October 4, 2012

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Change is Coming
CEO Summit


Change Is Coming

Meaningful, substantive change takes time — which is why we didn't waste any in figuring out how to reinvent the Print Solutions Conference & Expo for 2013. Get ready, because the changes we've been promising in our recent “teaser” ads really are coming. The event in Chicago next year will be quite different than the one in 2012 — for starters, it will have a new name, and it will take place over two days instead of three. And that's only the beginning.

Intrigued? Of course you are! Click here or on the banner to the lower left to learn more.

John Delavan, Editor-in-Chief, Print Solutions magazine

International Label Mfg LLC


HR Corner: What You Need to Know About the President’s Executive Order

By Charlotte Jensen, Executive Consultant, Affinity HR Group

By now, you've probably heard about the executive order President Barack Obama issued in June that offers protection to — and halted deportation of — younger illegal immigrants. The president's goal was to provide a temporary reprieve for younger undocumented immigrants brought to the United States by their parents. Among other things, the order applies to individuals who are 15-30 years old, entered the country before age 16, have been in the country for at least five years, and meet other requirements concerning criminal record, education and military service. People who can benefit from this order are often called DREAMers, a reference to the DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) that the president wants to see passed into law.

The logical question for those who may benefit from this order is if it means they can now legally work in the United States; the question employers are asking is if they must now employ illegal immigrants who qualify under this order. The answer to both is no.

The president's order is not authorization to work in the United States. Rather, it helps certain illegal immigrants develop a pathway for becoming legal. In some cases, that will mean the young immigrant can obtain a work permit, but the executive order by itself does not do that.

So, what is an employer to do? Assuming you faithfully complete I-9 forms with every new hire, keep doing what you're doing. Diligence in verifying an employee's identity and authorization to work in the United States via the I-9 process remains as critical as it has always been and is one of the most important compliance tasks that all employers must complete. Every single new hire must present documents (as listed on the I-9) in order to show their right to work in this country, so there is no such thing as, “I'm protected under this order, but I don't have paperwork to prove it.” If someone can't present documents to complete the I-9, that person cannot work, period. There is no law, order or initiative that allows otherwise.

There is, however, one area with the president's executive order that could get employers in trouble: a current employee mentions they are eligible for or protected under this program. Why is that a big deal? Because your employee will be admitting they are illegally in the country, and once you are aware of that it means you are illegally employing them. Furthermore, it likely means they provided false information on their I-9 form at the time they were hired, and that is also illegal. So, what do you do if you find yourself in this situation?

Upon investigation, if you find that the employee has falsified their I-9 or the documents they presented for completion of the form, you could be held liable for knowingly employing an individual not authorized to work in the United States. Depending on the circumstances, that can lead to hefty fines and imprisonment. While your resolution will likely include terminating the employee (the employee could also face fines and imprisonment for fraud), you'd be wise to consult with legal counsel before making the final decision, as a poorly handled termination in this situation can lead to the employee filing a discrimination claim against you.

Even without the president's executive order, the I-9 form is one of the most important processes you must complete with your new hires. Whether you have one employee or 10,000, every person hired or rehired in your organization since Nov. 6, 1986, must have completed an I-9 form. If you're unsure if this is being done properly, conduct an I-9 audit and get any errors for current employees corrected quickly. It is surprisingly easy to comply with I-9 requirements, but the penalties for not doing so are steep. In light of the president's executive order, it is an excellent time to ensure your processes are compliant. As always, if you have any questions, give us a call.

Charlotte Jensen is an executive consultant with Affinity HR Group, a firm that specializes in providing human resources assistance to associations such as PSDA and its member companies. To learn more, visit
GRAPH EXPO Is Here Next Week — Have You Registered?

GRAPH EXPO 2012 — held Sunday, Oct. 7, through Wednesday, Oct. 10, at McCormick Place in Chicago — is the largest graphic communications exhibition and conference in the United States. Top executives come to learn, network and make informed purchasing decisions every year at GRAPH EXPO.

This year, PSDA members can receive a free GRAPH EXPO pass by registering here, courtesy of the Graphic Arts Show Company.

