Selecting a Print Location for Your Catalog Version
Choosing a print location for your international catalog requires more than throwing a dart at a world map while blindfolded.
When marketing overseas, should you print and mail your catalog in the United States or in your target country? An economical solution is based on production, distribution and your marketing strategy, according to Tim Ohnmacht, manager
of international business development for printing company Quad/Graphics.
Your marketing strategy and mail volume largely dictate your printing and mailing location. For example, if you’re banking on the cache of being an American company, consider printing your catalog in the States and mailing your piece using the U.S. Postal Service’s International Surface Airlift Service so your catalog bears a U.S. indicia.
In general, U.S. printers provide the lowest printing costs and offer the highest degree of technology, says Ohnmacht. Many U.S. printers also are technologically advanced in the use of ink jet printing, which allows for greater personalization.
For example, many U.S. catalogers ink jet special offers or messages on their back covers and inside order forms, as well as on pages throughout the catalogs. Outside the United States, however, ink-jetting capabilities often are limited just to back covers and in a few cases, to inside order forms, Ohnmacht notes.
“Overseas printers don’t have the complexity or degree of personalization that we do in the United States,” he says. However, U.S. printers are helping to elevate the level of printing sophistication overseas by investing in international satellite locations.
If your marketing strategy involves a local or regional approach, you have two options: You can print your catalog in the United States and inject it directly into the domestic postal stream of your target country or region with the help of a remailer or foreign postal authority. Or, like cataloger Eddie Bauer, you can both print and mail within the region you’re targeting.