CATALOG Market -- Recovery Is a Custom Order
Pages Stay Steady
In assessing the market outlook from Quebecor World's perspective, Zengo echoes many of the points made by his industry peers. "We've already begun to see catalogers increase their number of catalog mailings in the fourth quarter, but we don't expect page counts to increase significantly until these companies experience notable uplifts in their sales," he reports.
Across the board, catalogers seem to be focused on enhancing their prospecting by doing more mailings in an attempt to win new customers, the printing exec notes. "Also, multi-channel marketing will continue to progress as catalogers try to reach customers through their preferred media," he adds.
Zengo sees a need for enhanced bindery capabilities, in particular, as catalogers try to minimize postal costs and more specifically target their audiences. He believes greater co-mailing capabilities and more sophisticated ink-jet printing for personalization will not only become more prevalent, but are a prerequisite for printers to grow in today's market.
Ink-jet capabilities, integrated with effective binder pocket utilization, enable increased use of versioning and direct mail practices that help catalogers differentiate themselves in the marketplace and maximize their efficiencies, the industry exec explains.
"Catalogers also will continue to look for ways to streamline their internal processes and cut cost from the equation," Zengo says. "Schedule consolidation, Web-enabled communication throughout the supply chain, and increased postal penetration and tracking will help them accomplish these goals."
As a final thought, Zengo notes that any gains for printers from a rebound in marketing activity will continue to be affected by the current overcapacity in the industry. Therefore, he expects it to remain a very competitive market for the near future.