Insert Media Day Will Accomplish Many Goals
The decision by the ARM Council OPCom members to inaugurate an Insert Media Day this year should be a moment of rejoicing by all participants in the insert media industry. But we should be aware of the reasoning leading to the day and what many of us hope will be the result of this initiative.
The consensus solution to the need for a dramatic change in the presentation of inserts as a major direct mail medium, and not as the alternative with which it has been named these past many years, has been to encourage the Direct Marketing Association to confer status on the insert media participants and encourage greater participation by all DMA members.
No one, I believe, doubts the need for more mailers using and understanding inserts as part of their mailing plans. The questions always have been why should it be called an alternative and who or what will lead the way out to big-time status.
Taking the lead in a political atmosphere is subject to the politics of the participants, as no one participant in the industry as it stands has the requisite stature or clout to force the changes necessary. With the encouragement of the DMA acting as a neutral but necessary leader, the changes that should be implemented can be, if we do not lose sight of the real objective. We can accomplish our goal of being a major marketing channel.
These are some of the "needs" that the idea of the day was developed to solve:
More mailers who hopefully become members of the ARM Council, as they understand the objectives and potential of the "undercover" medium. Parenthetically, while ARM has many advantages for name recognition and for leading the pack of DMA councils, its name will have to be changed.
The increasing number of members of the enlarged association will generate revenue for the DMA that, in turn, will promote and encourage more participation and knowledge of inserts as a medium. It is Insert Media Day that will bring out the true believers and those who want to see for themselves what they have been hearing about the efficiency of the insert medium (and that it is not just the lower cost that drives the users.)
The greater number of participants will seek guidance that those who have been leaders of the industry will be able to provide. Emphasize successful mailers' use of inserts. More mailers also will request information on earning income from opening insert distribution programs.
The need for uniformity of contract, billing, status and clearance procedures will become more apparent and will be resolved with the ability to communicate more efficiently using the Web for many of the forms necessary. Use the correct terminology so that all parties are operating on uniform terminology.
Insert Media Day was born as the result of the hopeful solution to the frustrations over the future of our livelihoods. It will be the beacon that many of us hope to follow.
Leon Henry, Chairman/CEO, Leon Henry Inc., Scarsdale, NY