What Your Peers Are Doing and What It Should Mean to You: Focus On a Trade Group, Foreign Customers, Conference Travel and Search
Reacting to the Postage Increase
We ran the following poll question shortly after the new postal rates went into effect on May 14: “What changes have you made in your catalog make-up and plans so far to offset the May 14 postage increase?” Although the majority of respondents, 67 percent, said they’d done nothing yet, I’d rather focus on the specific responses: 17 percent said they’d reduced the trim-size of their catalogs, whereas no one said they were switching to a lighter paper weight or that they’d found some co-mailing opportunities.
We probably ran this question too soon after the rate hike, although the lack of activity by late May means that not many catalogers planned ahead. Naturally, it’s not too late to start cutting costs, especially since there’s no hope for any sort of reprieve now that the U.S. Postal Service last week said it wouldn’t allow for a reduction in the 20 percent to 40 percent increases for mailers of bulk flats (catalogs).
Less Conference Travel
Just prior to the ACCM event in Boston in mid-May, we asked this poll question: “On an overall staff-wide basis, what are your company’s plans for attending this year’s catalog/multichannel-related conferences, compared to last year?” A whopping 70 percent said they were sending fewer people, 20 percent said they were sending more people, and 10 percent reported no change from 2006.
I’d like to think that more and more of you are getting your tips from our magazine, this newsletter, our Idea Factory e-newsletter and our Web site, so you have less of a need to attend these conferences, but I think that’s only part of the reason. Attendance at the ACCM was good, not great, this year. It was overwhelming at the Internet Retailer conference held a couple of weeks later, but there weren’t many catalogers in attendance.