Catalog Show Mixed Old & New Topics, Attendees

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ORLANDO, FL -- The 22nd Annual Catalog Conference last month proved one thing: It is as much about paper, ink and lists as it is about search, Web analytics, digital transfers and software.

The veterans of umpteen DM Days, Direct Marketing Association annual conferences, NCDMs and catalog shows were there. But so were sprightly New Economy firms like Google, Omniture and Yahoo Search as well as software leaders like Adobe and Quark.

"This is a big print market, and a lot of the companies are using our software," said Tom Petrillo, a business development manager at Adobe Systems Inc.

This was Adobe's first time as an exhibitor at the catalog show. The company two months ago launched its Creative Suite 2 product, hoping to eventually convert customers like Lands' End.

Quark Inc. was pushing Mirim Enterprise Commerce manager. The enterprise order management system integrates front- and backend processes using a shared data approach.

The company also promoted QuarkCommerce CRM, which launched in September. This end-to-end software suite includes call order entry on the front end and warehouse management on the back, said Derek Yammarino, regional business manager at the QuarkCommerce Division.

"The advantage to the marketplace is that we have over 4 million installs on the [publishing software] QuarkXpress side," he said. "We own over 90 percent of the professional desktop publishing market. So most catalogs, newspapers and magazines are designed with QuarkXpress.

"We already have a close relationship with our clients, so now we're able to tie in that data from the catalog QuarkXpress and push that directly to their call center and Web site."

Infor Global Solutions debuted software called Marketing Driven Distribution. It addresses the recent changes in consumer buying behavior by helping manage the distribution of merchandise across the supply chain.

The new suite includes modules for operations, fulfillment and finance; marketing and commerce; Web self-service; segmentation and analytics; planning and forecasting; warehouse management; product synchronization; and electronic business.

Infor clients like New Pig and Douglas Stewart have upgraded to Marketing Driven Distribution.

"With the release of this suite, we're specifically addressing the multichannel market," said Bob Siffermann, sales director at Infor Distribution Essentials.

While some of the 261 exhibitors tucked away in end aisles were wondering about poor foot traffic, others in the center and flanking rows were satisfied. But they all wished they could pull more people away from the many soup-to-nuts sessions on cataloging and multichannel marketing.

But education is key, said DM shows veteran Tim J. Litle, chairman of payment processor Litle & Co.

"I think people are confused about things like search advertising and how to use the Internet properly," Litle said. "I see people talking metrics and what works and what doesn't work just like they used to talk about print 35 years ago. I remember big debates about whether to use color in catalogs. I'd say a lot of the traditional catalog people are really afraid of what all this means."

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