As a PSDA member, you're invited to NPTA Alliance's networking reception, held Tuesday, Oct. 9, from 4-5:30 p.m., at GRAPH EXPO in Hall A of McCormick Place South, adjacent to the Education Main Street Pavilion. This is a great chance to interact with colleagues across the industry and continent. To receive your complimentary ticket to the reception, stop by the NPTA Booth 4650.

Planning to attend GRAPH EXPO? Email us and we'll keep you posted as we schedule a time for a quick PSDA member meetup.

While you're at GRAPH EXPO, make sure to check out these exhibiting PSDA member companies:

B&W – Booth 4716
Cook Receipt Book – Booth 4733
Formax – Booth 4608
PrinterPresence by Firespring – Booth 861
The DFS Group – Booth 4549
Xeikon America– Booth 2238
PSDA Members Hold Distributor Training Program

Business Stationery, Ward/Kraft, Adcraft Decals, Megagrafix, The Flesh Company and Xpedx/Finch Papers organized a daylong distributor training program Wednesday, Oct. 3, in Independence, Ohio, that integrated education, information and networking into a single event. The suppliers pooled their resources to put on a program that covered topics such as selling patented products in vertical markets, document security, using online programs to penetrate deeper into customers’ marketing budgets, large format products, and digital printing and printing papers.

"Events like this week’s distributor training session in Cleveland give our members the opportunity to renew relationships with suppliers and with one another," said PSDA Executive Vice President Matt Sanderson, who attended Wednesday's event. "PSDA hopes to see, and to participate in, regional education efforts like this across the country — it’s one of the most practical ways for our members to stay on top of the changing market.”

Look for more coverage of this event in the November 2012 issue of Print Solutions magazine.
Ennis, Inc.

Member News

Flottman Company Hires Don Tackett as Graphic Designer, Digital Press Operator

The Flottman Company recently added Don Tackett to its graphic design/marketing/pre-press team. Working as a member of the company's pre-press team, Tackett will assume the duties of graphics design for Flottman's communications strategies, pharmaceutical literature and digital printing. Tackett will also serve as an operator for the company's new Konica Minolta C8000 Bizhub Digital Print Press. Tackett joins the Flottman Company with more than 17 years of graphic design experience, most recently as designer at The Owens Group. Tackett has also performed as a freelance designer focusing on digital design and print publications.
Bristol ID Technologies Selected as One of 2012's Best Places to Work

Counselor magazine, published by the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI), selected PSDA member Bristol ID Technologies as one of the 2012 Best Places to Work. The process began with more than 300 companies completing the nomination process; Bristol ID placed 49th on the list of best places to work. “We are proud to be recognized as one of the 2012 Best Places to Work. Motivated and energized staff members tend to be the most loyal employees,” said Diane Morsch, Bristol ID's director of sales and marketing. “The Best Places to Work companies for 2012 are focused on creating ways to ramp up their employee's motivation, and Bristol ID does an exceptional job at that. We take pride in what we do every day.”

During the application process, Counselor had each company ask its employees to complete a 37-question online survey about their experience working at that organization. The survey measured 10 different areas: team effectiveness, employee loyalty, alignment with company goals, trust in co-workers, individual contribution recognition, manager effectiveness, trust in senior leaders, feeling valued, satisfaction with current role and satisfaction with company benefits. The 2012 Best Places to Work can be found in the September issue of Counselor magazine.
Innovative Print & Media Group Names Three New Managers to Support Growth

To support its dramatic growth in direct marketing and print management clients, PSDA member Innovative Print & Media Group recently added two new managers to its direct marketing team and promoted a current manager to focus exclusively on Innovative's print management program.

Chris Ambruch was promoted to the position of product manager for InnoSource Print Management Solutions. In his new role, Ambruch is responsible for managing the development of client sites using the Internet-based InnoSource system, which enables clients to manage all services associated with print and distribution programs through an adaptable e-procurement tool. Joining the Innovative direct marketing team are Tynisha Davis-Smith as program manager for managed care services and Amy Pressman as direct mail project manager.

As program manager, Davis-Smith will manage a complex, large-scale client program for a Fortune 100 Health Insurer, ranging from daily member communications to large, annual government-regulated member mailings. As project manager, Pressman is responsible for managing major client direct mail initiatives, executing multipart client campaigns and managing client communications for the direct mail team.

