15-Minute Interview With Don Mokrynski
Don Mokrynski, chairman of Mokrynski & Associates and this year’s List Leader of the Year, talks about trends to watch in catalog lists and database marketing
It’s been 26 years since Don Mokrynski founded the Hackensack, N.J.-based list brokerage and management company that bears his name, and he is one who has remained at the forefront of his industry every step of the way. Indeed, The Direct Marketing Association’s List and Database Council recently presented Mokrynski with its DMA List Leader of the Year Award.
Catalog Success contributing writer Alicia Orr Suman spoke to Mokrynski a few days before he accepted the award to get his thoughts on the trends and issues in lists and database marketing as they relate to the catalog industry today.
Catalog Success: How does the catalog list landscape compare to several years ago? Are we dealing with basically the same issues, or are there new issues and opportunities?
Don Mokrynski: Since 2000, we’ve been seeing a decline in response rates as we’ve come out of what we realize was a tech bubble in the late ‘90s. This has resulted in catalogers relying more on housefiles. There are fewer new-to-file names, and that’s led to more modeling, more offers of free shipping and more online promotions.
The online area is, on average, representing about 30 percent of a cataloger’s business across the board — lower in some cases and higher in others, of course. And that’s great news, because the Web is giving consumers another choice for doing business with catalogers.
But it’s important to recognize that the online business still is being driven primarily by the mail. The Internet also has fostered more e-mail activity on top of the regular mail. But the mailed catalog is still the engine that’s driving sales in this business.