Insert Media Buying Guide: Help Wanted
The good news: Insert media continues to blossom, with new programs being announced regularly. The could-be-better news: The channel still needs more players, both advertisers and program owners. While this medium has seen significant expansion in recent years, everyone with a stake in its success is clamoring for more. More large programs. More variety in advertisers and offers.
To identify a few of the main challenges and opportunities in the insert media arena, Target Marketing called on two leading experts: Leon Henry, chairman and CEO of Leon Henry Inc., and Lisa Roland, president of Everyday Media. They shared their thoughts on how marketers can leverage this channel to improve their bottom lines.
Target Marketing: What is the current state of the insert media industry?
Leon Henry: Currently, we see the industry in a state of some flux. Basically, you have mergers or roll-ups going on among broker/managers and buyers, e.g., the Millard-Mokrynski consolidation. This has the program owners wondering who is minding their store, so to speak. The second issue is that of heavy competition among managers to get program owners to switch managers. I do not recall any time recently where there are more requests for review. Basically, owners are looking for more revenue. There are two ways to increase owner revenue. One is to increase sales prices, which is very difficult in the current climate of price-driven buyers. The second is adding additional services for sale; for example, catalog blow-ins and Web inserts.
Growth seems to be slowing down after a burst earlier following the postal increase. But there are some well-known names sourcing the industry with the idea of opening their packages to inserts. Historically, each increase in postage has brought new insert programs and new insert advertisers. While I don’t see the future that we all wish we could have, the increase in both sides of the insert equation should follow.