Key Notes – Volume 04 Number 19

TNG Acquires Ingram Periodicals – TNG is North America’s largest supplier of magazines to retail.  Ingram Periodicals has long worked to distribute publications into bookstores and specialty outlets.  Having been hammered over the past decade or two by the bankruptcies of many of the key players — wholesalers, retailers, and national distributors, the industry is understandably relieved to anticipate some process in the shift of the business, an orderly transfer of accounts, billings, reporting, and order regulation.  Source:  Publishing Executive

Direct Mail Not Dying Out in the Wake of Digital – While direct mail may not be the most environmentally friendly of marketing tools, it can be more profitable than others, according to a new infographic from the Experian Data Quality group.  Referring to a study by the Boston Consulting Group, Experian notes that the use of direct mail is not waning in the wake of digital and advertisers will be using direct mail marketing even more in the years to come.  Total spending on ad mail is expected to rise from 11% to 12% by 2020.  Direct mail still appeals to consumers.  Source:  Biz Report

USPS Seeks ‘Firmer Financial Footing’ from Congress – The U.S. Postal Service currently has zero independently appointed governors on its board, and hasn’t had a new governor sworn in over seven years, Postmaster General Megan Brennan told reporters this week.  Meanwhile, the Postal Service continues to look to both Congress and the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), which sets the rate for postage costs, for some improvements for its financial future.  USPS posted a $562 million loss for the second quarter of fiscal 2017, despite continued double-digit growth in package volume and revenue.  However, the quarterly loss stands in contrast to the $2 billion net loss for the same quarter a year ago.  The cost of USPS’ mandatory pre-funding of postal retirees’ benefits fell by $1.2 billion, due to a change in the law that took effect this year.  Source:  Federal News Radio

Effective Way to Reach Millennials – As we grow into an increasingly digital society, it’s hard to believe that Millennials, of all people, respond well to direct mail.  But a recent study found that 84% of Millennials take the time to look their mail.  Granted, the study was conducted by the U.S. Postal Service, so there’s probably a little bit of bias in it.  Still, it does make sense when you think about it.  Source:  B2C

Growth in PEFC Continues – The Board of PEFC International has approved the SFI 2015-2019 Fiber Sourcing Standard – which requires risk assessments and independent third‑party audits – as a means of demonstrating that material in the supply chain poses a negligible risk and therefore does not originate from controversial sources.  In other words, the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard is now recognized by PEFC International as a tool that meets PEFC requirements for the avoidance of controversial sources in the PEFC Chain of Custody standard.  Source:  LinkedIn

Neuroscience Shorts 1: Introducing Haptics – Sappi etc., the education, training and consulting program from Sappi Fine Paper North America, has published a video, The Neuroscience of Touch, which introduces haptics and the neuroscience of touch.  The video features Dr. David Eagleman, host of the PBS series The Brain. Dr. Eagleman walks the audience through the complex science of haptics and help us understand how touch can color our interpretation of information.  Source:  Sappi, etc.

Could AR Be the Unlikely Savior of Print? – AR should create experiences that drive conversations and spark curiosity, and allow readers to dive even deeper into the story. Imagine future use cases incorporating related maps, charts and demonstrations, allowing for content creators to include explanatory 3D videos throughout the magazine. AR could act as a bridge between the physical and digital, linking to related articles or any other form of multimedia. A novel could be interspersed with video vignettes; a deep-dive, longform story could include interview snippets. Again, the breadth of possibilities is exciting.  Source:  Ad Age