Where Do We Go From Here?

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As the father of Insert Media Day, which was mothered by Arlene Rosen and godfathered by Jeff Holland, and a grandfather of eight, I think it is important to talk about the future.

Insert Media Day was a long time in coming, and now that the Direct Marketing Association has provided the framework and authenticity, it is important for us to build the long-awaited house of insert media.

We must band together and resolve numerous important issues. Our national political conventions used to be forums that developed a consensus for a candidate because the various constituencies met, discussed, voted and ultimately agreed. We can do the same on some insert media issues, including the ones outlined below:

Educating and attracting more insert mailers. The development of mailers who will mature into large participants is a time-consuming, expensive process most of us would like to forgo. One way to encourage more mailers is by showing the successes of current ones. Of course, no one wants to be first, and thus there are few case studies of the efficiency of the insert medium.

All other media have their success stories. Insert media needs this, too.

Inclusion of printers, letter shops and copywriters. More cooperation is needed by the inclusion of printers, letter shops and copywriters. New mailers by definition need the services of these suppliers to enter the insert game. The potential for a new source of sales for these suppliers is substantial. They should be encouraged to be members of the Insert Media Council as well as attend and, where appropriate, exhibit at Insert Media Day.

Promotions. Promotion of the insert medium needs an underlying theme that all brokers/managers and suppliers can use to create an umbrella effect under which we can all promote our respective insert programs. The Insert Media Council should provide artwork, slogans, press releases, etc., that are generic and usable by all brokers and managers.

Since the statistics are being evolved by the DMA, it is too early to comment, but it has been a long time in coming. Statistics showing that inserts are a viable medium encourage more mailers and more insert programs to supply the new mailers.

Insert Media Day is a forum whereby time could be carved out for discussing these and other pertinent issues. What about 4 o'clock over a beer?

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