The Team Approach
It’s no secret that catalogers tend to keep their business practices close to the cuff. So what do they think about developing these partnerships? “Catalogers were resistant at first,” Goldstein confides. “They were solely concerned with making their own sale, not making a sale for some other company. And they were a bit reluctant about renting files. In most cases, it requires approval from key executives and sometimes that’s difficult to nail down.”
But the culture is changing, Goldstein continues, and catalogers are beginning to broadly embrace the idea.
Know the Specs
First decide on the types of programs to offer third-party advertisers, including the physical specifications. Deciding whether to offer advertising ride-alongs, blow-in cards or bound-in inserts can come down to your own aesthetic preferences. However, the selections more often should be based on the specifications of your catalog itself (e.g., trim size, type of stock, type of binding).
The choice between blow-ins and bind-ins automatically can be made depending on the catalog’s size specifications. Says Goldstein, “The smaller the trim size, the more likely that blow-ins will fall out. That hurts results, and in that case, you’re better off with something that’s bound in. Of course, in the case of mailers or advertisers, they prefer not to bind-in, simply because it’s costlier for them. And it can be more complicated, because they have to adhere to exact specifications, like dimensions for a [gutter] lip.”
Give it Time
No matter the project’s design, establishing an accurate lead time for material submission to the catalog printer is vital.
At McAdams Graphics, an Oak Creek, WI-based printer, the average turnaround from the date the artwork is received up to the shipping date is six or seven working days, according to Dan McAdams, vice president of sales and marketing. Freight time is additional.