Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Profits and Personalization

PIA released information from their latest survey and compared print sales increases to GDP growth. Somehow, things got confused. Their release can be downloaded at http://sdm3.rm04.net/ui/modules/display/manageAttachments.jsp?ms=Mzg5MDU5S0&r=OTcyNTE3ODk1S0&j=NzQ3NTIyNAS2
The inflation adjustment in the release seems clumsy. Why adjust at all and instead use current dollars? GDP growth was 6.5% for the first half of 2005. The PIA survey says print growth was 3.7%. Despite the assertion that the industry is catching up with the economy, it's clear that there's a big difference between 6.5 and 3.7. I still have a preference for using the CPI to adjust prices, but this week's WTT column that will appear this Friday (8/26) touches on the matter. I wrote the column early last week (sometimes I can do that; other times I press the deadline and make the WTT folks sweat; nah, not really, I've been really good about beating deadlines). After the PIA release the upcoming column seems all the more applicable.

Got a personalized piece in the mail today. It was for a trade event, and they had a picture of my potential show badge on the front, and it reminded me to log in and get my badge by registering and planning my trip. This continues a multi-year track record of getting personalized mail that is incorrect. I still have yet to receive an accurate personalized piece that is not a statement or an invoice. In this case, all of my personal information was correct, but I had registered for the event almost four months ago, and I already have my badge. Otherwise, it was a good-looking, well-designed piece, simple and to the point. Would it have been cheaper to miss the target with a static piece? I've asked this question of 1:1 proponents many times, and they continue to shrug their shoulders.

On another matter, Kodak has closed Creo's plate plant. This was no surprise at all. The plant served its purpose: it helped make Creo more attractive as an acquisition target. It served its purpose well.

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