Circulation Outlook: Keep Prospecting

The short-term economic outlook for the catalog industry continues to be reasonably positive through the third quarter, according to Don Libey, cofounder/managing director of Philadelphia- and Cherry Hill, NJ-based investment and advisory firm Libey-Concordia.

Despite signs of a slowdown in spending, especially in the big-ticket items and autos, which indicate moderation late in the third quarter, Libey advises marketers to keep prospecting.

Perspective is essential, he says: “If you think back over the years and recognize how many companies have regretted their short-term decisions to pull back in either economic downturns or periods of uncertainty, you will reflect again on the reality that reducing prospecting and house mailing at any time is always a strategy for slowing the growth and profitability of the business longer term.”

The savings of a few thousand dollars in times of uncertainty or cloudy economics can result in the loss of many more thousands of dollars in future profits and business valuations, Libey continues. “Multichannel marketers are having exceptional results through the end of June,” he says. “They have invested in advanced online marketing and have wisely continued to support, grow, and invest in their catalog businesses because they understand, know, and believe that those catalogs are driving substantial number of online orders.”

The bottom line, according to Libey: Prospecting in all channels isn’t an optional strategy; it is a constant strategy that produces profits.