(From left: Ambruch, Davis-Smith and Pressman)
Formax Expands Line of Digital Print, Finishing Solutions

Formax recently introduced the FD 125 Large-Format Card Cutter. The FD 125 is ideal for on-demand processing of full-bleed color business cards, postcards, greeting cards and photos. With its capacity to cut a wide range of paper sizes in weights up to 350 gsm, users can create professional quality cards right from the desktop. The FD 125 features an easy-to-use control panel with LCD display, and cuts sheets from letter size up to 13” x 19”.

The FD 125 automatically cuts and slits documents and stacks them in sequential order at speeds of up to 240 business cards per minute. Users can utilize the seven pre-programmed jobs or six programmable jobs to save time and effort. The unit includes a stand, which doubles as an easily accessible waste bin compartment. Options include a 15” conveyor for neat and sequential output and easily interchangeable cutting cassettes for even greater productivity.
Chicago Tag & Label Upgrades to EFI Radius ERP

EFI, a customer-focused printing and packaging company, recently announced that PSDA member Chicago Tag & Label has selected EFI Radius as its new MIS/ERP software. In business for more than 65 years, Chicago Tag & Label is a national supplier of custom tags, custom labels and label-form combinations. The company has experienced steady growth throughout the years, and after an extensive review of options, Chicago Tag & Label selected EFI Radius Small Business Edition MIS to replace its EFI PSI Flexo system.

“We chose EFI Radius because it's built for the packaging and label industry and its architecture is more robust than the other options we considered,” said Chris Valenti, chief operating officer at Chicago Tag & Label. “EFI is a trusted supplier with the necessary support to ensure a successful migration to the new system. We expect EFI Radius to take this company to a new level of performance.”

Top Story

Digital Substrates Enter a New Dimension
Quick Printing (09/12) Hall, Bob

Digital printing has made it more complicated to decide what to print on. Paper that works well on an offset press may not necessarily yield good results with a digital press. Adding to the complexity is the growing array of specialty digital substrates, ranging from synthetic to pressure-sensitive to magnetic. Synthetic substrates can eliminate the need for laminating, resist moisture, grease and chemicals and be perforated. Uses include book covers, menus, luggage tags, wall charts, ID cards and signage. Pressure-sensitive substrates are available in permanent and removable versions. Printers may not be aware of the variety of specialty digital substrates and products available.

Paul Gardner of TimeStarvd in Salt Lake City said GPA and Mohawk are his two favorite vendors for synthetic and specialty substrates, and they have been very innovative and supportive. Richard Peck of CyberChrome in Branford, Conn., operates two Xerox iGen 3 presses and uses Xerox vinyls, polyesters, plastics, paper and synthetic pressure-sensitive sheets and magnetic sheets, specialty substrates from GPA and Mohawk and substrates from other manufacturers and distributors.

With the use of specialty substrates, printers often find projects they would not have considered otherwise. One printer who wanted a specialty substrate suitable for beer coasters received advice from Allen Havens of Clampitt Paper in Dallas/Ft. Worth, who said, "Crane's Lettra makes an 18-by-12-inch, 90-pound cover, which is certified for the HP Indigo as well as toner-based digital machines." The unsized, uncallendered sheet works well as coaster stock. "It is 100 percent cotton so the price point is up there, but for short-run digital that may not be a factor," he said.

Printing Trends

A Print Industry 'Oligopoly' Is on the Way: Are You In, or Are You Out?
WhatTheyThink (09/18/12) Henry, Patrick

Thomas J. Williams, founding partner at New Direction Partners — a consulting firm advising companies on mergers and acquisitions — said for the last several decades there has been a "perfect storm" of economic forces setting printers on a course where they will have to choose to either leave the business or adopt a realistic strategy for survival and expansion. He is convinced the ultimate outcome will be an oligopoly where a relatively small percentage of printers will produce the bulk of the revenue and enjoy the most profitability.

