Weighing In on the Catalog Co-op Databases '06
Exhaustive use of the co-op databases isn't for all catalogers. Paul Fredrick MenStyle has scaled back its participation in the co-ops from five to three, remaining a member of Abacus, NextAction and Prefer Network, says Scott Drayer, director of marketing for the men's apparel catalog. He pulled out of two other co-ops because he found he was "getting a good deal of the same names from each of them."
The three databases of which Paul Fredrick MenStyle remains a member still produce common multibuyers and about the same percentage of incremental names. But it's the continued success of those names that has allowed the catalog to keep using those databases. "There's a hole to be filled as far as generating names for Paul Fredrick," Drayer says. "These co-ops do that, considering the small universe of names for men's catalog apparel."
Three More Join the Co-op Mix
Even with five established consumer catalog cooperative databases on the market, other companies feel they have the potential to add something new to the mix. Wiland Direct and ALEXA have both debuted in the past year, while list firm American List Counsel (ALC) launched PerformanceLink just last month. Here is what each of these companies brings to the table:
Catalog industry veteran Phil Wiland believes that the existing co-ops on the market have done good work for their clients. But he also believes he may be able to provide a better solution using better technology.
The essential differentiator for Wiland Direct is that the company predominantly uses response models to generate mailings for its clients, says Wiland, the firm's founder, president and CEO. He notes that response models, which measure the differences between buyers and non-buyers based on the results of actual mailings, are harder to build than traditional profile models, which choose names based on the idea that prospects who look like your customers will respond like your customers. Response models typically take more time to create, and thereby cost more.
- Lafayette, Colo.