PSDA Offers Special Membership Renewal Pricing for On-Demand Training
PSDA's On-Demand Training is a web-based program featuring a diverse content library including a series of five courses on variable data printing. Developed by industry experts, these courses serve as an extensive overview of how to approach variable data projects from start to finish. Courses can be purchased individually or as a complete bundle.
Renew your PSDA membership today and purchase PSDA's variable data printing on-demand courses at half price. All proceeds will go to the Print Education & Research Foundation (PERF), which provided PSDA with financial support to develop these courses and PSDA's On-Demand Training Program.
This is a one-time opportunity to get discounted training and support an organization dedicated to provide industry training to your teams through PSDA.
Individual courses: Regularly $149; special offer price $74.50
Complete five-course bundle: Regularly $499; special offer price $249.50
View a demo of the Variable Data Printing 101 course or click here to learn more about each of the courses and to sign up.
Ennis and Glatfelter Hold Sixth Annual VIP Series Conference
At the sixth annual VIP Series Conference series hosted by Ennis and Glatfelter, attendees have been learning how the print industry's experts develop, strategize and communicate through print. Future attendees can also expect to learn how to develop opportunities and grow sales, build successful business strategies, strengthen your interpersonal communication skills, and maintain focus and manage time with a busy schedule.
The conference has already hit Leawood, Kan., and Dallas, and will soon be coming to Anaheim, Calif. (11/13); San Francisco (11/14); Charlotte, N.C. (11/27); Atlanta (11/28); and Columbus, Ohio (12/4).
“Having so far attended the series in Leawood and Dallas, I’ve enjoyed the ability to reconnect with existing members and identify new individuals to join the organization. For those located in upcoming cities who are looking to learn, I hope to see you at the next event," said PSDA Executive Vice President Matt Sanderson, who is speaking during the conference series.
(Pictured, from left: Steven Osterloh, Ennis, Inc.; Courtney Enser, Glatfelter; Kimberly Jones, Ennis, Inc.; and Matt Sanderson, PSDA)
For more information and to register for one of the remaining conference locations nationwide, visit www.ennis.com/vip.
Complimentary Webinar: How to Hire and Develop Top Salespeople
On Wednesday, Nov. 14, at noon ET/11 a.m. CT, PSDA partner Caliper will be conducting a webinar titled “The New Sales Dynamic: How to Hire and Develop Top Salespeople.” The webinar is free for PSDA members.
What it takes to succeed in sales has changed so much in the past few years that the old ways of selling have become completely obsolete. Do your salespeople have what it takes to come through for your clients as strategic advisers? Or are they simply viewed as vendors? Do you know which qualities your top performing salespeople share? And do you know which of your average performers have the potential to be your next top performers?
You will learn:
• How the marketplace has changed — and what remains the same
• The importance of transforming a sales force into trusted advisers
• The qualities that are inherent in all-star salespeople
• How your company can hire and retain top salespeople
Sean Sweeney, President, Philadelphia Insurance Companies
Tom Gartland, President, North America, Avis Budget Group
Herb Greenberg, Founder and CEO, Caliper
Patrick Sweeney, President, Caliper
To register for the webinar, click here. Once you register, you will receive an email with detailed instructions on how to participate.
Flottman Company Acquires Konica Minolta’s Newest Color Digital Press
PSDA member the Flottman Company, a variable data printing, marketing solutions and miniature folding company, recently installed Konica Minolta's C8000 Bizhub Press, the print industry's leading digital printing press as publicized at drupa 2012. This acquisition amplified Flottman's commitment to personalized variable data printing, on-demand communications and short-run print fulfillment.
The Flottman Company will now be able to offer a variety of new paper stocks, thicker paper weights, more vibrant colors and richer tones, all with improved print quality. According to CEO Tom Flottman, “This new digital Konica Minolta press will enable us to expand our services and improve our production quality while cementing our industry representation as a leading digital printing service provider.”
CFC Print Solutions Hires New Business Development Manager
PSDA member and Grand Prairie, Texas-based CFC Print Solutions recently hired Chrissy Tortorigi as its southeast business development manager. Tortorigi most recently was involved in the startup of bimonthly magazine Alabama in a sales and advertising role. She previously owned and operated her own business in Alabama concentrating on product development and sales management.
