Mal Dunn Enhances Southern Progress Group

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Mal Dunn Associates, Croton Falls, NY, is matching the files of the five Southern Progress publications it manages with multiple data sources to create new list products.

MDA, which released a catalog buyers list last month, has just released seven new Southern Progress lists: Upscale Male Source, Multibuyers, Cooking, History, Music, Religious and Video Affinity master files. Each list was created from matches with a database of buyers and subscribers in a specific interest area. MDA would not reveal the data sources except to say that some were provided by the list owner and all are response based.

"We really do a lot with product development," MDA senior account executive Roxane Slaughter said. "We take a publishing file and find different ways to market it and get very targeted with something that previously was a less defined product."

MDA has performed product development since it started acquiring major publishing files from the likes of Time Inc. and U.S. News & World Report in 1994. Access to a lot of information, some proprietary, enables MDA to do a lot in the database and master file area, Slaughter said.

The 242,000-name Upscale Male Source of direct mail responsive men was built by merging and de-duping male subscribers to Southern Living, Coastal Living, Southern Accents and Cooking Light and then overlaying those names with an income of $75,000 and above.

The 394,000-name Multibuyers identifies subscribers to two or more Southern Progress publications, including Progressive Farmer. The file is selectable by publication, and almost half is comprised of Southern Living multibuyers. "We looked in the market and no one else is really promoting multibuyers," Slaughter said.

Of the affinity master files, Cooking is the largest with 1.28 million names, Music has 217,000, History 147,000, Video 127,000 and Religious 61,000.

Abacus Direct and Experian Direct Tech perform similar types of matching between their catalog and publishing cooperative databases to identify mail-responsive names that are fast becoming a cost-effective alternative to list rental. Stemming the tide of the co-ops, however, was not the intent with the new Southern Progress products.

"We don't see co-ops as a threat to our business, but maybe this is a good alternative to that," Slaughter said.

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