Big Black book

“Old Farts”, “Gurus”, & “Mergers”

old-farts

If you’ve ever had a chance to spend time around any of the “old timers”, the offline masters of direct mail advertising, you’ll notice that they love to use offline tools for most of their tasks.

Listening to them, they often downplay the internet, using words like “faddish” and “trivial”.

They consider computers a “necessary evil”.

But spend some time with the “online gurus” and you almost never hear about offline resources.

Most are more fascinated with Twitter and Facebook than some “dusty resources” from 60’s Madison Avenue.

Then there are the MERGERS:

Old or young marketers who leverage the power of “old fart” resources with “faddish” 21st century technology.

Quietly, mergers stealthfully use the “old school” resources and make a fortune.

After all, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater!”

Here is just one of the hidden tools of a “Merger”:
Oxbridge Communications Standard Periodical Directory

The 2008 edition is over 2100 pages.

Want to see what just one of those pages looks like?
http://www.oxbridge.com/SPDCluster/…mplePage.pdf

Now imagine 2114 pages of that!

“Old Timers” have been using that resource for 44 years to get leads for their direct mail advertisements.

In case you haven’t had the “ah-hah” moment, let me explain how I use this resource and how it can be a hidden gem for you.

This resource is the entire list of magazines, periodicals, newsletters, college papers, newspapers, and journals. Roughly 60,000.

It’s been published continually since 1964 and is now in it’s 31st edition.

What’s Inside?

Gold. Pure Gold.

Niches you never imagined had a following, along with the actual number of PAYING subscribers, subscription rates, newsstand data (people interested but not subscribers), ad rates, list rental prices, and CONTACT info for the company staff.

Let’s do a “for instance”

Did you know there is a pretty good following for the “Model Steam Locomotive” hobby?

Using this book, I can see that 1 magazine in this hobby has this data:

8,200 subscribers
12,100 on its list (you can rent the list for .09 per name!)
$40 per year subscription price
68 pages per issue

Description: Information of interest to all live steamers and large-scale model railroaders, operating models of steam locomotives, steamboats, stationary and traction engines. Also includes historical articles, news about the hobby and construction series on various models.

Do the math: 8,200 x $40 = $328,000 per year

And that is just 1 magazine in this “niche”!

A single page of this book is like eye candy to a merger.

Why is this so powerful?

1. The people are paying for the publications.
2. You know “how much” they are willing to pay.
3. You can see “how big” a potential group is instantly.
4. People seek information…what they can find online for free, they don’t pay for (usually…but not always the case)…BUT what they cannot find online, they will often pay for.

Want to get a copy of the “Big Black Book” of Niches?

1. You can buy a copy, but it will set you back $1800!
2. You can grab last years copy at Amazon from “Other Sellers” (Right now I see 23 copies ranging from $33 to $1600.)
3. You can visit your local library (call first) and use their copy for FREE!

But I recommend option #4. (I’m of the merger mentality, after all!)

4. Sign up for MediaFinder for 1 month. Cost $49.

MediaFinder is the online search database of the “Big Black Book” print edition.

It’s great because you can perform advanced searches…instead of pouring over pages.

It’s just another way to create leverage.

You can search so many different ways, then just print your results.

The information is presented in a fashion that it is easier to read too.

If you go to www.mediafinder.com you can sign up for a limited trial to give it a test drive. (Warning: The trial really downplays the power of this tool because it only has 350 titles available and makes the search power virtually useless)

Here’s another tip:

Once you have found a potential “niche”, and have done your standard market analysis to determine the potential, call the magazine company and ask for some samples. (Another great merger tool: the cell phone!)

All you need to tell them is that you are interested in advertising in their magazine and were wondering if you could see a recent issue to get a feel for the quality of the product and the target market.

They’ll usually jump at the chance to send you an issue. (Many of them will just automatically add you as a subscriber…but don’t try to abuse this!)

As soon as you get the issue, skim through it for clues as to the type of content that the subscribers are paying for. Look for ads and see who is already advertising and what they are offering.

Ask yourself this question:
“If I was paying $X per issue for this magazine, I would keep my subscription because I like information about X,X,X,X, and X.”

This works best if you have a few issues to skim, but you can still get a “feel” for the audience with a single issue.

Next, go online and see if that information is readily available, free of charge?

If yes, ask yourself this question: “I pay for this magazine, even though I can find X online for free, because…X”

If no, then you can see why they pay for information on this hobby…people seek information.

You get the point.

This tool is powerful.

When used in the hands of a MERGER, it has the ability to create an endless supply of “untapped riches”!

P.S. Just to “up the ante” on this post. Allow me to just “toss out” another “old fart” resource for those of you who want to take action as a merger.

Go visit this link: http://lists.the-dma.org/

Now type in “beadmaking”

Click on the first link.

Has your light bulb exploded yet?

Just let that information soak in. Think about what you are looking at and how you could this kind of information.

That’s just an old school data card used in direct marketing…but presented online. Free too!

If you’d like a little more advice on how to “mine the gold” from a data card, take a look at this great July 1st article by Chris DeMartine (he works for the company that provides this data)

The Rise of Direct Marketing Freeconomics
Getting intel from datacard search tools
http://www.targetmarketingmag.com/s…known&page=1

P.S.S. There are literally dozens of resources just like these two, tools of the 60’s “Mad Men”, just waiting to be harnessed by Mergers. I’ll be posting more in just a bit. Enjoy!

Comments:

If you can’t find the Oxbridge at your library, use the SRDS books instead. Standard Rate & Data Service publishes books for consumer publications, business publications, direct mail lists, TV, radio, and more. Also available at your library.

