Insert Media Buying Guide: Know Today’s Insert Media Terrain
Our industry already has made great strides in addressing this task with the formation of the Insert Media Council, as well as seminars held at the Direct Marketing Association’s annual conference. This is just one challenge, however, that needs to be met on an ongoing basis. It’s imperative to identify marketers not currently taking advantage of this medium, introduce them to its benefits, and successfully bring them into the fold. While this is a hard road, the result is a bigger pie for all.
Trend: New Insert Media Categories
Marketers always are looking for ways to partner with other marketers. This entrepreneurial streak has generated a number of new insert media opportunities of late. One example is the marriage of the traditional package insert and the statement stuffer, joining to form on-the-pack invoice statement programs and their variants. As well, traditional welcome kits to continuity offers have led to the opening of prospect (co-op) mailings and reactivation mailings.
Other nontraditional offerings, such as co-op style mini-catalog mailings, also are popping up. Here, rather than have the advertisers send their preprinted inserts, program owners have these firms send them the artwork and then produce a co-op insert to include in outgoing packages. Costs are much lower for the advertisers, and the program owner is able to control its costs, placement, package weight, etc. These mailings generally are placed in packages that don’t contain collated insert envelopes.
We’re also seeing the introduction of many nontraditional/nondirect response-generated insert media programs. Increasing numbers of financial institutions and utilities are opening up mailings to noncompetitive advertiser inserts.
Challenge: Information Flow
Insert media insiders are notorious for playing things close to the vest. There are only so many slots available in any one program, so there is a sense of limited availability and the tendency to keep program details private. Because of this, it’s difficult for newcomers to find their way. A good broker and/or manager can help, but if the major users and program owners are more forthcoming about their successes, and to a certain extent their failures, it will encourage the entry of new users and programs.