Want to make your print budget stretch further? Take a longer holiday!

In his latest blog, our correspondent, Roland Mann, takes a sideways look at how marketeers can obtain the maximum ROI from their brochure and catalogue production budgets in a post GDPR landscape.

Well, May 25th has come and gone and GDPR has finally arrived. Upon drawing back the bedroom curtains this morning, I was relieved to see that the proverbial current bun had risen in the east.

The plague of locusts envisioned by the prognosticators of doom were not playing havoc with my herbaceous borders or my juvenile cherry tomato plants.

Whilst my traditional breakfast repast of Vegemite on toast, Chia, Sunflower and Pumpkin Vogel’s, had not morphed into Callos Madrilenos, Spanish tripe and onions.

So, you may ask, why all the bruhaha about GDPR? Was it all a three ringed circus whipped up by our learned legal chums Messrs Sue, Grabbit and Run?

In truth, the answer is probably both yes, no and even a little bit of maybe. One thing is certain though, GDPR will undoubtedly change forever how we utilize digital engagement, acquisition and, to slightly lesser extent, retention communications.

However, it will not change the need to interact with and harvest new customers, we will just have to amend the choice of vehicles we use to achieve this.

So, if contacting potential customers by digital means is going to get trickier, marketeers are going to need to revisit printed formats. However, despite their known high rates of return, print is not an inexpensive option largely due to the cost of distribution.

In light of this Royal Mail are currently offering significant discounts on both mail and door drop options to help fatigued budgets.

Therefore, I thought it would be an excellent idea to look at how print jobs are costed and ways that proactive marketeers can reduce their costs, whilst obtaining the maximum return.

How can I get more print thudding on the right doormats for my promotional pound?

A print job is costed in much the same way that a holiday is. There are fixed costs and variable ones.

When you and your significant other head off with your bucket and spade wielding offspring for a well earned break, there are certain fixed costs associated with the trip. Whether this is fuel for the car as you make a beeline for the fleshpots of Cornwall or flights to The Med to lightly toast yourself on a sandy beach.

The variable costs of the trip are based around how long you stay. A three day trip, when including flights, will typically cost far more per person per day than a fortnights one will.

It is much the same in the world of print. The fixed costs are related to the press and bindery ‘make ready’ charges. The variable costs surround how many you print and on what you print it on.

For arguments sake if you are producing ten thousand sixty four page catalogues the fixed costs could well equate to over fifty percent of the final bill. Therefore, it makes sense to try and squeeze every last drop of benefit out of each production.

Reuse print just like digital!

One of the great benefits of digital communication is that you can rehash the same content and use it across a number of platforms. Well, with a bit of thought and planning you can do the same with print.

Let us revisit the above mentioned sixty four page. Let us assume that it is being produced in sixteen page sections and that the covers are being printed in multiples of four on the sheet.

You could take a sixteen page section, wrap it in a fresh cover and use it as a smaller insert or a prospecting mailer for use in another publication or via a cold mailing outreach.

This cover could have a different offer or a ‘recommend a friend’ tag for example in order for it to perform better as a communications piece. Ten thousand of these could be produced for just the run on cost (EG no fixed costs) plus a plate change to remove the folio.

You could then change the cover completely, giving you four different offers or calls to action, all for no extra cost.

Unbound equals flexibility:

If you are planning a series of campaigns that may be slightly different, but based around the same core product set, you could print more sections than you initially need and leave them unbound.

It’s then possible to add an additional section to be printed at a later date, maybe with sale offers or updated articles and then bind together what is effectively a whole new catalogue, with some common core content.

Fail to plan…

The tricky part to all of this is the planning. As a client you’ll need to have a clear vision surrounding your budget, strategy and target audience and be prepared to think outside the box.

Share your twelve month campaign plan with your supply partner so that they can advise you on not only how to produce the multiple versions as cost effectively as possible, but also can offer a wide variety of distribution solutions to help keep costs efficient.

It’s an excellent way to get multiple communication pieces from a single production budget.

The team at Callimedia have a wealth of experience across the full gamut of marketing services including strategy, data, print and distribution.

If like the idea of maximising your budgets potential then call 01206 322211 and say Roland sent you.




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