“Chrissy's entrepreneurial experience and infusion of spirit bring to CFC a distinct understanding of the importance of building and maintaining strong customer relationships. Chrissy has the unique ability to assess customer needs and implement appropriate CFC resources while assisting in increasing the customers' bottom line,” said Vinny DiNicola, senior partner and executive vice president of sales. “We feel fortunate to have Chrissy on our team and are excited to introduce her to our current and prospective customers throughout the southeast.”
Gill Studios Announces Vice President Promotions
Lenexa, Kansas-based Gill Studios recently announced that Debra Hoerl has been promoted to vice president of customer services and Carl Gerlach has been promoted to vice president of marketing. Hoerl has worked at Gill Studios, a PSDA member, for 29 years in a variety of administrative positions. Her dedication to providing an exceptional Gill experience to customers resonates throughout the industry, and she is equally passionate about the associates who work at Gill Studios. Gerlach is a leader at Gill Studios, in the industry and in the community. He has worked at Gill Studios for 30 years and has led the company's marketing efforts for most of that time.
iPROMOTEu Expands into Canada
PSDA member iPROMOTEu recently announced that the company has expanded its service into Canada. The company has invested time, energy and considerable thought into developing the appropriate systems and relationships to ensure the success of its Canadian affiliates. The company is dedicated to providing Canadian distributors with the same high level of support that it offers the U.S promotional products industry.
“This is a significant step for iPROMOTEu. The company has been rapidly growing in the U.S. for the last several years, and I'm thrilled that we now have the resources in place to expand into Canada. I look forward to helping independent business owners in Canada run their companies more efficiently,” said Ross Silverstein, president and CEO of iPROMOTEu.
Dovetail Partners Joins Two Sides
PSDA partner Two Sides recently announced that Dovetail Partners has joined the organization as an allied partner and that Dovetail's Executive Director Kathryn Fernholz will become a member of the Two Sides U.S. Sustainability Committee. “Dovetail's science-based approach and reputation as a trusted source of environmental information makes them a perfect fit with Two Sides and our efforts to promote the responsible production, use and sustainability of print and paper,” said Two Sides U.S. President Phil Riebel. “And we couldn't be more thrilled to have Katie Fernholz join our Sustainability Committee. Her wide-ranging experience and expertise in development and natural resources issues, especially sustainable forestry management, is a terrific addition to our committee of sustainability experts.”
Two Sides is an independent, nonprofit organization created to promote the responsible production, use and sustainability of print and paper. Started in Europe in 2008, Two Sides is now active in more than 12 countries. The organization has more than 1,000 members that span the entire print and paper supply chain, including pulp and paper producers, paper distributors, ink and chemical manufacturers, printers, equipment manufacturers and publishers. For more information about Two Sides U.S., visit the website at www.twosides.us.
Connecting to Online Extras With Touchcode Technology
Wall Street Journal (10/16/12) Dorner, Stephan
Germany's Printechnologics earned the Gold Award from this year's Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Awards for its Touchcode technology. The offering allows publishers, consumer-product companies, event promoters and others to incorporate invisible codes onto printed items that can be read instantly on any touchscreen-equipped device. The codes can link to nearly any online feature, and they are superior to Quick Response (QR) Codes mainly through their simplicity. All a user has to do is place the printed item on the screen of a tablet or smartphone or place the screen on the item, and the invisible code immediately links to the online content. Capturing an image of a barcode is unnecessary.
Touchcode also offers better security than QR Codes. QR Codes' black-and-white patterns can be easily replicated by photocopying, but this issue is inapplicable to Touchcodes because of their invisibility. In addition, QR Codes can be used by fraudsters to direct users to websites that will infect their mobile devices with malware. But Touchcode thwarts such scams because all the content that it links users to sits on Printechnologics servers.
Printechnologics' specialty is printed electronic circuitry, and it created an earlier version of the technology that needed a special reading device to function. The company created Touchcode by developing a method for printing codes using a material that is recognizable by multitouch screens. Printechnologics has started licensing the technology, with German media company Axel Springer recently embedding a Touchcode card in the Icon magazine that is distributed with the publisher's Sunday newspaper, Welt am Sonntag. The card permitted users to download the latest iPad version of the publication at no charge.
