By Gretchen A. Peck Some practical, modern insert media tips for catalogers. Postal rates went up earlier this year, and they're expected to rise again in about another year. For catalogers looking for ways to offset some of their distribution costs, the time may be right to launch an insert media program or ramp up an existing one. "One of the main challenges for any mailer right now is that you only have so many promotional dollars to acquire new customers," says Garrison Cummings, circulation analyst for Miles Kimball, a general merchandise cataloger. "With postage rates going up, you have to look down other
Banta Catalog Group
Competition for consumer affection is more ferocious than ever in this uncertain economy. During times like these, cutting costs to save some much-needed cash may be in order. In that vein, some catalogers have taken the step of shopping around their print work. While that can be a smart move, it’s easy to lose sight of considerations other than that all-important bottom line. Choosing a printer based only on price can be a treacherous and slippery slope to travel. Francis Crowley, executive vice president of sales at Spencer Press, a Wells, ME-based catalog printer, admits it’s true that catalogers can cut great
Want to raise productivity levels in your mail and call centers? Who doesn’t—especially in the wake of the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) latest round of rate increases. To be sure, postal/mailing solutions encompass a vast array of products and services. Here we offer a small sampling of the numerous technology applications designed to save your company’s mail and call centers time and money. This list, while far from exhaustive, includes software that you can purchase, free applications available to customers of some outsource providers and Web-based application service providers. When known, we’ve included some cost estimates for these solutions and services.
As a cataloger, you want to present the right information at the right time to the right customers in their preferred media. Indeed, your company’s success may be based on the ability to market products accurately and retain a consistent message across all of your marketing vehicles, including print, Web and direct mail. Today, many catalogers find that about 30 percent of their customers use print catalogs as their shopping lists and the Web as their actual ordering method. To guarantee customer satisfaction, then, it’s crucial that your product information be consistent in both channels. That’s where technologies such as digital
How to achieve great color every time By Jim Chase and Ken Peterson "Through informed use of digital technologies, the catalog marketer can achieve better color performance on press and greater control of the final product than were possible using film." — Tom O'Connor, Banta Catalog Group Has this ever happened? You're on a press check, trying to get the color you expected when you sent the job in. First, you work the mid-tones to get a good balance. Bam, your solids and solid overprints go south on you. The olives and plums are too blue, and the oranges are growing
Take a look inside the bindery to understand what really goes on By Tom Benedict The success of a consumer or business-to-business catalog is greatly enhanced through the ability to develop strategies that target specific customers. At the core of these strategies is the mailing list. A tremendous amount of research and cost comes into play in determining which customers should receive what offer and how to direct that customer to a specific merchandise offering. Once the appropriate list analysis has been completed and the list contains vital marketing data designed to reach these customers,
Who manages your digital assets? VWR Scientific Products is a leading worldwide distributor of scientific equipment, supplies, chemicals and furniture, with headquarters in West Chester, PA. The peacefully quiet offices belie a massive workflow that produces thousands of catalog pages per year. VWR went from "desktop to database" in 1992, a change many catalogers are making now. "It's the most dramatic transition you can make," says Lynn Homann, marketing communications manager at VWR. "If you want to tweak your book in a year, [with a database] you don't have to update multiple Quark files."
Harley-Davidson dealers customize retail traffic-builders It's summer, and while most people troop around in shorts and tees, motorcyclists take to the roads in perforated leather and nylon mesh. In the motorcycling market, Harley-Davidson stands out with its Motorclothes line. Customer brand loyalty is strong, as the Web site (www.harley-davidson.com) reminds us: "It's one thing to have people buy your products. It's another for them to tattoo your name on their body." Harley-Davidson, headquartered in Milwaukee, WI, was incorporated in 1903 but started mailing catalogs only 10 years ago. This year Harley will mail an annual core book of over 100