Factors Williams cited as contributing to this trend include a 30 percent decline in sales for traditional printing operations, extreme pricing pressure engendered by overcapacity and customer-side budget cuts. Compounding the situation now is the advent of non-print media, as customers seek alternative advertising and promotion channels, and the boom in smartphones, e-readers and tablets as digital content delivery systems. Williams estimated that a base of more than 52,000 printing firms has contracted to 27,000 between 1997 and today. Three-quarters of the surviving printers have operated at an average of break-even profitability for the last 12 years and averaged negative profitability for half of that period.

Williams said small printers have suffered the worst blow, noting that in 2010 the average firm with less than $10 million in sales was in the red, while in 2011 only firms in the $3 million to $6 million range managed to average a modest profit. Williams said an oligopoly market structure emerges when a small number of players control pricing and account for 70-80 percent of all market sales in the market, while the number of players declines to an equilibrium point. He projected that the print industry oligarchs will come from a core of roughly 2,500 firms that, on average, currently employ more than 100 employees and post an average of $23 million in yearly sales.

Williams anticipates a market-reigning group of 1,500 to 2,000 large firms averaging $27 million to $30 million in sales in 2020, giving them about 80 percent of all industry revenue. The remaining 20 percent will be split among 13,000 to 14,000 small firms averaging $1.1 million in sales. Williams said that for printers who want to exit the business, owners must consider the price they want for the business and the probability of acquiring it. If the business is not a profit leader, all will hinge on whether the owner can increase sales fast enough to get the desired price in the identified time frame. Owners that want to stay in business also should think about growth, but on a continuously evolving basis.

What do you think about the possibility of a "print industry oligopoly"? Let us know your thoughts on the PSDA Blog.

4over, Inc.
Flexible Printing Systems Replace Pre-Fabricated Labels
Process & Control Engineering (09/12) Gomez, Kevin

Pre-fabricated labels and manually applied labeling are being replaced by efficient and flexible printing systems, a trend with the potential to affect every facet of building installations. Flexible printing systems allow the custom-labeling of components in the factory or directly at the customer's site before operation. The primary factor in the selection of a printing system is labeling volume, and the systems used come in two varieties: those involving manual insertion of individual labeling materials, and those in which materials are automatically inserted in roll form or in cartridges.

A frequent choice for tagging terminals and equipment used for small- to medium-sized jobs are labeling plotters, which use solvent-based ink that hardens upon evaporation. A major drawback is the ease with which the labeling pens can dry out, and one substitute for solvent-based labeling systems is thermal transfer printing, involving the direct application of the ink to the labeling material. These systems produce results that are smudge-proof, alkali- and acid-resistant and capable of tolerating temperatures up to 150 degrees Celsius. Benefits of the fixed-ink printing system include low procurement costs, compactness that enables mobile applications and constant availability. These benefits have helped make thermal transfer printing a popular choice for printing labels and heat-shrink tubing in industrial settings. Flat roll-form materials are usually employed with these systems, as they allow easy feeding through the printer and are outstanding for thermal transfer printing because of their flat shape.

The advantages of ultraviolet (UV)-based, contactless printing include no drying times, no use of solvents and resistance to abrasion, smudging and chemicals. The technique involves illuminating the printed area by UV lamps, causing the fluid on the labeling material to harden. UV light-emitting diodes are used for the UV exposure in such systems.

Prepress Tools Pump Productivity
MyPrintResource (09/17/12) Whitcher, Joann

Prepress used to be a relatively simple affair: print was the only media platform and the prepress department produced the plates and generated hard-copy proofs. Now, prepress still involves platemaking and making proofs, but it could also mean a host of other things, such as digital asset management. Some requirements for prepress have remained constant regardless of the final product or platform, and those requirements include the need for tools and technology that support maximum productivity and consistent quality while reducing errors and assuring that waste is kept to a minimum. "Replacing outdated standalone RIPs with an affordable workflow that can reduce common errors and increase productivity is the first step to modernizing the prepress department," said Bill Owens, Xitron’s marketing director for the Software & Interface Group. Xitron manufactures interfaces designed to drive the prepress industry’s most popular new output devices as well as its legacy systems. Xitron Esko North America's Larry Moore said the reduction of manual intervention in the prepress process lowers the chances of errors impacting the quality of work and pressroom inefficiencies. "One of the most effective ways to affect a profitable impact is by implementing rules-based automation," he said.

