Another USPS Holiday Heist

For the third year in a row, the United States Postal Service is raising the prices throughout the holidays.

They requested a temporary price increase on mail services used during the peak holiday season. In a statement, the USPS said the temporary rate adjustments are similar to ones in past years aimed at  helping them cover extra handling costs and to ensure a successful peak season.

Price increases range from 25 cents to upwards of $6 per package, are planned to go into effect on October 2, 2022 and last through January 22, 2023 for mailings that include Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express and First-Class Package Service.

The Postal Regulatory Commission still has to approve the higher rates.

Last month, the cost of a US postage stamp increased by 2 cents, raising the cost of mailing a first-class letter by 3.4%, to 60 cents. Parcels and packages are where the Postal Service is really making its money today. The USPS handles final delivery of many packages shipped by online retailers such as Amazon, with items delivered in bulk to the post office nearest to the buyer’s home.

The Punch for Paper

Nobody is certain how to best manage the current commercial paper shortage. With the open enrollment, holiday, and political mailing season only a couple of months away, we are encouraging our clients to to order paper now. Prices continue to climb (faster than gasoline), and delivery times continue to extend! Worse yet, there is no guarantee that the paper we order today and expect delivery by August will actually arrive!

The problem started a while ago. Even before the pandemic, restrictive environmental regulations, aging/expensive equipment, and skyrocketing labor costs contributed to many mills closing because they were unable to compete. Also, many mills quit producing commercial printing paper and began manufacturing board stock as the packaging industry flourished. That’s when the U.S. paper shortage began. We weren’t too worried because mills from overseas were able to fill the void.

Companies adopted the “Just In Time” operative to allow for decreased amounts of inventory saving valuable space and reducing costs. JIT works great when the supply chain is whole. Thanks to the pandemic, the supply chain today is broken and on many levels.

U.S. Ports are still scrambling to catch up and are a primary source of disruption. There is also a container problem in on the other side of the ocean. Lou Caron, President of The Printing Industries Association of Southern California (PIASC) blogged that he was told that the Korean paper mills are producing at max capacity but couldn’t find enough containers to ship their inventory. Most likely because there are so many here waiting to be unloaded. Remember, the paper mills are competing for the same container space that giants like Amazon and Walmart need.

Another hurdle is that it takes a long period of time for a paper mill to come back online.  It can take up to six-months. As the pandemic cycles in waves, mills have shutdown, re-opened, shutdown, and re-opened causing significant delays and reducing available inventory nationwide.

In short, we are all vying for paper and trying to prepare for the upcoming mailing season. We strongly recommend that you order paper early. If you are planning to mail in the fall, order your paper now. Unfortunately, costs are higher than we have ever seen before, and as mentioned earlier, the mills aren’t guaranteeing complete delivery.

We need to be flexible and adapt to the current situation. Be open to using different types of paper or trying a different type of mailer. The paper shortage has dramatically affected the envelope industry as well. You may want to consider self-mailers or postcards in lieu of envelope mailings this fall.  Most importantly, start your plan and paper as soon as possible.




The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the financial, operational, and service performances of the USPS. Here’s how:

Employee Availability
The cumulative number of employees quarantined reached 19.1%, while  non-career employee turnover rate hit 40%.

Lack of airplane and truck capacity, and industry competition for both, disrupted the supply chain and transportation resources particularly during the holiday season

Shift in Mail/Package Composition
A dramatic decline in First Class Mail combined with an unprecedented package volume increase of 40%

The postal service continued to deliver to its 160 million address client base throughout 2020. However, constraints in processing and transportation networks prevented timely and consistent arrival of product.

Package delivery is expected to continue to rise in the coming decade.  While this dynamic will create strong opportunities for the Postal Service and may leverage it to be even
more relevant, it also requires significant changes to its operating model. In the coming months we are anxious to learn what USPMG Louis DeJoy’s 10-year vision for the postal will be.

Geographic Segmentation

The four types of Marketing Segmentation are Demographic, Psychographic, Behavioral, and Geographic. Today we review Geographical.

Geographic segmentation groups users based on location. It is put into play when a user’s location is likely to influence their buying behavior, or their consumer wants and needs.

Businesses that are location driven benefit immensely from this type of segmentation. For example, dry cleaners or pizza restaurants (especially those that deliver) are considered location driven businesses. Most of their clients live or work within close proximity of the business.

The size of a community also plays a part in geographic segmentation. One company may market lawn mowers to rural communities where most residents have a yard but target city dwellers with weed trimmers or leaf blowers for manicuring lawns or sidewalks.

