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Broker Roundtable: Demand for Debtor Lists

By Sep 12, 2011

Welcome to Broker Roundtable, where each week we ask list brokers to give their opinions on issues that matter to the marketing community. This week’s question: With recent economic stresses, will the demand for lists like debt consolidation, payday loans and the like increase?

Our panel includes Geoff Batrouney of Estee Marketing Services Inc.; Margaret Raven Ginns of Leon Henry Inc.; Becky Hagadorn of Carney Direct;. and Michael Peterman of Veradata. Would you like to be considered to be a member of our roundtable? Contact Larry Riggs (larry.riggs@penton.com).

Geoff Batrouney, executive vice president, Estee Marketing Services Inc.:

It never ceases to amaze me just how many lists of this type there are that we could rent if we had to. I suppose their prevalence is a sad commentary on the state of our economy and the lack of meaningful job creation over the last three years. Not just the lack of meaningful job creation, but the creation of a whole generation of distressed consumers who are out of work, out of cash and out of hope.

Margaret Raven Ginns, sales manager, Leon Henry Inc.:
The demand for lists which were derived as a result of today’s nearly unprecedented stress from economic hardship will increase considerably. This is particularly true because so many of the individuals and households who, unfortunately, find themselves in this category today are there through no fault of their own. Home equity destruction, uncovered or unaffordable medical bills, and job loss due, in part, to tax incentives to move jobs overseas has therefore, put responsible people in trouble. These lists consist less of deadbeats and more of people who need help but will be more conscientious in meeting the obligations they assume when solicited via direct marketing for goods and services. The problem will not be demand, but in the availability of such lists.

Becky Hagadorn, vice president, new business development, Carney Direct:

Certainly these lists will become more popular as the need increases and more services become available. However the real test is always file performance. Thus, the quality of the data should be highly scrutinized. Already a saturated market, most debt consolidation and payday loan files are and will continue to be sourced through online means making it essential for advertisers to have appropriate media buyers who know the right questions to ask when vetting sources and good data partners who know how to hygiene the leads.

Michael Peterman, CEO, VeraData:
We originally thought that folks declaring bankruptcy, getting high interest payday loans, with tax liens, etc would be nonperforming segments for direct marketers. Interestingly enough, we were proven wrong, terribly wrong. I think this further underscores the social irresponsibility of our citizens.
So, depending on the product and very much depending on new credit/lending regulations and requirements, these types of lists can prove quite valuable…either as a suppression tool or as a targeted mailing list, these lists will grow and will be in demand one way or the other.

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