A Five-Step Media Plan for Catalogers (1,027 words)
One of the major challenges faced by catalogers is building the customer or buyer file. There is a lot of misunderstanding on how important this process is. For example:
• Start-up catalogers are impatient and want to make money in the first year or at the latest, the second year. But they haven't built a buyer list of any size.
• Many veteran catalogers do a poor job of measuring what it costs to get a customer and prioritizing the various lists and outside media used in prospecting.
• Few catalogs measure the lifetime value (LTV) of their buyers (by media) that can be used to change their list, space or other methods of customer acquisition
• Most catalogs dwell on list rentals as the only way to build their buyer files.
Their rationale is simple:
Lists have historically done well and have been the medium of choice for catalog customer acquisition.
Mailing lists have traditionally had greater repeat buyer and lifetime value than other media.
All of these habits can be challenged and don't represent, what in my judgment will be the new customer acquisition paradigm of the next millennium.
A 5-STEP APPROACH TO BUILDING A NEW MEDIA PLAN
Here are five solid steps to building a new media, customer acquisition plan for your catalog.
1. Start with your database. Before you jump right into the circulation planning, take a step back and do some major analysis of your customer list and see what it tells you. Ask yourself the following questions:
• How much can you afford to spend to get a customer?
• Which lists and other media gave you the best cost per name in the last year's campaigns?
• What is the LTV of customer segments from the lists and other media you've used over the past three years?