DRTV - Catalog Marketer A.M.Leonard Unearths New Names (822 wor
by Jack Schmid & Scott Busch
In survey after survey, catalog owners identify building an efficient and cost-effective method of new customer acquisition as one of their main challenges. Whether you are a consumer, business, retail or hybrid (b-to-b and consumer) mailer, the growing popularity of direct response and cataloging as selling channels has resulted in a number of problems in the prospecting area. Among them:
• Rental lists are consistently generating lower response than five or 10 years ago. The old standard—2 percent to almost any response list—is history.
• Lower response results in a higher cost per new customer—something that has a direct impact on the P&L.
• There are fewer new customers, which directly affects future sales growth.
• The use of consumer co-operative lists like Abacus, Z-24 and Smartbase helps lift response through better profiling, but this source of new names doesn't necessarily open the net wider for names outside the consortium and may miss thousands of potential catalog buyers.
Catalogers are looking for other avenues—alternative media—to cope with the shortfall of new names. We'll look at one of the dozens of alternative media that has been tested and successfully rolled out by a hybrid catalog company.
A.M. Leonard's Story
One of the most unlikely media, direct response television, has been nurtured effectively by the A.M. Leonard Company, a gardening catalog that promotes to both consumers and businesses. Although a broadcast medium like TV may run counter to what direct marketers know about targeting, traditional prospecting methods aren't always the most economical. Direct mail or cataloging is not terribly efficient, especially when you compare cost per thousand of producing and distributing a catalog versus reaching audiences with television. The difference allows for fractional response rates because the CPM of TV is so low!
And with all the new cable stations available, you can now combine the efficiencies of TV with some pretty good targeting; we call it "Targeted Mass Advertising."