More Than 'Ink on Paper'
Database and Printing Technologies
If you want to take advantage of selective binding or demographic printing of your catalog, it may make sense to work with your printer on some list and database-oriented projects. For instance, R.R. Donnelley has a partnership with Experian through which it can offer clients database and list information. Banta also offers demographic binding. This type of capability was one reason cataloger Mid America Direct recently switched printers. President Mike Yager explains, "We have data on our buyers broken down so we can take advantage of demographic binding of different pages in our catalogs to certain segments of our file."
Mid America Direct, which mails automotive aftermarket parts and accessories catalogs to auto enthusiasts, recently switched to Quad Graphics, says Yager, "Not because we were dissatisfied with our printer but because Quad came to us with a variety of services that we could take advantage of."
Quad's Stadler expands on the partnership, adding, "They had been sending one large catalog to all Corvette owners. But there were segments of certain products in which only specific buyers were interested. So they were able to identify those segments, and we could do demographic binding to target specific product mixes to certain customers."
Paper is such a large part of a catalog's expense that Minix suggests letting your printer procure the paper. "Paper is a commodity, not an art or specialty. The only caveat to that would be very large catalogers that can probably get pretty big savings due to volume."
One benefit to using your printer to buy your paper, says Minix: "If you're using the printer to buy paper, it'll often use a house paper that it stocks for other jobs. If so, you might be able to buy some quantity of this paper to achieve your increase. If you need to decrease quantity, you may be able to do so without having to pay storage costs on the unused paper."