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As growing numbers of retailers launch frequent-shopper programs, Catalina Marketing Corp. is planning a series of direct-mail magazines that tap the databases such programs are generating.

Catalina's One-to-One Direct program will be tested with four supermarkets in the fall using two 16-page color magazines.

Light Living will be mailed to 500,000 households with above-average purchases of fat-reduced foods. The retailer-branded and marketer-funded magazine will include articles on healthy lifestyles, along with manufacturer coupons and promotional offers of samples for light and healthy foods.

Following Light Living will be Family Favorites, targeting households with children.

"It's an attempt to take the retailers' frequent-shopper programs and in a sense co-op them, building a network of them for direct mail, which we then sell to manufacturers," said David Diamond, Catalina's exec VP-marketing and new applications. "And the retailer gets to participate for free."


Catalina's timing appears right, at least as far as retailer interest is concerned. Frequent-shopper and reward efforts are expected to grow more than any other retailer promotion program in 1997, according to Cox Direct's 19th annual Survey of Promotional Practices. The percentage of retailers using such programs is expected to rise to 75% this year from 54% in 1996. The proportion of retailers that designated such programs of "high" importance grew to 59% this year from 45% in '96.

One-to-One Direct takes the names and addresses from a retailer's frequent-shopper or check-cashing card program and links them to Catalina's own database developed through its Checkout Direct card program.

Through Checkout Direct, Catalina monitors the scanner transactions of more than 20 million households through 50 participating retail chains in 4,000 stores nationwide. That number should reach 5,000 stores and 25 million households by next year, when Mr. Diamond expects One-to-One Direct to roll nationally.

One-to-One Direct also will let marketers customize values, depending on whether the household already buys their brands, buys rival brands or doesn't buy

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