List leaders discuss today's Challenging market (2,023 words)
Papalia: We are in favor of utilizing enhancement and models, but always advise our clients to keep the big picture in mind, that is … make sure everything you do is not only cost effective now , but will continue to be as you continue to update your file.
Root: The more data the better! On the b-to-b side, controlled titles continue to fare well in the soft economy. On the consumer side, mailers are much more tuned into modeling than they have been in recent years. Our larger clients like Bookspan, Meredith and Reader's Digest are all continuing to develop better modeling tools to maximize usage.
TM: Have you witnessed any pricing trends? Are owners willing to negotiate pricing?
Bocknik: The inclination has been to hold prices steady during these tough times. However, list owners should continue to charge premium prices to their core markets. After all, they have invested quite a bit of money into building a very valuable asset, and a good list will still provide tremendous return to similar mailers. On the other hand, if an owner expects any revenue of substance from secondary markets, discounting is absolutely necessary.
Montana: Special price requests have been on the rise for the last three years and for 2001 these requests have sky-rocketed. List owners are working more closely with their managers to accommodate these requests. Traditionally rigid list owners are becoming more flexible, however, they are not "giving away the farm." Smart list owners are working closely with their managers to determine the right discount for the right offer. It really needs to be a win-win for the mailer/list owner when negotiating price. The list owner must establish a base-line value for their names within specific markets and should try to hold the line as best they can.