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Looking for new ways to improve your business communications? Leave it to us!

Is Print Really Old School? Tap Into the Power of Color Digital Printing Opportunities

! l o o h c S d l O o S s ' t I ? t Prin


o you think print is passĂŠ? Maybe even dead? Not. Sure, print is old school, but it's still a very effective part of the communications mix. And guess what? Print is more affordable now than ever before.

Earlier in 2011, when the Gateway Macon Initiative kicked off their campaign to promote our historic city, the

Music, and regularly print programs for lots

in this issue) and from

of "happenings" in Middle Georgia.

competitive pressures in

What does all of this prove?

determination was made that print would

the industry. Color printing is extremely affordable and

be a key component in the media mix.

Print is a very viable means of touching

Since then, Alphagraphics has produced

your audience. Not only that, but it may

high, especially when it's combined with

print components that have included

also be the way that most people prefer to

other channels in an integrated marketing

some very cool business cards, posters,

receive information. According to Epsilon


flyers, even life-sized retractable banners

Targeting's 2011 Channel Preference Study:

to promote Macon Shorts, Gateway's short . . . despite direct mail's reputation for being

film competition.

the ROI from direct mail


Don't throw the baby out with the bath water!

Direct mail is a key component

"old school" or expensive, it is the top choice of

Print may be "old school," but it hasn't

of two of our o

U.S. and Canadian consumers for the receipt

lost it's value. In many instances, print is


of brand communications in almost every

the best way to reach an audience. For

t h e a t r e

category, ranging from health to household

consumers, print remains a preferred way

products, to household services, insurance and

to receive information.

financial services, including credit card offers.

print is still a very valuable part of the

companies. Theatre

Both Macon

and Macon Little

-- source:

communications mix. Is

Theatre regularly send

For marketers,




component marketing



your for

oversized postcards to

Interestingly, the conclusion above

their membership lists to

applies to younger (18 - 24 yr. olds) as well as

2012? We're obviously biased, but at

announce and promote

older demographics. The study shows that

Alphagraphics we think that integrating

the popularity of social media channels as

print with other communications channels

Can you really have an event without

a source of information continues to grow,

makes lots of sense for most Middle

invitations? Print isn't only the best way to

but that they are the least trusted of all of

Georgia companies. Need help? We'll

get the word out about an upcoming event,

the available channels. Respondents also

be happy to meet with you to talk about

but also to formally invite people to come.

agreed that they receive too much email,

print and how we can help you implement

Sav-A-Life Ministries and Covenant Care

with 75% of U.S. consumers stating that

cross-channel marketing campaigns for

Ministries are two life-affirming Christian

they receive more email than they can

your businesss or organiz organization.

organizations that hold annual banquets

possibly read.

for their supporters. Alphagraphics has


each upcoming show.

been honored to help with design and mailing of the print invitations to these events for many years. And then there are the programs. We recently produced a beautiful Christmas event program for the Townsend School of

While print is perceived as expensive, the price of printing has actually declined substantially in the past few years. This is both due to advances in technology (see The Digital Printing Double Feature later


TAP INTO THE POWER OF COLOR There are a few black-and-white aficionados out there, but most people agree that color creates a stronger impact, especially on marketing collateral and other pieces designed to encourage people to buy. It’s why marketers fiercely protect their brand colors and the retail shelves look like kaleidoscopic explosions.


hinking through color issues and designing in great color schemes takes time; so how can you be sure that the additional investment is worth it? Used correctly, color has a long track record of increasing the effectiveness of print.

For example, CCI COLOR (Color Communications, Inc.) has found that consumers make a subconscious judgment about people, their environment, or products within 90 seconds of initially viewing them and that between 62% and 90% of their decision-making is based on color alone. In addition, a University of Loyola, Maryland study found that color increases brand recognition by up


to 80%. How can color be so powerful? According to the American Psychological Association, by hanging an extra "tag" of data on visual scenes, color helps people to process and store images more efficiently than black-and-white. As a result, people tend to remember color scenes better.

Color Taps into Emotions As an example, consider the current trend toward “retro” packaging. Savvy consumer products manufacturers are using retro looks to tap into consumers’ emotions. Major brands from Cheerios to Skippy, Doritos, and Tide are throwing back to the 70’s, 60’s, and even the 40’s with styles and colors deeply familiar to consumers. By tapping into happy

childhood memories, they are creating positive associations that help to sell products. The power of color to influence purchases also can be seen in the recent addition of green ketchup to the Heinz brand. According to Junk Food News,

So, what can you do to tap into the power of color?

more than 10 million bottles of Heinz EZ Squirt Blastin' Green ketchup were

sold in the first seven months following

thought into the power and meaning of

its introduction last year. Heinz factories

color. Make great choices in using color to

worked 24 hours a day, seven days a week

draw out the desired emotion from your

to keep up with demand. The result?

target audience.