Guaranteeing delivery to the right platform, at the right time and to the right stakeholders is the core challenge for graphics services professionals who can move beyond print and leverage their clients' need to manage content across multiple platforms. Dalim Software's ES 3 merges pre-media and prepress workflow tasks with the business logic of project planning, including milestones and sophisticated approval processes, said Dalim COO Graham Blanks. Users can plan, carry out and control any aspect of media production, while partners are automatically engaged at proper production stages, helping remove errors.

Improving the efficiency of the pressroom is one of prepress' central tasks, and Xitron's KeySetter relays ink coverage data received from prepress directly to the press console for reduced makeready and waste. Owens said KeySetter can shrink makeready an average of 30 percent to 50 percent on new jobs and as much as 90 percent on repeat jobs via its direct console connection and closed loop capabilities.

Prepress workflow technology investments are applicable all the way to the finishing stage. The Oce Streamlined Workflow digital system features Oce ProCut digital cutting tables to automate finishing operations, as well as specialized software for preparing and interpreting the cutting instructions in a seamless workflow. "Not only does it reduce labor and materials costs during finishing, enabling customers to gain productivity and increase profit margins, it also lets customers offer a wider range of applications to their clients," said Randy Paar of Oce North America.

Will Shrink Sleeve Growth Be Stifled by Recycling Issues?
Labels & Labeling (09/01/12) P. 45 Jerschefske, Danielle

Shrink sleeve label recyclability has reached a critical point, and high-level brand owners, converters and suppliers addressed the issue at AWA's International Sleeve Label Conference and Exhibition in Cincinnati earlier this year. "The sleeve label market is growing, is dynamic and an opportunity for growth in package decoration," said Corey Reardon, president of AWA. "Still we are seeing some challenges with recycling materials as are all packaging sectors."

The two main ideas discussed were shrink labels designed with a perforation that allows consumers to remove the label prior to disposing of the container into recycling outlets, and floatable materials that easily separate and remain buoyant in the wash-out process. CCL introduced a new LDPE material, TripleS, a stretch sleeve that offers design and application benefits and a few environmental perks, and MRI Flexible Packaging discussed its LDPE-based stretch sleeve development, C-Fit. Brands like the 360 degree decoration capability of shrink sleeve labels, the vibrant colors and design for contour that the technology provides. Shrink sleeve decoration rose by 6.5 percent globally in 2011 and by 5 percent in North America and Europe. As brands look to embrace shrink sleeves, the industry will need to find a label design solution that empowers and educates consumers as well as allows recyclers to viably close the recycling loop.

Digital Printing

Digital Signage Deployment: What Printers Need to Know
Wide-Format Imaging (09/12) Vruno, Mark

Printers should know the basics of digital signage, or at the very least who to partner with, because their customers might want to explore a more integrated approach and offer the best of both worlds. Digital signage is not replacing printed signage, but it could serve as the ideal complement to more static mediums, said Matt Schmitt, founder, president and chief experience officer at Reflect Systems. Digital offers the benefits of media-rich experiences, but one key is to choose display technology that does exactly what it needs to do, and perhaps the biggest answer needed for a possible digital signage investment is whether the display technology scales well.

Other practical considerations include prices, formats, size of the environment, distance from the audience and lighting conditions. When it comes to deployment, traditional sign providers should not forget the software, which is what delivers the content, said Alex Wang, founder, president and chief technology officer of Dynasign in Fremont, Calif. Moreover, they should not forget that the service aspect, such as special requirements, is more important than both the hardware and software. "If you are going to be successful in the sign business long term, you need to offer digital signage as an option," said Matt Miles, director of technology at Fastsigns International.

Five Essential Truths About Wide-Format Inkjet
WhatTheyThink (09/06/12) Marx, Dan

Wide-format digital printing has become popular in the printing industry. SGIA's recent Market Trends & Product Specialties Benchmarking Report said businesses in the graphics segment expect a 12.6 percent growth rate for 2012 in the wide-format graphics industry. Companies looking to enter wide format or grow their existing efforts should consider several things. First, the product should be the focus; companies must be able to answer the question of what they intend to make with their new equipment. The product that companies choose to produce will determine the equipment they will acquire. Second, companies should keep in mind the intended use of the printed piece, such as indoor/outdoor display, or whether it will be handled regularly. This can guide businesses in specifying the right tools, such as substrates, ink type and overlaminate.

