This article is a side-by-side comparison of two direct marketing intelligence tools, Who’s Mailing What! and Mintel’s Comperemedia product. Both products focus on providing quality analytical tools to the direct marketing community with the goal of providing a better understanding of various direct mail marketing offers and to help you develop more effective strategies when creating campaigns.
From a high-level view, there are features that are similar between these two products, but they tend to vary when it comes to the details.
Who’s Mailing What!
Who’s Mailing What!, a Comperemedia competitor, uses a data-driven and machine learning approach toward direct mail intelligence.
Data is gathered using human panelists carefully selected across a diverse geographic area to include urban, suburban, and rural markets. WMW! works to maintain representation from a cross-section of ethnicities and genders among its panelists. Panelists are divided into two groups: a static group which provides longitudinal data over time, and a rolling group, which changes month to month so as to identify new demographics and mailings.
WMW!’s interface is a customizable dashboard, which can be easily personalized to provide information, depending on the user’s preference. You have access to saved searches, a library of chosen campaigns, and a clear method for tracking offers from individual direct mail marketers.
You also have access to business intelligence features such as a customizable chart of industry trends, a listing of the most recent marketing controls, and access to detailed analytical articles about effective strategies, and tools for helping make the most use of the interface. WMW! also provides easy access to a listing of saved contacts chosen from selected companies.
The search interface is relatively straightforward, providing access both to creative elements and sales leads of direct mail marketing professionals. Direct mail advertising PDF scans can be filtered by format, industry, and several other criteria.
Both products are data tools, however, Comperemedia provides an additional human analysis component. Like WMW!, their data is gathered through the use of two primary data sources. The first of these consists of “lifecycle panelists” who are participants from households who develop an ongoing relationship with the company and provide copies of information about direct mail that they receive on a monthly basis. This is their primary source of longitudinal data. The second data source is “rolling panelists” who change month to month. This enables Comperemedia to gather information about a broad swath of different types of mailings.
Comperemedia provides data, but also in-person analysts. The ability to access the analysts to ask questions is included in all levels of their subscriptions.
The interface focuses on the human analytic component of the product. They provide a wide range of articles providing analytic insights, and then provide a deeper look at several featured campaigns and then provide the ability to browse through recent campaigns.
You are provided access to sample copies of the items within a campaign and can drill down into deeper information about each mailing.
In many ways, the companies appear similar in their approach. However, we can learn a good deal more by drilling down into some of the details.
Other Marketing Channels
While our primary focus in this analysis is on direct mail marketing, we wanted to gain an understanding of what other channels each of these marketing platforms track. Who’s Mailing What! is focused on direct mail; however, we maintain a historical archive of email marketing campaigns as well. WMW! offers its Enterprise members access to custom premium data services. Through key partnerships, Enterprise members can gain access to email, mobile ads, digital display ads, and native digital advertising campaign data for more than 19,000 marketers tracked by WMW!.
Comperemedia has coverage of multiple marketing channels, including email, mobile ads, online ads, and print advertisements.
If you are running multi-channel campaigns, and wish to track a wide range of media, Comperemedia may provide what you are looking for. However, for the broadest coverage of direct mail marketing organizations, it likely makes sense to choose Who’s Mailing What!, whose primary focus is on direct mail.
WMW! available search criteria include filtering by format. WMW! also allows searching by brand or direct marketer.
Comperemedia, at a data level, enables searching over 130 different attributes, such as campaign ID, first time a campaign was seen, and the last time a campaign was seen. Similar data is displayed by WMW! at the organizational level, and it is available by request for Enterprise members.
Comperemedia also classifies mailing types into Acquisition and Customer communication, with selectable sub-categories:
While both products provide categorization of direct mail materials, Comperemedia’s ability to provide classification between acquisition and customer retention is unique.
WMW! provides full OCR text extraction to enable users to search for any text printed on mail advertisements, providing results similar to those that appear in major search engines.
Comperemedia also provides full OCR text searching of their materials.
B2B and B2C
WMW! provides examples of both formats with good categorization between B2B and B2C marketers. WMW! does capture all solo mail advertising that is sent in a flat printed form.
