Integrated Solutions Offer Marketers More Bang for the Buck

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Today's print customers want more than just print; they want multiple mediums to distribute information. To meet these expanding needs, printers have had to redefine what they do and how they do it.

As a result, the printing business model has changed radically and print customers benefit. In short, printing used to be about putting ink on paper. Now it's about providing solutions that encompass information management, repurposing, project management, order fulfillment and global distribution. CD-ROMs, the Web and digital print have redefined the marketplace. And, today, marketers are taking advantage of these mediums to improve the way they get their products to market.

Integrated solutions have redefined the marketplace, offering marketers the opportunity to expand their business models. With an integrated solutions model, marketers are able to store their content digitally in a powerful content management system.

Once the information is all in one "information warehouse," electronic files are easily retrieved and quickly converted through conventional print, digital print, CD-ROMs or the Internet. Fulfillment and distribution complete the process, delivering the finished product, in whatever format, to the end user. The result is an integrated solution that offers lower costs, shorter cycle times and, most importantly, a world of possibilities for competing in a highly competitive global marketplace.

Lower costs: Integrating new media with traditional print or digital print allows companies to reduce their inventory of materials and overhead costs. Marketers can produce manuals, CD-ROMs, catalogs or brochures on an as-needed or on-demand basis. Warehouse costs are reduced and the number of people needed to respond to requests for literature is reduced because orders for printed materials can be fulfilled over the Web and customized if fulfilled through digital print.

Shorter cycle times: Electronic files are easily retrieved and quickly converted for distribution through conventional print, digital print, CD-ROMs or the Internet.

Ability to compete globally: Customized Intranet/extranet development capabilities, coupled with expertise in print, enable marketers to compete globally. Using robust database technology, clients can benefit from offering their customers print materials shipped via their Extranet site. Materials can be ordered online and in various languages depending on clients' requirements.

As new media continues to expand its capabilities, the need for print will continue to grow. By developing integrated solutions, marketers are able to see more results, giving them a competitive advantage.

Dennis J. Meyer is vice president of marketing and planning at Banta Corp., Menasha, WI.

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