Weighing In on the Catalog Co-op Databases '06
Wiland Direct, however, has developed an automated system to create response models, which means it can produce these models more quickly and at a lower cost than other co-ops.
And results have been promising. Wiland reveals that his clients on average have seen a Wiland Direct's model perform 43 percent better than all other lists.
Bob Webb, senior vice president of marketing for multititle catalog company Potpourri Group, has tested Wiland Direct's models on eight of Potpourri's 12 catalog titles, and says he's seen excellent results on half of what he's tested. For the titles that didn't see great results, Webb cites the fact that those titles are niche books, and Wiland Direct still is expanding. So he plans to retest Wiland Direct models for those books in the future.
The American List Exchange Association (ALEXA)
While not a cooperative database in the traditional sense, ALEXA gives catalogers the ability to contribute names in their databases to a central repository while still controlling other catalogers' access to those names.
Further, ALEXA doesn't provide models of these names; rather, the company "houses client-specific data files and is meant to facilitate a greater number of exchanges between existing, affinity-based exchange partners," says Jim Harkins, president of catalog consultancy JJH Direct Marketing, who's assisting in ALEXA's launch.
ALEXA's members control their own buyer names and share only their recency, frequency and monetary value data with other catalogers within the association. The company acts as a data processor, fulfilling orders for names based on the information culled from catalog datacards, says ALEXA President Bob Gaito. Any modeling of those names would need to be done by the recipient catalogers or their list brokers, whom Gaito says are more qualified to know their specific needs.
As of press time, none of ALEXA's 35 members had put any of the association's zero-to-24-month buyer lists, consisting of a total of 8.5 million households, in the mail. But Gaito believes that the low acquisition cost, $8/M, will encourage more catalogers to join and test names from the database.
- Lafayette, Colo.