December 09, 2021

Mailing It!

Hat tip to Twitter user Sean Marotta for alerting us of a new podcast from the USPS, called "mailin' it!"

Since they're encouraging a lighthearted look into the inner workings of the United States Postal Service, maybe there will be an episode that covers the fact that five years ago traditional catalogers could get 95% of their catalogs delivered within a three-day window and today fewer than 90% of catalogs are being delivered within a thirty-day window. I think the catalog audience would appreciate hearing about how that happened.

My catalog readers have suffered through a complete meltdown of the vendor ecosystem.

  • USPS cannot reliably deliver catalogs anymore.
  • Paper reps cannot source enough paper.
  • Printers suffering from labor shortages.
  • Agencies responding by paying PR firms to get articles published saying "Catalogs Are Back!!"
  • Co-Ops funneling cataloger data into the social ecosystem for resale.
  • Minimal help from the ACMA, an organization that lobbies DC on catalog issues ... they're utterly silent on the topic most important right now ... simply getting something delivered to a mailbox.
Next year, catalogers need to do two things.
  1. Organize and demand accountability from a vendor community that completely failed catalogers in 2021. If you don't demand accountability, the vendor community will continue to run roughshod all over you going forward.
  2. Test the living daylights out of digital marketing and brand marketing tactics in 2022, given the current catalog support ecosystem is in free fall. You need a path out of the current predicament ... and guess what? E-commerce brands have been untethered from your problems for 20 years already!

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