An early FY24 cost outlook, enhanced email design and deliverability, new data privacy laws, and a big shift in commercial digital advertising—all in this week’s @AvalonFYI dispatch. Read it here!
I hope that everyone enjoyed the long weekend. It was great to be home again in Annapolis after a stretch of business travel. This is senior year for my younger son Alex, and he had his final basketball game and senior night on Friday. We’re enjoying all the “lasts” that go along with it, but every milestone is bittersweet.
Avalon has a February tradition of sharing updates from every department with our full staff. It has been rewarding to hear from team leaders and to see so much incredible work in progress. Connecting our daily work to the big picture keeps our teams motivated, focused, and grateful for one another. This is how we make our biggest impact.
As I’m sure you know, FY24 budgets will soon be underway for most organizations. As we project out, we are consulting with production partners on logistics and costs. We cannot control the global paper supply, which will affect costs, but we will prepare for increased prices. In addition, we anticipate that the Postal Service will exercise its option to increase postage again in July 2023. Your Avalon teams will help you assess this, so you can align budget decisions with strategic goals. Although rising costs are not what we want, recent years have prepared us to handle them well.
For more on the paper supply, I found analysis from Printing Impressions helpful: Will the Paper Chase Persist? It explains the global changes that have prompted higher costs and the outlook for supply in 2023. HP product manager John Crumbaugh offered a cautiously optimistic assessment:
The supply chain for producing printing paper is still tight, but there are signs that it is beginning to loosen up and should be much improved in 2023. In North America, the paper mills are operating at or near capacity, but the analog market appears to be slowing, and imports are beginning to increase, so paper is more available than earlier [last] year. Not ideal but looking better going into 2023.
In digital fundraising, our digital and design teams have been collaborating to identify the optimal image size for emails. They are testing larger image formats across multiple platforms to assess deliverability. Larger images are crisper and more accessible, but you don’t want to sacrifice email deliverability. So far, results are promising. Once tests are final, our design team will redefine output specs to ensure the most striking experience possible for your audience.
In DEI news, I’ve been pleased to observe that our clients are not only celebrating Black History Month, but also incorporating Black history into year-round content and programs. For example, the American Air Museum in Britain features the experiences of Black Americans in Britain during World War II. And, across more than 100 properties in Massachusetts, The Trustees have embraced the imperative of sharing diverse stories. Thank you for this important work.
To support compliance, Wiland is offering a free, on-demand data privacy webinar. In 2023, five states have or will enact new data privacy laws: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Utah, and Virginia. The webinar will cover when and how these laws affect nonprofits, how fundraisers should prepare, and what to expect after 2023.
Finally, it wouldn’t be February without Super Bowl marketing! The consensus seems to be that this year’s TV ads were a little flat, and I agree. There were a few gems, but no major standouts.
For many marketers, changes in advertising strategy were more exciting. According to Ad Week, the top 20 Super Bowl advertisers flocked to TikTok (up 400% over 2022) and left Twitter (down 43%). Facebook spend was relatively flat, and both Instagram and YouTube saw a modest increase (up 39% and 40%). Additionally, there is viewing tension between linear TV and streaming, and the ad strategy is following. Is it just me or is this the real story?