Comperemedia mostly focuses on the B2C market due to its data collection model. They do provide access to some B2B mailings, but these are almost solely focused on the financial sector. Due to this, they have considerably fewer B2B assets than for consumer-directed campaigns.
WMW! comes out stronger for B2B campaigns.
Number of Monitored Industries
WMW! monitors all industries, sorted into 23 major industry groups.
Comperemedia, on the other hand, divides their results into 11 major media groups. However, the way that these are organized is significantly different. The top-level categories for WMW! tend to follow closer to NAICS guidelines, where those for Comperemedia are a touch more granular. For instance, they use Automotive as a top-level category, whereas WMW! tracks these as a sub-category within “Retail.”
This area is a bit more difficult to compare side by side, as each product uses a different methodology for organizing industry categories. For searches across multiple industries, WMW! seems to be considerably superior in the range of industry categories. For example, WMW! has broad coverage of nonprofits, where Comperemedia does not.
From an industry coverage perspective, WMW! appears to win.
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New Brands/Marketers per Month
WMW! identifies approximately 1,000 additional marketers per month. Comperemedia was unable to provide this information.
If you need access to newly identified direct mail marketers monthly, WMW! is a better option.
WMW! offers a database of direct mail marketing agencies and key contacts within those agencies.
Comperemedia attempts to identify this information through some of their B2B searches, however, they do not track if companies are direct mailers or not; they are weak in this area. They also provide no contact information.
While neither product provides the ability to tie a campaign to a marketing agency, WMW! at least provides access to a database of agencies which can be used as sales leads. WMW! also identifies which campaigns were produced by the same mail production facility. This gives WMW! a considerable edge in this category, as Comperemedia does not track by agency or production facility at all.
Access to Contacts
Who’s Mailing What! offers robust search capability for identifying direct mail marketing professionals and executives. This enables users to be able to find and contact them directly, and WMW! offers searches for all management and executive-level contacts at direct marketing organizations. Access is provided to email addresses of most contacts, as well as phone numbers, social media handles, including LinkedIn and Facebook. One of the more useful functions in WMW! is a predictive engine which analyzes social media data to help identify which contacts are most likely to respond to outreach communication.
WMW! encourages the use of these contacts as sales leads.
In contrast, Comperemedia does not provide contact information; it is not part of their product.
In this area, there is no competition. WMW! provides detailed information for accessing contacts within both companies and agencies, whereas Comperemedia does not provide this service.
WMW! has automated notifications available via user settings for most of its membership plans.
WMW! offers the ability to be notified when new creatives are added to the collection. It also offers the ability to be alerted when new brands/marketers are added for its Sales Lead membership option. Users are able to monitor specific marketers and get notified when a new campaign and offer are identified (users select how often they are alerted).
In comparison, Comperemedia provides the ability to save searches, store to folders, download, share, and get customized email alerts.
As both providers offer these services, this appears to be a tie.
WMW! has several membership plans. The most popular Essential Pro plan provides access to 100 creatives per month, with additional packages available. Comperemedia’s model does not limit the number of assets accessed; their pricing and limitations are tied to which channels and industries you subscribe to. This compares to a WMW! Enterprise membership which provides unlimited access. It is worth noting that the WMW! Enterprise membership is still more economical than the Comperemedia base-level plans.
The difference between the two products is reflected in their service model. Which method works best for which user is dependent on the number of assets you access, and your budget. However, if we are truly to compare apples to apples for accessing creative assets, WMW! provides unlimited access for considerably less than Comperemedia.
Performance of Campaigns
WMW! has data on controls, Performa controls and grand controls, which are measurements of how long campaigns have been repeated. Controls are identified as campaigns that have run more than three months, and grand control indicators are given to those who have repeated consistently over several years. The basic assumption here is that successful campaigns are more likely to be rerun than those that produced less-than-stellar results.
For Comperemedia, this type of data is available, but it is not specifically designated as controls per se. Instead, it can be inferred by looking at the life of a campaign and seeing how long it ran. Comperemedia has featured campaigns that they track. If they run more than once, they are able to track them.
It is possible to filter through specific articles, and gain some subjective analysis, however this is not built into the system’s algorithms.
