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December 2009

Considerations for Commercial Printers

The following commentary are excerpts from and the opinions of Paul Manning of Printflow.

What do you think will the greatest opportunity for and threat to printers next year?
The variable digital market, in particular colour, is really gathering pace now within small to medium size organisations. The blue chips have been using variable data for a while but, in my opinion, the market is opening up within other organisations embracing the technology, organisations with smaller turnovers who can see the benefit of investing in print.

The greatest threat to printers next year are other printers. We're currently trading in one of the year's toughest months and some of the pricing we're coming up against is ludicrous. The capacity is clearly still too high (maybe because of this pre-packed administration epidemic) and so I expect, with next year's government belt tightening, to see many more printers going out of business.

What do you believe is the most under-recognised aspect in printing that is likely to become more important in 2010?
Variable digital cross media production. Printers have to realise that we need to be generating print, not waiting for it to fall into our laps. There's thousands of companies out there who could genuinely benefit from variable print and as a result, through demonstration of positive ROI, we don't need to cut our throats to win work.

Holiday marketing lessons learned

With many of our clients this year we have had extended conversations about the pros and cons of marketing over the Holidays.  Our firm’s recent cross media marketing effort provides a good case study on the merits of contacting prospects and customers over the holiday season.

The JFM holiday post card and email series is a subtle (or not so subtle) example for clients and prospects on how to use multiple channels to deliver the same content any time of year.

The card and email are not commercial in any way and merely convey best wishes for the season.  In addition to placing our brand in front of customers, the email and direct mail card showcase the technology the firm offers.  For equipment manufacturers, commercial printers seeking to become marketing service providers, and agencies seeking to be technology experts, it is critical to demonstrate the system in action.  We must, in other words, practice what we preach to sell effectively.

Here is the campaign.

Direct Mail Card:



VDP Web® Landing Page:


The direct mail card’s landing page was duplicated exactly using a different URL for both mail and email.

Besides getting direct response from the recipients preferred channel, the main point of the campaign was to get the recipient to notice the message more than once and ask the following question; “Did I receive the same material twice?”

Lessons Learned:

  1. Cross media marketing is more likely than single channel methods to capture attention and motivate follow on action.
  2. Executives, owners, managers, and decision makers are in the office or logging in remotely and use the holiday break to catch up on work and explore new ideas and options.
  3. Using non sales oriented communications to prospects and clients are outstanding new business and up sell opportunities.
  4. Existing customers and leads provide higher ROI from marketing efforts and it is a mistake to focus on new contacts over existing ones

For response metrics and more details, please contact us at 800-735-2578.

2010 Cross Media Marketing Self Assessment

As we approach the end of the year and there may be a moment to spare, take a few minutes to analyze your current cross media markleting efforts.  Ask your self a few questions:

Do I have access to all the information I need for lead generation?
Do I know who visits my web site by name and from what source?
Do I have the time to dedicate to project manage another program?
Do I know where web visitors came from? 
Am I 100% certain I know who my best customers are?  
Am I 100% certain I know who my best customers ought to be? 
Can I find more of the customers I am looking for? 
Can I stay in contact with my B, C, and D tier customers? 
Do I know the last time I touched each customer and prospect?
Do I target different segments with unique art, copy, and offers? 
Can I track who visits my website by name, address, and phone?  
Can I get detailed reports and can verify the ROI of my campaigns?
Do I know which version of my advertising delivered the best results?
Do I know which segments responded to which advertisements?

Taking stock of the strengths and weaknesses of your current marketing program will help determine steps for next year.