The February 2012 survey was emailed to over 5000 contacts profiled as Direct Mail Providers in the MCS CRM system. More than 200 respondents provided answers to seven questions on topics such as profitability of different mail departments, and concerns and opportunities seen in the industry. This survey was a follow-up to the survey conducted by MCS in 2007.
The results reflect the industry's mood - recovering from a few turbulent years of reduced mailing volume - followed by recent concerns regarding potential significant changes to the United States Postal Service. The survey shows that declining margins and revenues top the list of concerns as they also did in 2007, but postal change concerns now follow close behind. In addition, due to higher unemployment and easier labor access, the cost of labor is no longer a top concern as it was in 2007.
Digital color printing has taken the top spot for future profit opportunities for the next two years, and is ranked just behind inkjet addressing for top current profitability. This result, as well as the importance of offering cross-media services, indicates that the industry is moving to embrace digital offerings and one-to-one media as services beyond traditional direct mail.
MCS regularly performs informal surveys and polling of its broad customer base, and uses the results to provide direction for new products and services. David Loos, president of MCS, says: "In the past 2 years, we've seen the need for solution-based digital color offerings rather than a hardware-only approach. MCS has responded with a portfolio of digital presses and variable data workflow solutions to fit the growing needs of our customer base. This latest survey confirms the industry's future vision - but also underscores the need for strong product offerings to refresh technology in our customer's high-profit departments- such as inkjet printing and camera systems for match mailings."
For more information, or to download the survey results, visit www.mcspro.com.