It is difficult to provide a true side-by-side comparison for these two products under this category. On the one hand, due to the built-in controls and grand controls indicators for repeat campaigns, this makes it a touch easier to identify specific campaigns that have had a greater likelihood of success, giving WMW! an advantage. However, Comperemedia’s team of analysts who are available at all product levels can provide more detailed human intelligence-driven reports, which may provide more in-depth information.
Other Data (Number of Pieces Mailed, Where Received, Etc.)
WMW! does not have data on the number of pieces mailed but does categorize mailers into three different mailer sizes (small, medium, and large mailers). WMW! allows for selection by location where mail was received.
Comperemedia’s model, which is based on consumer receipt of mailings, makes it difficult to track how many pieces are actually sent. However, they can generate estimates on the cost of a campaign. They look at the life of a campaign and see how long it ran. They estimate direct mail spend and volume, based on the number of pieces seen by their panelists.
A user of the system can enter direct mail spend settings, and you can track data points as to where the data was received. It is also possible to identify mailings by location.
The data returned through Comperemedia’s platform seems to provide slightly more comprehensive results when tracking mail volumes and estimates of costs. If you only need to identify large or medium size mailers, WMW! does a great job of this.
Data Points At the Campaign Level
WMW! tracks location received, organization firmographic data, industry, mailer volume category, and numerous other criteria. WMW! provides access to more than 30 years of data.
Comperemedia tracks over 130 different data points, including company, industry, category, first seen, last seen, product, mailing type, language, offer, estimated mail volume, estimated direct mail expenditures, panel type, and more.
It appears that Comperemedia tracks more unique data points than WMW!, but WMW! offers access to more comprehensive historical data tracking campaigns for the last 30 years.
WMW! calculates a Performance Score to rank all creative versions based on the likelihood of being effective; this is based on proprietary algorithms examining industry-level controls, grand controls, and Performa controls. When successful campaigns use similar structures, messaging, and offers, they are given a higher Performance Score. This can help direct mail marketers learn from campaigns which are more likely to outperform others.
Comperemedia’s primary selling point when it comes to creative insights is their in-house analyst team members who provide human intelligence solutions. While it is difficult to track actual success of campaigns, the analysts are able to provide an in-depth examination of existing data to identify patterns and trends. The basic value proposition that Comperemedia offers is that they are not merely a database but are a team of professionals who work on providing genuine insight.
Identifying the differences between WMW! and Comperemedia on this is somewhat of an apples and oranges comparison. Whereas WMW! makes use of sophisticated AI and machine-learning algorithms to help identify successful campaigns, Comperemedia adds a human element to their analysis. While both are databases of information, the extra expense you invest into Comperemedia results in essentially hiring a team of analysts. However, if you are looking for a tool to easily and economically identify features of top-performing direct mail campaigns, WMW! has a lot to offer.
Insights in Standard Subscription
WMW! offers the Performance Score with its Essential Pro subscription. Comperemedia provides access to its analysts at all levels of subscription.
Comperemedia Pricing vs. Who’s Mailing What!
WMW! offers memberships ranging from $999 per year for single category creative access up to $14,900 per year for unlimited sales lead access. WMW! has monthly and yearly membership options and offers an online pricing calculator here to get an exact quote.
Comperemedia charges by industry and media channel, but is customizable, depending on whether a customer wants B2B access, or whether they want the agent panel. As an example for a standard direct marketing company, including a broad view of all of the industries available, Comperemedia pricing can range between $20,000 to $50,000 annually, depending on the industry and channel. They do not provide monthly billing, and typically require 24-month contracts.
Both Who’s Mailing What! and Comperemedia offer quality platforms which can provide detailed marketing intelligence to direct mail marketer and their vendors. The differences between the two lies mostly in the model you are looking for. If you are looking for a simple, yet affordable tool for tracking creatives within thousands of direct mail campaigns, WMW! provides a solid product. If you are looking to find an alternative to hiring a full data intelligence team to provide detailed insights into individual campaigns and trends within an industry such as financial services, Comperemedia might be a better choice.
However, key differences exist if you are seeking a source of sales leads. If you wish to use a tool like this to identify leads and market services directly to companies which do direct marketing, Who’s Mailing What! is the only comprehensive option. With WMW!’s advanced features for identifying contacts who are most likely to be responsive, they truly stand out as a superior option.