MyPrintResource (10/22/12) Whitcher, Joann
Fulfillment services are a function that every printer executes, as every piece of printed material requires packing and shipment to some destination. "All variable printing machines, even color machines, are fulfillment devices," said Q Fulfillment Solutions president Tom Quinn. "They are not printing machines. For a long time, the problem printers were having is that they didn't know how to sell it; they were selling variable print as a short-run option. It's a fulfillment service." Quinn said setting pricing parameters is a major issue in the fulfillment space, and added, "you have to price out those labor rates, measure how much time it takes to do a specific activity and then bill accordingly."
The difficulty resides in the fact that a fulfillment company may have as many as 60 distinct pricing parameters, with each application diverging from the others. And that is not even considering packing and shipping premium products printed with companies' logos. "Quinn helped me understand that you have to cover your overhead — your fixed costs, persons processing orders, web hosting, inventory control and reporting — and have the fees for variables in place as well," said Jeff Pinkin with CCG Marketing Solutions. "These are all costs that have to be covered." Pinkin said the industry subscribed to a fixed price model a decade ago, but fulfillment companies have migrated to an a la carte model because of downward pressure within the industry.
CCG aims to offset the diverging prices by cultivating relationships that transcend simple fulfillment. The firm supplies integrated marketing services, specializing in technology-driven fulfillment and supporting brand building strategies that include literature and sample fulfillment, direct mail, sampling, couponing, social media engagement and rebates. R Fulfillment Solutions President Jim Rushing cited on-demand fulfillment as an emerging trend.
Meanwhile, some printers have implemented fulfillment in-house as a value-add service to their printing business. "Printing and fulfillment employ very different business models," Quinn said. "Printing and mailing use what I would call production or manufacturing models, producing revenue by running machines and selling the output. In fulfillment it is very much a service model; it's not about the machines. We have software, people and a building."
Critical to fulfillment is the control of inventory accuracy, with Quinn observing that this accuracy comprises "the primary reason companies change fulfillment vendors." He also said: "Inventory control starts at the back door; in a printing company the lowest paid employee is the guy doing receiving and shipping. That's not the guy you would hire to do receiving for a fulfillment service. The customer service expectations are entirely different."
How The BYOD Phenomenon Is Shaping the Next Era in Managed Print Services
CRN (10/19/12) Bent, Kristin
Solution providers in the managed print services (MPS) space stand to gain from the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend by incorporating mobile print software into their broader MPS offerings. Mobile print software vendor EFI has seen a jump in business throughout the past year. EFI's flagship mobile print offering, PrintMe Mobile, is software that not only enables employees to print from their mobile devices, but ensures they do so securely by arming IT teams with the ability to monitor, secure and store all mobile print jobs that cross corporate networks. According to Tom Offutt, EFI's director of business development, business has been booming. "We are in our third full quarter of shipping [PrintMe Mobile], and the growth quarter to quarter has been very, very strong," Offutt said. "It's very, very large in terms of percentage growth from quarter to quarter, and that momentum is continuing on."
Scott Guercio, sales manager at Advance, an MPS provider and EFI partner based in Baltimore, said mobile print is generating a lot of interest among clients and has become a standard point of conversation during Advance's first meeting with a customer. "We've seen mobile print conversations for about the last 18 months, and they certainly [have become] a lot more common in the last eight to 12 months, where every business we walk into is asking about it in some way, shape or form," Guercio said.
Prescription Packaging Designed to Be Different
Packaging Digest (10/01/12) Vol. 49, No. 10, P. 66 Pierce, Lisa McTigue
Sagent Pharmaceuticals has created eye-catching, distinctly designed packaging for prescription drugs with the goal of preventing medication errors. Sagent has a proprietary and patent-pending packaging and labeling strategy to help healthcare professionals accurately distinguish between similar-looking and sounding products. Each Sagent package is designed to sport easy-to-read drug names and dosage strengths on the primary panel.
"Our PreventIV Measures approach is intuitive and is built upon the simple premise of paying attention to the small details," said Sagent marketing director Lindsay Thomas. "Small details add up to big things for health care professionals and, ultimately, patients." Sagent currently has 42 different products on the market with more than 100 novel presentations. "We maximize [drug name and dose] information on each of our products, making them easier to read," said Sagent senior marketing director Joe Mase. This entails making the print as big as possible, even if it requires switching the orientation so a longer name appears vertically, while both items are kept on the front face.
