Production & Printing
Are mobile 2D barcodes the future of direct? Could be, says Gary Reblin of the USPS.
While consolidation has been a growth and hang-on strategy for some in the printing industry, the space is undergoing such a seismic shift in its expanding arrays of services that the old metrics and measures no longer apply.
Printer Quad/Graphics signed a $135 million multi-year agreement with long-term partner Bluestem Brands on Dec. 12.
The printing and production sector has undergone major transformation in a digitally dominated market, and many marketers can now use the dual impact of print media and technology to communicate marketing messages to customers. At the same time, there has been a recalibration of expectations for improved sales and greater return on investment.
Christa Carone discusses Xerox's b-to-b client retention strategy.
Direct marketers are concerned about the prospect of additional postal increases, overshadowing worries over printing materials.
Marketers sound off on how rising costs are impacting strategies.
Printer Quad/Graphics has created a commercial and specialty print division, combining the recently acquired HGI Company operations with those of its magazine, catalog and book-printing business.
Several major brands recently launched global b-to-b campaigns, emphasizing their expertise in new areas and signaling a change in their overall marketing strategy. UPS, Xerox and Zurich Financial Services all debuted significant business-facing campaigns in the past month.
Direct marketers and catalogers are preparing to face paper cost increases this fall, while also planning for a possible significant postal rate increase in January.
Now that Quad/Graphics' acquisition of Worldcolor is complete, Quad is beginning the integration portion of the deal.
Direct marketers know they can use variable data printing to create highly personalized marketing pieces. Our experts discuss the best ways to segment and measure these VDP efforts to optimize your ROI.
IWCO Direct, a Chanhassen, MN-based company specializing in direct mail, has acquired the US direct mail operations of Transcontinental, a Montreal-based printer. The deal, announced February 10, is expected to close this spring. Terms were not disclosed.
Quad/Graphics plans to acquire rival print and digital services firm Worldcolor this summer, the two companies announced last week.
Advances in printing technology have already dramatically changed the face of direct mail in the past three decades. The biggest issue printers face now is finding a way to communicate what is possible to marketers.
Digital print production can be a turning point for marketers to increase their competitiveness and grow even while gaining cost savings and a faster ROI on campaigns.
Advanced Image Direct (AID) has patented Cloud2Mail, a variable data digital print platform that processes orders from the Web and prints four-color envelopes and letters simultaneously.
Local branches of Mail Boxes Etc. and the UPS Store, both UPS companies, are conducting a multifaceted marketing effort to promote online printing services, which allow consumers and businesses to publish documents from the Web. The initiative targets small to midsize businesses.
FedEx Office has completed the rollout of its Design & Print Center platform, which was announced in May. Working with commercial printer VistaPrint, FedEx Office has created a digital self-service tool for small business owners to create and order custom business cards, letterhead and marketing collateral. The service is available in the more than 1,100 FedEx Office stores either via an in-store kiosk or from the computer terminals available for customer use.
Looking to improve its position in the direct mail, transactional and transpromo markets, HP announced a technology alliance with RR Donnelley last week to develop digital printing solutions for inkjet-based digital presses.
HP and Pitney Bowes announced an alliance at the Print 09 trade show on September 11 through which Pitney will manage sales of the HP Inkjet Web Press for the transactional and trans-promotional print markets. Pitney will offer the product as part of the Pitney Bowes IntelliJet Printing System, which is used by large volume mailers. The system includes the HP T300 Color Inkjet engine, a high-speed Pitney Bowes mail finishing system, and a single service and support team.
Vertis Communications named Kathy Calta its first CMO, effective September 1. She most recently served as partner at interactive agency Rosetta. The goal of creating the position, Calta said, is to help the company work more closely with its clients.
HP has announced a series of relationships with marketers anxious to reach consumers with material they can print at home. In addition, HP has launched the HP APP Studio, a Web site where consumers can access print applications that connect a printer to the Web, without the need for a computer, so they can print movie tickets, coupons and other content.
The rush to stand out in the mailbox, as well as advances in mail technology, has led some marketers to consider larger mailers. But are they worth it? Two experts examine options.
Some marketers don't always understand how sophisticated variable data printing can be, because they haven't used it extensively. Four experts discuss what VDP offers to help smooth out the learning curve.
In one of the first significant applications of transpromo techniques in the business-to-business arena, Sinclair Oil Corp. has chosen InfoPrint Solution Co.'s transpromo software to drive usage of a fuel and expense card for truckers. "This is significant to see relevant content being used in this way move into the b-to-b space," said Lee Gallagher, manager of direct marketing solutions at InfoPrint.
Harte-Hanks made a pair of recent hires to its Shoppers business as it looks to build synergy between its print strategy and its online and mobile marketing. So Young Park has been named VP, marketing for PennySaverUSA.com and will oversee brand and consumer marketing for PennySaverUSA's network of sites. Doug Williams has been named VP, e-commerce for PennySaverUSA.com and will oversee online sales, b-to-b partnerships and advertising products.
Direct mail production and printing services provider Johnson & Quin has acquired certain assets of Staples Print Solutions' direct mail division InteliMail. The deal brings Johnson & Quin customers in the financial services, retail and government arenas as well as additional bindery, lettershop and affixing capabilities.
Print service providers are responding to one of the most challenging economic environments ever by joining forces and expanding services to compete.
FamilyFun magazine is rebranding and launching a line of spin-off products and a custom publishing line in a rare growth push for media companies in this economy. The moms- and kids-focused monthly will be known as Disney FamilyFun, after its parent company, as of the August issue. The company's magazine publishing division is also changing its name, to Disney FamilyFun Group, all in an effort to make the most of combined brand power of Disney and the 2.1 million-circulation FamilyFun.
Company of the week
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