Third, businesses should remember that although the printer is important, the best opportunities in the wide-format segment come from using print with wise material choices and finishing technologies. Fourth, companies should remember that speed and price are both relative, though relative to each other. The choice of equipment, based on speed and price, should consider how much throughput is needed and what will fulfill the needs of the company's wide-format plans. Fifth, the wide-format graphics industry requires a different approach, with new workflow models and new pricing structures.

Print Technology

Clear Prime Films FAQs
Labels & Labeling (09/10/12) Hensley, Kim

An industry shift from wet glue applied labels to ultimate clear adhesives has complicated choices of labelstock material. Labelstocks must endure exposure to extreme temperatures, scuffs, solvents, moisture and UV light. Kim Hensley of Mactac answers some common concerns about clear prime films. Customers generally want clear-on-clear labeling for health, beauty, food and cleaning products. Labelstock should provide secure adhesion with outstanding initial tack, clarity and long-lasting adhesion to common low-surface energy substrates. Outstanding initial tack and long-lasting performance enhance adhesion, making the label difficult to remove and making counterfeiting more complex.

The next generation of prime film labeling includes PUREtac CL216 from Mactac; attempts at removal will leave residue as evidence. Two common tests help determine tack performance. Quick-tack tests involve a standard one-inch loop test, defined by CTM-25 testing procedures, to demonstrate initial tack of various surface properties. A standard peel-adhesion test, defined by CTM-8 testing procedures, is usually conducted to demonstrate the adhesive's security capabilities. With high-volume applications, traditional paper liners are quick to tear, so the strength of polyethylene tetrephthalate liners helps provide reliable converting. A clear label complements a variety of packaging, but a portion may have to be opaque for legibility or performance purposes.

To determine whether a white background is necessary, the color of the product and the purpose of the packaging should be considered. If the packaging includes a barcode, that automatically requires a printed white background for ensured scanability. There has been increased demand for ultimate clear adhesives from conventional wet glue applied labels for health, beauty, food and household cleaner products. The "no label" look is trending in the area of prime film labeling applications.

Payne's Wide-Width Message Tape Offers Quick and Colorful Promotions
Packaging Europe (09/25/12)

Manufacturers are becoming increasingly interested in integrating promotions within their packaging designs, according to Payne, a leading provider of packaging solutions. Payne's wide-width message tape provides high-color graphics and sophisticated gravure print that ensures maximum impact. This tape enhances the product's appearance, as it looks like an integral part of the pack design. Wide-width message tapes can be applied alone or integrated with Payne's printed tear tapes for no-knife easy opening. The opening tear tapes also provide the ability to print messages or codes for online or SMS promotions. Payne's wide-width message tapes were recently used in the U.S. consumer goods market to support an on-pack promotional campaign. The addition of Payne's wide-width message tape to an existing pack's exterior allowed the company to run a fixed-term promotion without needing a full pack redesign.

Marketing Services

Augmented Reality Brings Print Ads to Life in First Interactive Issue of Sainsbury's Magazine
Internet Retailing (09/05/12) Skeldon, Paul

Sept. 5 marked the in-store launch of Sainsbury's magazine's first interactive issue, boasting interactive print ad campaigns and editorial pages enhanced with augmented reality (AR) content. Among the interactive components were exclusive how-to videos from master chefs, a special message from Sainsbury's editor Helena Lang, contests and a novel split-screen video cover that displayed content. The October issue is produced by the Seven content marketing agency, using technology from the Aurasma AR platform.

Readers are able to scan ad campaigns and go directly to the Sainsbury's online store to purchase featured products, watch ads become animated on video or access branded Facebook pages. Downloading the free Aurasma Lite app onto their smartphone or tablet and hovering their device above the page enables shoppers to engage with the interactive features, letting brands measure response to the magazine's new ads by quantifying the number of customers who tap to buy products direct from the Sainsbury's online retail page or access related web links.