The labels are rendered in full color rather than competitors' usual single-color job, and Sagent carefully chooses colors for each product's packaging to coordinate with the historical color and guarantee suitable contrast as a safety step. For its secondary packaging, Sagent prints its cartons in color and includes on all sides the product name, concentration, fill volume, a picture of the vial and a "NOT for lock flush" cautionary strip. Barcodes also appear on two sides to ease scanning. "Sagent considers everyone handling the medication throughout the supply chain, which means we pay just as much attention to our carton packaging as we do to our container labels," Thomas said.
PMS colors are specified by Sagent on both label and carton, but the company must often convert it to CMYK on account of sourcing constraints. Many printers are not equipped for running PMS colors because there has been little call for high design in the past. "There's definitely a little bit more cost because of the printing processes and the colors we use," Mase said. "But it's part of the brand and image we're trying to present to our customers."
These various measures support a distinctive final design. "There's probably a little bit more time and effort that goes into it," Mase said. "But it takes as much time to make a bad label as it does a good label. I don't think any one thing by itself will reduce medication errors, but hopefully when you stack all these things up, it becomes really meaningful."
Video To watch a video on the PreventIV Measures approach, click here.
Office Depot Bolsters Print Management Offering
PrintWeek (10/23/12) Mardle, Pamela
Office Depot has established a business services division to help the company's existing departments concentrate on business management, with a special focus on Office Depot's "best kept secret," namely its offering of print management services, according to the company's Craig Brown. "It is a contracting market, and we need to differentiate ourselves from others in that environment to provide much more to our customers than many of our competitors are doing," he said. "By repositioning the division we are making a statement that there is far more to Office Depot than just pens and pencils."
Brown reported that Office Depot was ranked among Britain's 20 leading print management companies by turnover yet "someone going for a print management solution is not naturally going to consider Office Depot." Brown continued, "We've always had print specific people in our business. We are seeking to pluck the best we can find from the industry to add the human element to what we provide." Office Depot is currently developing a workflow for customers for deployment next April, and it will provide an instant pricing engine for end users inside a web-to-print hub. The purpose of the technology is to enable smaller franchisees to tailor print by allowing local stores to order point-of-sale displays specific to products currently on sale.
Earlier in 2012 Office Depot verified its commitment to public sector print with its winning a spot on the Government Procurement Service framework to offer managed print and e-commerce to NHS entities, local authorities and the police. Brown said only a few contracts had been awarded across the framework since Office Depot's July appointment, but the team is collaborating closely with local authorities to plug its benefits. "Part of our strategy was to have a much greater footprint in the public sector," Brown said. "Public sector procurement to an extent is underpinned by frameworks so we wanted to be on the broadest possible framework for the public sector as we can be."
Deliver (10/12) Vol. 8, No. 5, P. 28 Goldman, Sharon M.
The role of print catalogs has changed with the emergence of new technologies, but experts do not see print catalogs going away because they continue to get results. Historically used as a sales tool, print catalogs have evolved into a marketing tool for driving consumers to websites or brick-and-mortar stores to make purchases. According to the Direct Marketing Association, 12.5 billion print catalogs are mailed each year. Companies have used technology to create a new breed of super catalogs.
Clothing outlet Express has used QR Codes to enable consumers to link to videos of photo shoots and fashion runways and reported that the use of beautiful glossy color and very high-quality paper helps provide catalog recipients with a very luxurious experience. Moreover, digital technologies have made the entire process quicker and easier to change. "Our proofing and pagination process used to be manual with multiple copying of layouts," said Russ Gaitskill, CEO of clothing and home decor cataloger Garnet Hill. "Now we put all the catalog pages on a huge screen, and paginate the book, make all of our notes and proof it on there. It's all digital now."
AlphaGraphics Gets Creative to Generate New Business
Quick Printing (10/12)
AlphaGraphics is taking inventive measures to drum up new business, with one franchise owner hosting networking events oriented around a theme about once annually to showcase his operation. "Our main goal with the themed open house nights is to show local businesses that we're not your one-dimensional, mom-and-pop print shop — that we can essentially become your marketing partner by servicing all your marketing communications and printing needs," said AlphaGraphics on Camelback franchise owner Larry Furlong. A typical event involves AlphaGraphics staff inviting their top 100 best customers as well as 25 to 50 key prospects they are working with to close deals.
