Why Should I Use Print In My Silicon Valley Marketing?
Turn the clock back a few years to the early days of e-mail marketing, social media and mobile communicating, and you’ll find many predictions regarding either the death of print or declarations of its future irrelevance as a sales and marketing tool.
Now, after almost of decade of experience with these new communication technologies, we know that they are adjuncts to print, not replacements. Consider these case studies:
- Ryder System, Inc. is a Fortune 500 company that provides transportation, logistics and supply chain management services. Its flagship division, Fleet Management Solutions (FMS), provides leasing, rental and programmed maintenance of trucks, tractors and trailers to commercial customers. Sheryl Pattek, a marketing executive for Ryder FMS Marketing, considers print to be part of an integrated communication system. She uses “tried-and-true print communications along with the latest online marketing techniques for a truly multi-channel strategy that drives organic growth.”
- Google: In January 2010 Google promoted its Google Apps Premier Edition by mailing a paper-based Savings Calculator to CIOs. In March it mailed a four-page overview of tips on using Google Adwords to business owners, and periodically it also sends a discount card for Google Adwords.
- Yahoo! In August 2010 Yahoo! used direct mail to tout the benefits of banner and display ads.
If these large Silicon Valley companies with sophisticated marketing strategies are turning to printed direct mail, shouldn’t you be, too?
Competition for attention
One fact about Internet-based marketing
stands out above others: the sheer volume of messages sent and received daily. Unlike traditional direct mail marketing that requires planning, a mail list, a mail piece and incurs a cost for postage, Internet-based marketing is accessible and cheap. Traditional direct mail marketers suspected that this might ultimately degrade the effectiveness of Internet-based marketing, and this now appears to have happened.
, also known as unsolicited bulk e-mail (UBE), has grown to be a much bigger problem than unsolicited advertising mail. According to Josh Halliday, a media and technology reporter for the Guardian, billions of spam messages are sent daily
. In addition, spammers are beginning to infiltrate social media sites where it is easy to set up a realistic-looking profile.
All this decreases the effectiveness of Internet-based marketing
. E-mail users employ firewalls and spam filters to block messages from unknown sources – which also blocks e-marketing from legitimate businesses – and they are growing more skeptical of some messages coming from known sources.
Full color printing
Whether used for direct mail marketing or for sales collateral, full color printing is now within the budget of any business or organization.
There are two ways to produce full color printing: using an offset printing press or using a high speed digital laser printer. Advances in digital print quality have largely removed any differences in how the finished pieces look, so the choice of which printing method to use can be made on the basis of quantity and how soon the finished pieces are needed.
Full color digital printing offers these advantages:
- Lower unit cost in small quantities. Digital printing requires almost no make ready – the tasks that must be done to print on the offset press. These include making a press plate for each ink color, mounting them on the press cylinders, inking the press, and producing test prints to check for color fidelity and placement of the image on the press sheet. Digital printing needs only raster image processing of the file and normally only a few sheets to check for color. This means eliminating the cost of press make ready for digital printing.
- Faster production time. Lack of make ready, the ability to duplex (i.e., print both sides of the sheet in one operation) and no ink drying time means that in some cases, we can be finishing and packaging a digital job before the offset make ready is complete. This allows for print-on-demand – a handy thing when you find you have no more brochures the day before an important meeting.
- Variable data printing. With digital printing, each sheet is an original. This means each sheet can be printed with information unique to the intended recipient. Variable data printing (VDP) can be as simple as mail merge (the name and address of the mail recipient is printed at the top of a letter or on the mail piece) or as complicated as having changeable text and images.
- Proofs match prints. Because there is no make ready and each digital print is an original, a digital hard copy proof is the same as the rest of the job. If you approve the digital proof, you are assured that the rest of the job will be an exact match.
- Exact quantity. Unlike an offset press, we preset our digital printer to stop at a specific number of copies. So if you need 97 brochures for a meeting, you can order exactly that amount.
- Small or no inventory. Digital reprints – especially those that are exact repeats – can be printed on demand, meaning you don’t have to store a large inventory in your office to have easy access to what you need. This also means that you can order a small quantity of a form or brochure that will need changing, or personalize a brochure for a single purpose (like an important client or prospect meeting).
Despite all the advantage of full color digital printing, we don’t want you to think that offset printing
has no place. Here are the advantages of offset:
- Lower per-unit cost on larger quantities. For every printed piece, there is a point at which the cost-per-unit of offset printing becomes less than the cost-per-unit for digital. The crossover point varies by what is being printed, but is generally between 1000 and 2000 finished pieces. The reason for this is that the manufacturing costs for offset decline as the quantity goes up, while the manufacturing cost for digital prints is fixed no matter what the run length.
- Size of finished piece. All presses, whether offset or digital, have a maximum sheet size that can be used. For digital printers, that size is 13x19 inches or less. If you need an 18 x 24 poster, a tabloid size newsletter or booklet, or an oversized multi-panel brochure that folds down to a smaller size, most likely it will need offset printing.
- Wider range of papers. Although the range of papers for digital printing is now much wider than it once was, the range is still smaller than for offset printing – particularly for stock that has anything besides a perfectly smooth finish.
- Wider range of ink colors. Digital printers use four colors (cyan, magenta, yellow and black, abbreviated CMYK) to produce all other colors. Ink for offset presses can be custom mixed to provide an almost infinite range of color. In addition, there are some colors – particularly blues, and metallic inks – that cannot be reproduced with CMYK.
- Printed products that will be used in laser printers. There is no problem with using offset-printed letterheads in desktop laser printer; there may be a problem with a digitally-printed sheet.
Choose print for your Sunnyvale/Silicon Valley Small Business!
Print continues to play an important role in communicating with customers and prospects. Direct mail marketing, sales collateral, event brochures, even entry forms all still need to be printed. And with digital printing as an option, full color printing is now available, faster, better and cheaper
. Call us today in Sunnyvale, CA for a demonstration (408) 400-0223