Bob Gaito

In ancient times — say 10 years ago — catalogers prided themselves on having a precisely measurable medium. They were the scientists of the marketing world. Most catalogers took the majority of their orders by phone and spent a great deal of effort capturing source codes and order IDs from every call. As computer technology and database expertise became cheaper and more widely available, we were not only able to measure precisely which customers responded to our mailings, but also what they bought and from which editions of our catalogs. We measured the performance of every square inch of every edition and smugly thought

By Matt Griffin Now an eight-player field, consumer co-ops widen their offerings. What works best foryour catalog? With five established cooperative databases in the market, and three others trying to make headway in the past year, you might wonder what exactly separates each of these from one another. Whatever sets each co-op apart, the important thing to consider is that constant testing will prove whether the models offered by each company actually work. "Certainly you have to be willing to test the different databases, and you have to be willing to test different models," says Bob Webb, senior vice president of marketing for

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