaining one percent doesn’t go to waste. This in turn helps the merchant sell more.
Catalina Marketing states that it bases its advertising on consumer behavior. It claims to observe this through one of the largest, buyer-history databases.
The company mostly focuses its help on brands in the retail and CPG industry. These brands are usually what we see around our local grocery store. These focus on selling on a large scale—anything from cosmetics, to diapers and chips.
Unfortunately, with so many various brands out there, marketing almost the same, it can be difficult to stand apart from the rest.
Everyone promises their brand is better and more effective, thus it often becomes overwhelming for the consumer.
We all understand the feeling of how bothersome it is to open our email and see several advertisements for items we don't need. This is what Catalina is trying to end.
Instead of attacking the buyer, it centers around the supposed interest of the individual. Catalina does this by tracking people’s recent shopping behavior.
This way it can guess what you recently bought, if it was a stuffed animal or a bag of Cheetos. Then it'll direct the brand towards you.
In theory, this is not only beneficial for the brands, but also for us as consumers. It makes it easier to enter the grocery store and come out with the stuff we really need.
How many of us enter the shop and come out with several items that weren't on our list? It happens too often.
Catalina’s website states an average CPG brand will lose about one-third of its buyers every year. This is mainly due to unfocused advertising.
It also states that around 30 percent of advertising reaches the wrong consumer, who's not likely to buy that specific brand. For example, if you're selling diapers, you'll want your poster to reach new parents, not the bachelor down the street.
Unfortunately, most of the CPG brands focus their advertising on the larger, demographic scale. These often use impressions and online clicks. Catalina stresses the importance of actual buys.
Catalina also alleges that it only takes 1.5 percent of shoppers to drive 80 percent of a new product's sales. Its point is that if a brand could concentrate on catching the attention of this 1.5 percent, it could give a boost to the sales rate of the product.
The way Catalina does this is by utilizing personalized media on a multi-channel scale. This means it can reach shoppers in stores, as well as online, to drive them towards the brand's respective product.
Catalina claims to be the most trusted partner for over 30 years to some of the leading retailers. It promises to point consumers’ attention towards the right products, even before they enter the store.
In turn, it states that your shoppers will leave with a fuller basket and more trips to your store.
At first glance, its strategy sounds like something from a sci-fi movie—tracking every consumer's purchase history. But this really does seem like a stable way of generating more sales.
With the help of mobile phones, Catalina sends out personalized offers or coupons which the shopper can then use in the stores.
In Catalina's marketing video, it displays a set of twins. One is a career woman with a dog, and the other is a new mom. Through their recent shopping histories, it sends out ads which are specifically designed to fit their individual needs.
While walking through the store, alerts for specialized offers stream on their phones. With the same phone, they can scan the products they wish to purchase. And before exiting the store, they can skip the line and pay directly through the app.
Catalina will act as the middle person between the CPG brand, retailer and consumer. Bringing the offers from the source, through the store and into the basket of the shopper.
Catalina states that it influences about 50 million CPG shoppers each day. Its readership is supposedly at around 80 percent. While its redemption rate allegedly lies at approximately 7 to 25 percent.
About Catalina Marketing
While it's essential to understand what Catalina Marketing does, we also want to let you in on some specifics about the company.
History of the Company
A man named George W. Off founded Catalina Marketing back in 1983. While on a boat towards Catalina Island, he came up with the idea of revolutionizing the world of CPG retail.
He was reportedly presented with a new way of scanning products. George then thought to use this idea to distribute more targeted coupons to shoppers.
Catalina's founder assured he'd found the solution to many of the issues CPG brands were facing, such as how to enable its brand to stand out from the rest. How do we persuade the shoppers to grab our product instead of the competitor’s?
With this idea, he did revolutionize the way CPG brands and retailers advertise.
Throughout the 1990s, Catalina was busy building its company. It developed an excellent class of quality CPG brands and retailers—along with a knowledgeable sales force and representatives.
This mixture of ingredients led to the perfect recipe for a respected brand which had all the potential to bring new value to the CPG industry.
When the year 1992 came around, it was ready for launch. Catalina quickly began expanding across America and overseas. By 1996 it had tripled its revenue.
After boosting its ads with color printers in the early 2000s, it turned the attention towards digitization in 2010. By offering in-store customers a 'white-label' mobile app, shoppers could scan, look for offers and do an instant checkout.
During the same year, Catalina launched something called BuyerVision. This branch would help retailers reach their most valuable customers. It provided personalized video ads, displayed straight to their phones.
BuyerVision would also report back to the brands with information on the impact of the ads. This, in turn, helps the companies adapt their ways of advertising.
Today, Catalina does all of the above. Driving in lift and loyal consumers through its specified ads, straight into the modern world's best friend—the smartphone.
Catalina Marketing's Annual Income
Catalina's annual revenue is around $471.6 million, which is not bad at all for a company such as Catalina.
At the current moment, it's said to hold around 5000 employees, with Andrew S. Heyman as its CEO. Other key people include CFO and EVP Shelly Schafer, EVP Tricia Manning, COO Aaron N. Miller and Global Chief of Retail, Thomas F. Corley.
Its head office is in St. Petersburg, Florida. Throughout the years, Catalina expanded to the United Kingdom. Later through Europe with countries such as the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Belgium, and France. Soon across the globe to Japan.
Catalina Marketing does have some supposed competitors overseas. One of which is a similar marketing platform founded in London, England back in 1972—named Euromonitor International.
Even though Euromonitor International has been around for longer, its annual income is less than Catalina's. Catalina seems to be more evolved when looking from a digital perspective. Otherwise, the two companies seem quite similar.
There is another company called Synqera which poses a more significant threat to Catalina. This is a relatively new company, starting in 2010. It's based in St. Petersburg and uses the same digital media as Catalina to draw in consumers.
Its annual revenue is well underway to beat Catalina, something we'll discuss below.
Pros and Cons of Catalina Marketing
Other reviews coming from former employees also praise the company. Still, they also allege that the management seems to be renowned for continuously changing the strategy. This often resulted in layoffs and staff changes.
Some of the cons also coming from former employees, state that newer management did not agree with the vision of the company.
Which again, often leads to unfortunate layoffs and confusion among the employees.
One review pointed out that Catalina is focused on hiring more executives than actual workers with "real knowledge." That it surrounded itself with all these executives, who didn't bring much to the betterment of the company.
It even went so far as to correlate it to the Michelin Man. A company which has surrounded itself with so much executive fat that it weighed down the productiveness of the inside.
This does seem like a harsh comparison, but when reading other reviews about the management, it's not difficult to see why.
Summing It Up
For a business which has been around for as long as Catalina Marketing has, there's no reason to stop evolving. Today's generation loves its technology. We search for many ways to simplify our daily busy life with the use of technology.
Especially when it comes to chores such as grocery shopping. In order to tune the ads back in and discover the product we need, retailers must think outside the box.
In many ways, companies have pushed the CPG brands and stores outside their square container of marketing ideas.
But although Catalina has already achieved so much by digitizing marketing, it must continue to do so to stay relevant. Looking at the reviews, it's clear that it must change up some of its management techniques.
This is to initiate a clear vision and a strategy which complies with today's modern world.
Catalina Marketing is in many ways a marketplace pioneer, but will it continue to be that?