Reflections on DMA08: Two Viewpoints
Major industry events, such as last week’s DMA08 Annual Conference in Las Vegas, can’t help but give you a feel for the climate and direction this business is headed, particularly when you get the view from all around. So Catalog Success: Tactics & Tips columnist and catalog consultant Jim Coogan and Catalog Success Editor-in-Chief Paul Miller did just that, taking the temperature from every quarter during various stages of its five-day run. Here’s what they heard and how they saw it relating to you, the catalog/multichannel merchant.
There were some bearish assessments voiced regarding the direction of the catalog industry at the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) annual conference last week in Las Vegas.
When it comes to prospecting circulation, “Down 20 percent is the new flat,” quipped one savvy list broker. The combination of increasing paper and postage costs and the slowing economy have cut prospecting circulation, according to the co-op databases and list brokers providing vertical lists.
Monday saw the stock market have its largest one-day rally ever, so that news brightened the mood considerably on Monday and Tuesday. But marketers expressed a realistic appraisal that the holiday season would probably see a downturn in sales as a delayed reaction to the financial crisis. The worst is likely still to come for the retail economy, even if the worst may be over for the stock market.
On a positive economic note, news spread of possible relief from the recent cycle of paper price increases. There was some cautious optimism that paper prices for the No. 4 and No. 5 catalog papers would remain stable and not increase in the near future.
Behavioral Targeting: The Next Wave?
Joel Davidson, president and CEO of the co-op database NextAction, hosted a round-table discussion, “Online Behavioral Advertising — Going Beyond Context and Search to Better Conversions.” The discussion focused on the big potential for using behavioral data on the Web. One conclusion was that, just like with e-mails, the messages must be relevant. Direct marketers need to learn how to use the available inventory of Web traffic.