AlphaGraphics has throughout the past few years evolved its brand from a quick print company into a full-service marketing communications company with multichannel digital products that boost return on investment for clients on their marketing campaigns, and Furlong believes a digital-print combination is the industry's future direction. One way that AlphaGraphics can save money by hosting themed events is by producing most of the materials in house. For instance, Furlong frequently sends out a snail mail invitation that is typically followed up with a matching email message — all designed by his staff. Furlong said in several cases, an open house has captured a 400 percent ROI.
Furlong said the idea for the open house was borrowed from a local branch of Printing Industries of America, which threw a Mexican-themed mariachi party a decade ago. "Hosting themed open house nights is a great way to boost employee morale and get to know businesses in the area," Furlong said. "But at the end of the day, it's really about showcasing what AlphaGraphics has to offer in a fun and different way."
5 Easy Ways to Optimize Your Emails for Mobile
Network Solutions (10/12) Jansen, Monika
Mobile-friendly emails are essential to attract prospective clients as well as maintain the loyalty of current customers, and there are a number of simple-to-implement strategies for accomplishing this. One strategy is to use short and punchy subject lines that capture the email's salient point. Checking the text version of your email to ensure it looks all right is another recommendation, as smartphones and tablets can sometimes be temperamental.
A third tip is to keep the email message brief and concise, and you should refrain from going overboard with graphics, lest the reader become frustrated by the excessive downloading required. Finally, the call-to-action needs to be kept simple, and buttons with clear instructions are especially effective. You should ensure, regardless of your call-to-action, that the landing page that call-to-action links to on your website is mobile-friendly.
How Integrating Mail Into the Marketing Mix Helps Build a Brand
Deliver (10/12) Vol. 8, No. 5, P. 10
Deliver spoke to three experts about how they integrate mail into their marketing mix to assist in building their brands. Asterix Group President Christine Lehtonen said, "Direct mail is one of the only media that allows you to craft a message toward a specific audience and really control that brand image." She said her agency is multichannel, but it always has its clients consider direct mail as part of the mix because it's such a strong medium. "When you do it well, it's very powerful," Lehtonen said. "It can be used in a very lively manner."
Commerce Payment Group CEO Michael Mendlowitz said direct mail enables his firm to "target very specific prospects with very specific brand messages," adding that with direct mail, Commerce Payment Group is "hunting for fish in a pond," instead of "the whole ocean." Mendlowitz said direct mail "delivers exactly what we're looking for: solid prospects who are seriously interested in our products."
Shibu Thomas, executive vice president of marketing and admissions at Ross Education LLC, said his company provides healthcare training in 23 communities across five states. "We use direct mail to communicate with our prospects and build our brand," Thomas said. "And although we're building awareness, we're also able to reap the rewards of direct response by offering opportunities for prospective students to take the next step. Without direct mail, our marketing mix wouldn't be much of a mix."
Direct Mail Isn’t Dead – It’s Reincarnated by Big Data
Business 2 Community (10/25/12) Bailey, Scott
Although marketers are increasingly favoring social media, ignoring successful "old school" techniques like direct mail is not wise. With direct mail, company information is delivered right into the hands of the target audience. Although the actual mailing itself has not advanced much in the recent past, there is one innovation enhancing direct mail: big data. Big data analytics is the process of examining large amounts of data of a variety of types to uncover hidden patterns, unknown correlations and other useful information. Such information can provide competitive advantages and result in business benefits, such as more effective marketing and increased revenue. With data and analytics, companies have access to information about customers and when they are most likely to make specific purchases, which allows them to send the right message at the right time.
Direct mail is rated by consumers as one of the most influential forms of marketing communication. Having a high level of insight about consumers is the key to a successful direct mail campaign. With targeted insight, direct mail is delivered to the consumers who are most likely to be interested in a company's product or service. Direct mail marketing is all about balance, as even a firm's best customers do not want to hear from it all the time. Customers want to hear from the company when they are actually looking for the products and services the company is offering. Data and analytics can improve the effectiveness of direct mail, helping firms gain insight about when their customers are open to hearing from the brand.
Direct mail is reliably measurable and enables marketers to optimize their programs in order to make the most out of every marketing dollar. With direct mail, marketers can expand and contract the investment made to correspond with the returns that can reliably be expected. As long as direct mail efforts are targeted and accurately timed, campaigns can drive a positive return on their investment.