Don

http://www.srds.com

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Here are two more resources that you might enjoy and add to your “research bag of tricks”

This is another source for good data card information that is somewhat unique. This company specializes in building lists based on their own custom statistical models. You can find some really good information from their data cards, despite how “cheesy” their site may look!

http://www.statlistics.com/search.html

This is another great tool to add to your arsenal.

This service from SRDS is a daily email that contains roughly 30 new emerging markets with data card information sent to you via email. It’s a great way to “get a leg up” on the competition.

You only need 1 really good idea to make it worth your time skimming through this.

It’s free to sign up and here is the signup page:
http://www.srds.com/tnl/subscribe.html

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And there you have it folks…another great angle from a fellow “merger”.One thing that I might point out…some magazines will save you the grief of calling the ad department and asking for the media kit. Some have a form to fill out on their website and they will just mail it to you.Others will publish the actual Psychographic and Demographic info of their subscribers on their websites!

Let’s do a 10 second case study:

1. You are getting ready to start a blog for dog lovers.
2. You find a magazine in the SRDS, Bacon’s, or Oxford Directories.
3. You like the description of K9 Magazine.
4. You do a search in Google for “K9 Magazine” like this:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&…oogle+Search

5. You then do a Google search for “media” or “advertising within just that site…just like this:

site:http://www.k9magazine.com “media”

or

site:http://www.k9magazine.com “advertising”

6. Look through the results and find the one that is talking about advertising, media, and audience information. Here is this one: http://www.k9magazine.com/mediapack/overview.html

7. Look through the other links that are provided on that media page.
Editorial Preview: http://www.k9magazine.com/mediapack/overview.html
Distribution Numbers: http://www.k9magazine.com/mediapack…ibution.html

Now, not all of them will have this much information, and some of them will have more.

One more thing…

Magazines plan their content months ahead of time. The companies will often send you the schedule of content that has been decided.

Look through that content and see if anything matches well with any of your affiliate promotions.

Then just plan to run adwords/advertising when the content is going to be released…to jump on the excitement!

John

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It’s really fascinating, isn’t it.

I’d like to try an top yours though:

“Today’s Best Hair Continuity Program Mailing List”

Description:
Today’s Best Hair is a new list of hair styling salons and beauty parlors who buy an average of $110.00 of posters depicting hair styles and other related visuals for their business through a monthly Direct Mail Program. Posters are shipped monthly in a mailing tube. They subscribe on an annual basis for from 4 to 12 shipments a year.

How many people are on that list?

14,616!

Do the math: 14,616 X $110 = $1,607,706

HAIR POSTERS!

Somebody go grab it!

Rick

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How about the “artificial golf terf” niche…

Description:

These entrepreneurially spirited individuals, mostly from mid and upper level management with professional backgrounds, are looking to become dealers in an artificial golf turf/putting green business for which they will pay a minimum of $4995 and more. They often start their “due diligence” by purchasing their own home or office “demonstration” putting green at costs ranging up into the high five figures. This list is full of high-end entrepreneurs, business managers and professionals willing to spend thousands of dollars to indulge their favorite pastime, while building a lucrative home based business.

The list average order is $2500.

Jack Duncan

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I was clicking around the DMA list stuff and decided to start looking for dogs (since that was example).

Anyway, I found some list that broke down their survey by breed. At a glance, I could see what the best breeds were. They also broke down food & meds too.

By combining the data from similar lists, you can get a quick picture of the area.

I actually wasn’t aware of the online DMA list. Thanks!

J Matin

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So glad you have found the information to be useful.

You mentioned you were involved in B2B markets.

Have you tried Harris’InfoSource? It’s a division of Dunn and Bradstreet and they have a super nice database specifically for targeting B2B clients.

It’s $1500 a year to get access (they have every single company in the US in that database) but you can get a free 7 day trial. (Grab some coffee!)

Check it out here:
http://www.harrisinfo.com/Harrisinf…h/index.aspx

I’m sure if you are doing B2B you are already aware of Dunn & Bradstreet but I thought I would just toss this out.

Jack

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Question: Can you mail to the list?

Actually using the list and mailing to them really gets into Direct Mail. That’s a huge topic that needs its own thread and one that I would not be qualified to start…

I personally use the datacards for psychographic and demographic info to determine how I will market online.

If you want to see some good information on this topic, check out “Sucessful Direct Marketing Methods” by Bob Stone.

Here is a link to the section where they BEGIN to discuss data cards and mailing them…the book is over 600 pages! It’s a heavy topic.
http://books.google.com/books?q=Suc…Search+Books

The 2001 version has a preview…start on page 79.

There is also a pretty good article on understanding data cards here:
http://www.bethesda-list.com/howtor…atacard.html

Peter Johnston

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these lists say $XX/M or $XXX/M
so what does per M mean. cost per thousand emails ??

Q: Yes…per thousand

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quote :
Have you tried Harris’InfoSource? It’s a division of Dunn and Bradstreet and they have a super nice database specifically for targeting B2B clients.

It’s $1500 a year to get access (they have every single company in the US in that database) but you can get a free 7 day trial. (Grab some coffee!)

Check it out here:
http://www.harrisinfo.com/Harrisinf…h/index.

Thanks for that, I know Dun & Bradstreet but I didn’t know about Harris. I’m going to run the 7 day trial this next week and I’m sure it will throw up some great ideas.

Duncan

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Thanks for all the info in this thread.

I couldn’t find the sample page for the Standard Periodical Directory through the link given, so I did some rooting around.

See a sample page and listing here.

Standard Periodical Directory

Best,

Tom

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This video is a swf file so not much control over it unfortunately.

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