Did you see the eMarketer article on the comeback of print catalogs? Maybe if it weren’t a digital publication, it wouldn’t have stuck out to me so much. But to hear eMarketer praise the value of print catalogs was kind of fun. Then there was the fact that I received a direct mail piece from Google the same day. That was fun, too.

These experiences got me thinking about the current data set on the power of catalogs, especially among companies that are 100% online. (Check out this interesting list from Modern Fellows of 46 online retailers, including Amazon, that are now marketing using print catalogs.) Most of the data—and it’s good data, don’t get me wrong—that I find is older. What has there been recently that is new? That sent me searching for more current research, especially that showed not just that catalogs work, but by how much.

That’s why I got excited when I found this study by Harvard Business Review.

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