Insert Media Buying Guide: Know Today’s Insert Media Terrain
It’s the start of fall, and many of us have just returned from vacation. The demands of our industry may be far from center stage. However, this is a time when many companies are solidifying their plans for the coming year, and understanding the issues that are shaping the insert media landscape is a crucial part of this planning process. Here are a few trends and challenges to consider as you prepare to tackle the holiday season and beyond.
Trend: Catalog Blow-ins
Increasingly, catalogers are opening up their mailings to include insert blow-ins. For instance, in the last year, we’ve seen an addition of approximately 46 new blow-in programs—up from approximately 250 blow-in programs the previous year. Catalogers are learning that accepting one or two noncompetitive advertiser inserts doesn’t hurt their response rates. Furthermore, it adds an important revenue stream without commensurate costs.
Blow-ins are an obvious starting point for catalogers looking to create an insert program, since often they are mailing several million catalogs a year while their package count may be well below an attractive quantity to insert media users. Meanwhile, advertisers are finding the response rates and ROI from inserting into appropriate catalogs are more than acceptable, especially when considering the lower costs associated with these programs in comparison with traditional package insert programs.
Challenge: Get the Word Out
Many of us have fallen into the mind-set that there is a finite number of players out there. As a result, insert media brokers and managers often go after the easy sale: other brokers’ advertisers and other managers’ properties. In the short run, this may help their individual sales and revenue streams; in the long run, this activity brings nothing to the industry. The challenge is to get the message out to all potential advertisers and program owners about the benefits of insert media.