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Direct Strategist Don Libey Is Dead at 71

Don Libey, who wrote the seminal direct marketing tome Libey on Recency, Frequency and Monetary Value, and who brokered the acquisitions of several direct marketing businesses as managing director of Libey LLC, died on March 14. The resident of Ocala, FL, was 71.

Longtime friend and collaborator Christopher Pickering, EVP of MeritDirect, recalled how Libey’s 1994 book was required reading for everyone at the first direct company where he worked. “Shortly after I joined MeritDirect, I met Don for the first time,” Pickering said. “I was a little awestruck. Here was this person who was obviously a serious thinker and yet he was friendly and approachable. As Don and I became better acquainted, I began suggesting that he update his book on RFM.”

Instead, Libey enlisted Pickering as a co-author on the project, renamed Libey and Pickering on RFM and Beyond, and published in 2005. Libey was the author of more than a dozen books in his lifetime, including volumes on wider business topics (Libey on Customers), poetry (Wound Down Days), and fiction (The Biography and Autobiography of Sherlock Holmes).

Pickering noted that Libey was a Renaissance man who played drums, studied Japanese poetry, and made wine. “If you are lucky in life you will meet some giants, folks who teach you and whom you wish to emulate,” Pickering said. “And you will meet some characters, folks that give life color, laughter, and fun. Don Libey was both a giant and a character.”

Drawing on 30 years of experience in the direct marketing space, Libey’s M&A business focused on transactions in catalog and online businesses “at realistic, fair fees well below those charged by the typical investment banking firm,” according to the company website.

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