Key Notes Vol. 02 No. 08

Why the Print Catalog Is Back in Style – While Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue have been mailing catalogs for years, now specialty retailers are picking up the tactic.  Some, like Anthropologie, are launching new catalogs, while J.Crew and Restoration Hardware have significantly upgraded their catalogs in the past couple of years.  The need to engage customers at this higher level is unlikely to go away even if the economy takes another turn downward.  Great brands integrate catalogs with email marketing, social media, and other tactics into a distinctive, memorable, and valuable brand experience for their customers. Catalogs may seem old school, but their increased capabilities and the brand-building potential suggest they’ll remain a staple in retailers’ toolboxes – and consumers’ mailboxes. Source: Harvard Business Review

Direct Mail and Nonprofits – Raising awareness and funds as technology continues to explode has changed the landscape for nonprofits of all sizes. “The competition for people’s attention is extremely limited and fleeting,” said John McIlquham, president and CEO of The NonProfit Times. “And given the plethora of mediums out there to raise money, whether it’s television, print advertising, person-to-person appeals, grants, there’s just a huge amount of organizations competing for that dollar.” The NonProfit Times did a survey of 300,000 of their readers and ranked direct mail as the major way to raise funds. Source: Florida Today

Special Report: Reinventing the Postal Service – It’s safe to say the Postal Service is in financial shambles after losing $5.5 billion in fiscal 2014 and already coming out of the first quarter of fiscal 2015 with a $750 million loss. And there are no shortage of ideas from the Congress, the White House and the agency itself.  Breaking down the core issues (everything from Healthcare and retirement prefunding to 5-Day Delivery) are at the heart of the Postal Service’s fall. Read the full summary here. Source: Fierce Government

Reasons to Use Direct Mail Marketing Instead of Email Marketing – It’s undeniable that technology has changed the direct marketing industry. However, it has not irreparably damaged direct mail marketing. To the contrary, direct mail has been enhanced by web technologies in many ways. Direct mail is great at getting leads to visit a webpage, encouraging customers to buy online or collecting information (including email addresses!) from prospects. Rest assured that direct mail isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. To prove it, click here are four reasons why you should use direct mail in place of email to get the best results. Source: Entrepreneur

Magazine Media Measured Across Platforms – Magazine Media 360° is a newly created industry metric that captures demand for magazine media content by measuring audiences across multiple platforms and formats (including print+digital editions, websites and video) to provide a comprehensive and accurate picture of magazine media vitality. Click here to view the Brand Audience Report for the six month period of August 2014 – January 2015. Source: MPA

BMW Experiments with NFC Chips in Print Magazines – The car manufacturer BMW has recently announced a new partnership with tech start-up Tamoco to add NFC chips to their print magazine adverts. The technology works on the same principles as contactless payment, and integrating this into the printed page has been hailed as the ‘next big thing’ in print advertising. “Customers interacting with the print ad are directed to the most relevant content based on which operating system they use or how often they have tapped the ad previously” explained Tamoco in a press release with BMW. [The USPS 2015 Promotions contain an incentive for Emerging Technology that includes NFC]. Source: Talking New Media

50 Shades of Grade: Paper Gets Sexy Again – “We definitely see that print is coming back,” said Bart Robinson, Senior VP of Marketing for Mohawk Paper. “We saw a huge move to media online and now we are seeing people use [print and online] in tandem more than they were. We believe that print is alive and luxury print is alive and well.” Still, it’s the offset-to-digital migration that paper companies are gearing up for. “A continuing trend in offset printing is the shift toward smaller print runs,” said Dan Watkoske, Senior VP, Print, for Veritiv Corporation. “As a result, digital printing is replacing a large percentage of the offset business. As digital printing becomes a growing part of a local printer’s business, the need for quick turns has made paper inventory availability critical for winning accounts.” Source: My Print Resource

Veritiv to Feature Logistics Services and Packaging Solutions at Expo – The Logistics and Packaging segments of Veritiv Corporation will demonstrate their expertise and capabilities at the Natural Products Expo West to be held March 6-8, 2015, at the Anaheim Convention Center, in Anaheim, CA. The company will share its unique value proposition in logistics services and food packaging solutions and demonstrate how working with Veritiv can positively impact customers’ bottom line.   The company’s Logistics business offers custom programs for warehousing and fulfillment, as well as a full suite of transportation services including full truckload, intermodal shipping, and LTL freight.  Source: Veritiv