"Augmented reality has huge potential for brands who want to engage with consumers at a deeper level, and really benefit from this unique opportunity to combine the power of the engagement of print with the immediacy of digital," said Seven group commercial director Rowan Manning. "Brands can drive consumers directly from their display or advertorial page to point of purchase or to branded sites to ensure consumers have a truly immersive experience with their products. And our ability to use existing promotional collateral, such as video and audio, gives us creative flexibility without incurring further costs, making assets work harder."

Top Tips: How to Write a Good Case Study
ProPrint (09/03/12) Severs, Jon; Roper, Jenny

A well-researched and structured case study gives printers an opportunity to show off to other clients and prospects. A casual reference to happy customers might not hold much sway during a sales pitch, but the glowing feedback and praise would be more effective if it came from the client in the form of a good case study. Ideal case studies are those that involve a customer who has trusted a provider with a service that others are contemplating but perhaps needed an extra push to sign on. The examples within the case study should have broad enough appeal to make them worthwhile, but unusual enough to be interesting and highlight the innovations offered by the printer.

Printers should start writing the piece as soon as the job has been successfully completed, have colleagues discuss how the job was completed and get the whole story from the customer, including data on the effectiveness of the job, the expectations for cost and how quickly the work was delivered or — in the case of a direct mail piece — how much higher the response rates were than anticipated. The formal case study should tell a story, logically lead readers through its beginning, middle and end, and should be accessible while offering a good level of detail. Printers should also have an attention-grabbing headline, include testimonials and add pictures.
Submit a Case Study to Print Solutions Magazine

Got a great case study to share? Email it to Print Solutions Editor-in-Chief John Delavan for inclusion in an upcoming issue of the magazine.

Email Marketing: Tactics on Combining Content and Email Strategies
Marketing Sherpa (RI) (09/25/12) Kirkpatrick, David

Chris Baggott, chairman and co-founder of the content marketing company Compendium, gave a presentation at the recent MarketingSherpa B2B Summit 2012 on using email and social media to accelerate content marketing. Baggott, also co-founder of email marketing firm ExactTarget, has unique insight into how email and content marketing intersect. Content is a key component of email marketing for lead nurturing and providing prospects with information about products, services and news about the company and industry. And content marketing makes use of email marketing to get that content in front of prospects and customers.

Baggott provided several tactics for combining content and email strategies, and described email marketing as being a three-legged stool comprised of technology, data and content. He said the "similar situation" story is the greatest marketing tactic in history, but the problem with marketing today is that there are not enough of those stories. Baggott said the blog should serve as the hub for email, social media and search strategies, considering any content on the blog is always available because it is indexed, searchable and can be used. He also said marketers could use internal resources to create content, mine incoming and outgoing email for content and repurpose email and marketing content.

U.S. Postal Service Puts its Stamp on Holiday Mobile Shopping Offer
Business News Daily (09/26/12)

The U.S. Postal Service has launched its 2012 Holiday Mobile Shopping Promotion, which is designed to drive online product purchases by putting mobile-optimized promotional offers, coupons and catalogs into shoppers' hands in time for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The promotion will offer online merchants an upfront two percent postage discount on Standard Mail and First-Class Mail letters, flats and cards that include a mobile barcode or print/mobile technology — such as a QR Code — that can be read or scanned by a mobile device and leads the mail recipient to a mobile-optimized shopping website. The promotion will run Nov. 7-21. Gary Reblin, vice president of domestic products for the Postal Service, said direct mail combined with mobile technology is a convenient way for businesses to inform consumers about products and promotions this holiday season.

Interested in PSDA advertising opportunities? Download our 2012 Media Kit for more information. Turn to for one-stop access to the PSDA blog, industry news and a live sourcing request feed.

About PSDA
Since 1946, the Print Services and Distribution Association (PSDA) has been the exclusive non-profit professional association dedicated to enhancing the success of the distributor channel for business communications, including print, marketing and related services. PSDA is the oldest and largest non-profit association in the industry — our members include distributors, trade printers, suppliers and technology partners working together to provide differentiated solutions to end user customers.

Learn more about membership in PSDA or contact our headquarters ( office at 800.230.0175 and talk with a member of our staff team.
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