Make color a priority. Really put

$23 million in sales attributable to the new green ketchup, which is the highest

sales increase in the brand's history. Now

vector graphics and high resolution photos.

the company is working on a new color,

It’s worth spending a little extra money on

Funky Purple, to be introduced this fall.

artwork, photographs, and design to really

No internet downloads. Use good

make your color pop.

Manage your color carefully. Work

with Alphagraphics to manage your color all the way through the process. This starts with submitting images in the right color space and optimizing the capabilities of the print process that's best for your project.

These basic steps will go a long way toward taking your color from ho, hum to Wow! Use color to maximize your brand image

photos ©

and selling power.

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any marketers don't consider the opportunities afforded by digital printing. In fact, they may not even be conscious of how their direct mail project or marketing collateral is produced. The distinction between digital printing and conventional offset is an important one, both in terms of managing costs and benefiting from opportunities. For most small and mid-sized companies,

production, and unit costs and prices

like to be sure that your mail campaign is

the days of mass mailings and high volume

have come down dramatically. It is quite

effective.. Now, it's possible to test and

runs of marketing collateral are long gone.

feasible and cost effective to print 100,

measure response from several messages

To be effective, marketing collateral must

1000 or 2500 brochures on a digital press.

sent to short mailing lists.

be timely and targeted. Digital printing has

Competitive pressures among printers

Alternately, you can code your list and

enabled "right sizing" of print volumes, but

have resulted in lower prices on offset

send different messages to each coded

marketers tend to see this only in terms

production as well, essentally eliminating

segment, all in one mailing. Do you want

of shorter runs and less print inventory,

the need for higher volume print runs.

to mail to the top 10%? Perhaps to your

missing the opportunities afforded from

What this means for most marketers is

highest volume customers? By targeting

that it's no longer necessary to produce

the mailing by customer profile or

Marketers who are thinking of digital

10000 brochures for a tradeshow when

demographic, you can both control costs

print only in terms of production are

1500 will suffice. Better still, there's no

and perhaps even get a better response

missing tremendous opportunities to use

need to worry about leftover inventory

than you would have from mailing to your

this technology from a strategic marketing

that takes up space and quickly becomes

entire list.

perspective, as well.


digital production.

Let's look at digital printing from a couple of different perspectives:

 Production cost, quality and logistics: First, let's look at some easily measurable benefits.

Five years ago, making the

decision to produce a project using digital presses meant a sacrifice in quality and high unit costs. This limited the utility of digital printing to low quantity runs where accurate color wasn't really an issue. That's all changed. Now, it's difficult even for printers to

photos Š

distinguish between digital and offset


 Strategic marketing opportunities:




personalization. This could take the form of a specific coupon for an individual

The cost savings are self-evident, but

customer or an internet response site

many marketers completely miss a second

(PURL) where they can claim their offer or

advantage of digital printing.

make a reservation.


printing affords capabilities and flexibility

It's a double feature. Digital printing has

that simply isn't possible using older (offset)

made small quantity runs more affordable,

technology. The difference is simple: Offset

but has also opened the doors to new

printing is static. Digital printing isn't.

opportunities for creative marketers.

What are the implications? For the


One of our Alphagraphics

tradeshow brochures, not only can you

representatives would be happy to

customize a brochure for each tradeshow

schedule a meeting to discuss the benefits

you attend, but also by product category

and how digital printing might work for

or event potentially by attendee (if you

your next campaign.

have the attendance list ahead of time). As another example, let’s assume that you are running on a tight budget and you'd

Marketers who are thinking of digital printing only in terms of production are missing tremendous opportunities.





AlphaGraphics Macon 566 Poplar Street Macon, GA 31201

About Us AlphaGraphics Macon is a locally owned business specializing in print, graphic design, and marketing services for small businesses and organizations. We provide a broad range of products including conventional business printing, banners and displays, and digital and offset color printing. Our services include graphic design, direct mail and mailshop services, self-publishing , website design for small businesses, and marketing campaign implementation.

AG Marketing Brief is a quarterly publication that features articles about current marketing trends and practices. The focus is on smart ways to combine print with new media applications to create a dialogue with clients, customers and prospects. This issue was printed on 100 lb. Unisource Gloss text using AlphaGraphics' MGI DP60 digital press. This quarter's online version is published on and can be read online at

January 2012 Marketing Brief  

Alphagraphics Macon's quarterly marketing publication