Weighing In on the Catalog Co-op Databases '06
He gives the following example: A cataloger that mails about 6 million names during the holiday season usually gets half of those names from Abacus, and the remainder from rental lists and other co-ops. The cataloger's revenue worked out to $1.19 per book. Using the FastPath solution, that same cataloger was able to mail 6 million names with a revenue per book of $1.24.
Additionally, the FastPath solution includes housefile processing, postal processing, presort, postal qualifications and inkjetting.
Carey cautions that niche mailers still may not find the co-op to be useful with FastPath, because narrow market names don't always make it into the database. Likewise, very large mailers may not be able to get the quantity of names they'd like during the busy season. For those reasons, Carey notes that the solution isn't for everyone.
A division of direct marketing services firm CMS Direct, Prefer Network differentiates its database by using SKU-level product data, says Prefer CEO Doug Platt.
For each of the more than 1 billion transactions of which Prefer Network tracks, it knows not only the product category of the purchase, but also product specifics such as size, color and style. "We know whether you've bought a Christmas tree T-shirt or an Elvis Presley T-shirt," Platt says.
Such SKU-level data allows Prefer Network to "select names differently," Platt says, giving the co-op the ability to use the same models as other co-ops to select more unique names, sometimes as high as 60 percent net unique names after the merge.
Merchandise data also provides the fuel for DecisionMate, a proprietary research tool that Prefer Network debuted earlier this year. DecisionMate allows catalogers to understand what their customers are buying when they aren't buying from them, Platt says. Showing both market share and wallet share, DecisionMate helps marketers determine in which product categories their catalog is strong, which categories they have room to grow in, and in which categories they potentially could scale back.
- Lafayette, Colo.