PI 400 -- Direct Mail - The Direct Approach
BY ERIK CAGLE
Don't be fooled. When it comes to the overall health of the direct mail marketing segment, many of the big hitters within the commercial printing sector are well positioned, entrenched even, for the economic storm that has struck the country.
|Top 10 -- Direct Mail Printers|
|4||R.R. Donnelley & Sons
|5||Wallace Computer Services
St. Louis Park, MN
|8||The Instant Web Cos.
|9||The Lehigh Press
|Sales figures are based on above printers'
self-reported total and market segment breakdowns.
Perhaps it is because the major players in this sector are battle tested. After all, 2000 sent a strong message that prospects for a flat growth year in 2001 were readily apparent. The Internet had already been providing avenues for direct marketers to explore. And a pair of postal increases struck within a six-month period, with more in the works.
The events and fallout surrounding the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington have uniquely, but temporarily, impacted the strategies of the nation's leading direct marketers, particularly the perceived threat of the transfer of the bioterrorist chemical Anthrax through the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). This relatively recent development is obviously still playing itself out, with perhaps the true impact still to be felt.
A number of the biggest print providers for the sector do regard this challenge as another development that must be reconciled, but not so unique or so great an impact to throw them from their game plan.