Taking the time to research your customer base and study your data can only benefit your business and stretch your marketing dollars far.

Behavioral Segmentation

The four types of Marketing Segmentation are Demographic, Psychographic, Behavioral, and Geographic. Today we review Behavioral.

Behavioral segmentation is based on behavioral patterns and focuses on what consumers like, dislike, and their dispositions towards products or services. Also, behavioral segmentation can help validate data collected through demographic segmentations.

Some good examples of Behavioral data include:

    • Purchasing Habits
    • Benefits Sought
    • Buyer Journey
    • Product Use
    • Customer Loyalty

The better you know and understand a customer, the more personal the value proposition you can offer, and net a greater chance to convince an individual to make a purchase.

Psychographic Segmentation Marketing

The four types of Marketing Segmentation are Demographic, Psychographic, Behavioral, and Geographic. Today we review Psychographic Segmentation.

Psychographic segmentation Leverages customer data with a foundation in psychology.  It uses data to create customer segments based on psychological characteristics. Unlike Demographic Segmentation, which is fact based, psychographic segmentation factors are a bit more difficult to identify because they are subjective. They are not singularly data-focused and require research to uncover and understand.

Today, psychographics is a powerful addition for effective market segmentation because it  operates on the belief of getting to know your customer better and the psychographic data supplements your behavioral and demographic data.

This type of data is available to append to your existing client base today. We use several tools (such as Nielson’s PRIZM and P$YCLE data) to help clients identify psychographic tendencies.

These complex systems go beyond coding customer records for consumer targeting applications. They provide profile databases for behaviors ranging from leisure time preferences to shopping to eating to favorite magazines and TV shows. The programs were created using a proprietary method called Multivariate Divisive Partitioning (MDP) which borrows and extends a tree partitioning method that creates segments based on demographics that matter most to households’ behaviors.

The most common tree partitioning technique, Classification and Regression Trees (CART), involves a modeling-oriented process. Described simply, statisticians begin with a single behavior they wish to predict and start with all participating households in a single segment. Predictor variables, such as income, age, or presence of children, are analyzed to find the variable—and the appropriate value of that variable—that divides the single segment into two that have the greatest difference for that behavior. Additional splitting takes place until all effective splits have been made or the size of the segment created falls below a target threshold.

This process identifies and segments based on Life-Stage groups, and drills further down with 68-additional groupings such as “Young Achievers”, “Accumulated Wealth” or “Empty Nesters”.

Contact us for additional information and pricing on these powerful segmentation tools.


Demographic Segmentation Marketing

Market segmentation is the process of dividing a target market into smaller, more defined categories. It segments customers into groups that share similar characteristics. Using different types of market segmentation allows you to target customers based on unique characteristics, create more effective marketing campaigns, and find opportunities in your market.

The four types of Marketing Segmentation are Demographic, Psychographic, Behavioral, and Geographic. Today we’ll review Demographic Segmentation.

Demographic segmentation divides the market into smaller categories based on demographic factors, such as age, gender, or income. Instead of reaching an entire market, this method is used to focus resources into a defined group within that market.

Dividing the market into smaller segments, each with a common variable, allows companies to use their time and resources more efficiently. They can better understand the prospective market, and use advertising personalization to ensure the needs of the targeted group are fulfilled:

Some Demographic Segment Examples include:

    • Age
    • Gender
    • Income
    • Location
    • Annual Income
    • Education
    • Ethnicity

Where the above examples are helpful for segmenting B2C (Business to Consumer) audiences, a business might use the following to classify a B2B (Business to Business) audience:

    • Company size
    • Industry
    • Job function

Demographic information is statistical and factual.

Top 10 Reasons It’s Going to be Alright #1


Okay, we KNOW that this bit of fantastic won’t last. In the meantime though – Houston traffic is AWESOME! We are moving at lightning speed and with little aggravation on our highways and WE ARE LOVING IT!
Stay safe and healthy out there, and thanks for taking this “ride for fun” with us!

Top 10 Reasons It’s Going to be Alright #2

#2) People Really Do Care

Through all of the sadness, anger, and disappointment floating around; our faith in mankind remains true. Everyday, all over the city we witness acts of kindness. People really do care. People are volunteering at their local food bank or schools to help distribute needed groceries, landlords are forgiving rent, and people are sharing items to help ease the burden for someone other than themselves. Human kindness is overflowing and we are glad of it.