486 VEER DIRECTORY
June 21, 2002
Finally, someone is looking seriously at the marketing problems facing rights-managed
agencies. The team formerly behind EyeWire and several other brands (more on the people later) is
pioneering a frequent, direct-mail directory that's cost-effective and efficient for even
the smallest agencies, while offering 'niche' benefits to anyone with thematic
Rights-Managed image sellers with searchable web sites have a new, more affordable way to
promote their offering to image buyers. The Veer Directory of Rights-Managed Stock
Imagery is designed to assist buyers in finding professional images and drive traffic to
the seller's web site.
An updated Veer Directory will be mailed free to 30,000 graphic design and advertising
professionals in the United States and Canada six times a year. Suppliers with specialist
collections will find it a particularly cost effective way to promote their collection to
the entire market. They can advertise occasionally or in every issue as they choose. The
directory will also be useful to large general agencies who recognize the marketing value
of repeated impressions. Large agencies with specialized thematic collections can use the
directory to affordably focus attention on their areas of specialty.
The 7" x 8.5" page size is large enough for good display of images, but small enough that
the image buyer will want to keep it on their desk near their computer for easy
The bi-monthly mailing strategy provides the seller with the opportunity to easily
re-focus their message and offer special promotions to test the effectiveness of their
marketing. The cost is very affordable. Sellers can purchase a display ad or a listing by
category. Listings are priced such that small suppliers with a well defined specialty can
afford to let 30,000 buyers know their site exists. The idea behind the directory is to
provide a tool for the buyers that will enable them to find all the stock sources --
large generalists or small specialists -- that have searchable web sites.
A Veer Directory web site of rights-managed stock suppliers with a direct link to each
agency's site will launch in September 2002, coinciding with the first issue of the
Directory. This will provide every advertiser with two avenues to promote their brand.
The site at
www.veerdirectory.com is already live and
currently provides image suppliers with information on advertising options.
Only those suppliers with a keyword- or category-searchable site are allowed to advertise
in the Veer Directory. This should limit the listings to only the serious stock image
suppliers and make it a more useful tool for image buyers.
The Veer Directory recognizes that:
Web sites must be promoted, and that while E-mail and other types of online
promotion can be useful, frequent print marketing must also be used to reach the broad
cross section of image buyers.
Catalog promotion has become ridiculously expensive in the U.S. For the return it
generates, only the largest of agencies promoting a broad general file can justify this
Frequency is important. Advertising theory says that a prospect must hear the
message at least six times before they buy. A single print ad or direct mail piece is not
With the new postage rates individual direct mail pieces in any kind of volume or
frequency become prohibitively expensive to distribute. Veer lets you promote your site
for a fraction of what it would cost to produce your own materials.
Surveys of image buyers have indicated that they use several different suppliers
and they want more choices. They also say they need help in identifying new and
The directory will be promoted in the Veer Visual Elements catalog, a sister
publication with a monthly circulation of 400,000.
[ Disclosure: I was involved in the concept development of the Veer Directory. For my
efforts I will receive some compensation based on the success of the project. Thus, the
opinions expressed here are not unbiased, but I believe they are still worth
Who Are The People Behind Veer?
A critical issue when gauging the chance for success of any new venture is the experience
of the people behind it. Veer brings the talent and expertise of much of the original
EyeWire team back together, with former EyeWire President and CEO, Brad Zumwalt, on the
board as an investor.
This team has effectively marketed products and services to the visual content industry
for over 15 years and has extensive expertise in marketing, list selection and design.
They have produced direct marketing sales catalogs and web sites for Image Club, Adobe
Studios, EyeWire and some of the Getty Images brands.
The Veer team has demonstrated that they know how to produce effective direct marketing
products and to build and manage an effective mailing list.
The goal of Veer is to build a company that offers creative professionals all the
services they need. The EyeWire model offered a variety of products and services, but
from the creative buyers point of view the one important element lacking in that model
was access to Rights-Managed photography. The Veer Directory adds this important element
to the mix and thus makes the entire Veer offering a more useful, if not indispensable,
tool for creatives. It provides photo buyers with information and access to not just one
or a few brands, but potentially every brand that might have images that would fulfill
their imaging needs.
Why Advertise More Than Once?
Some agents have said, "If this is just a directory, why does it need to be mailed so
often? Why do I need to be in it six times a year?"
Advertising theory says that a prospect must hear the message at least six times before
they buy. Customers need to be reminded that you exist. A single print ad or direct mail
piece is not enough. Web sites are always changing and new ones are appearing. To be
useful to buyers the directory must always have the most up-to-date listings and
Our industry is changing rapidly and dramatically. Sellers need to be able to test the
effectiveness of their advertising and make adjustments. If an ad strategy isn't working
it is easy to make adjustments when the next directory will come out in two months.
Frequency gives sellers the opportunity to make short term special offers. They can also
show new work in each issue or feature certain sections of their file. Pre-designed ad
layouts make creating each new ad simple and hassle-free. Over time this will give
customers the comprehensive understanding of the offering they desire.
One complaint we have heard is that one spread is too limiting in the number of images
that can be shown. Buyers have also said they want to see enough images to get a flavor
of what the agency has to offer. One way to solve this dilemma without producing your own
catalog or very elaborate direct mail piece is to provide a URL in your ad that links the
buyer to a special lightbox that shows 50 or 100 of the best images on your site. The
print ad simply draws the buyer to the web. The lightbox gives them more depth of
understanding and from that lightbox the buyer can easily move to doing full searches for
any subject on your site.
Some agencies may find that they want to do an occasional spread for a special
announcement and then smaller ads, or a listing on a regular basis to keep their brand in
front of the customers and still manage their costs.
The Veer Directory will feature a comprehensive listing of rights-managed image suppliers
uniquely organized by thematic categories. Users will be able to quickly and easily
locate the web sites of companies that specialize in the type of imagery they are looking
for at the moment.
This feature will be particularly useful for those buyers who choose to go to
www.veerdirectory.com , search through the
categories for the general type of imagery they
need and then click on the URL of the agencies listed for direct access to the agency's
What's The Source Of Their Mailing list?
Some users want to know more about how the mailing list is compiled. The Veer team
provided the following explanation as to how they build their list.
"Our strategic list selection is compiled by an in-house circulation analyst and list
expert with over 5+ years in the visual content industry and proven results in growing
the customer and prospect databases to over 500,000+ names. The list includes high-end
names from graphic design magazines, subscribers to Photography and Illustration annuals,
and other lists of buyers of stock imagery and related services. We will also draw names
from our house list and from a single agreement with a significant strategic partner to
access lists that are not currently available on the market. All the names on our list
are active buyers in the past 12 months, are segmented by advertising agency revenue,
professional title and buying history. We also identify names that appear on multiple
lists to increase the purchase probability."