Mailing and Fulfillment Service Association (MFSA) (Booth 668) President and CEO Ken Garner provided GRAPH EXPO attendees with an update to the group’s recent decision to re-brand as the Association of Marketing Service Providers (AMSP).
While Garner is not predicting the complete demise of direct mail, he said it comprises only one channel in marketing campaigns. The newly re-named organization is also shifting its focus to reflect the fact of convergence in an industry where the lines between print service providers, mailing service providers, and fulfillment houses have blurred.
“We believe most of our members are best serviced by expanding beyond a single focus on direct mail,” said Garner.
MFSA members overwhelmingly agreed, according to the group’s chairman, Michael Kellogg.
MFSA officials also anticipate that the new branding, which is set to go into place in January, will help the 92-year-old organization connect better with print service providers and other businesses that might not have considered themselves a good fit with a mailing industry association.
Some of AMSP’s priorities will still center around key issues for current members, such as postal policy, education, and consultation, but with a focus that better reflects the evolving needs and expectations of print and mailing fulfillment service providers.
Garner also announced a new accreditation program for marketing service providers. Through the program, MFSA/AMSP will benchmark members’ current programs, offering training materials, instructions on best practices, and an on-site audit.
MFSA also announced a new, Web-based services portal that will help direct mail customers align with service providers that best fit their needs.
The association partnered with InterlinkONE to create the portal because, “We believe existing and potential mailing customers often struggle to find the right service provider,” said Garner.
The portal, which is expected to launch in a few months, will allow businesses to shop for service providers who offer specific services such as NCOA lists, targeted in-home dates, mail tracking, measurable integrated online and print marketing, and more.
Mailing, print, and marketing service providers looking to be included in the portal will be able to purchase listings in the portal for a rate that is comparable to Yellow Pages advertising, according to Garner.