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Dynamic Personalization with HP Mosaic Software Ever wonder how CocaCola produced its “Share a Coke” campaign? Or how Bud Light created so many variations of their bottles featuring everything from professional sports teams to abstract colors and designs? It’s all done with dynamic personalization which you can see in action on our cover.


To achieve this effect, we use an application called HP Mosaic which is part of SmartStream, the technology that enables variable data printing (VDP). HP Mosaic takes VDP to the next level! Using a vector Seed file (see thumbnail below) as the input, the software generates a large number of variations on the file by transforming it (scaling, transposition, and rotation) randomly. The output creates variable image assets which are then printed on our digital press. The result: every single cover for this issue of Tactics is unique! The best part? It’s not complicated. Shawmut can help you can get started with dynamic personalization today!

VOL. 9, ISSUE 4, 2019 Shawmut Communications Group | shawmutdelivers.com


Shawmut is SGP Certified! The Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP) promotes innovative best practices within the print supply chain through the industry’s most comprehensive sustainability certification.


Collectively, SGP printers realize the following sustainability improvements each year (fueling an average annual savings of $2.3 million): • 7  8 tons of waste diverted from landfills • 7  6% increase in solvent recycling • 3  67kw/hour yearly energy reduction (a savings of $25,000/year)

Combining direct mail with digital technologies is a smart move—boosting response rates by an average of 25%.

• 2  .42 ton reduction in greenhouse gas emissions

With Shawmut MailPlus you get:

We’ll be sharing more about this exciting certification in the coming months!

FEATURED EXPERTS Deborah Corn Intergalactic Ambassador to the Printerverse Jenny Dela Cruz Co-Founder & COO, Snowball Print Marketing

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Generate web traffic before your mail arrives via USPS Informed Delivery emails

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Track and report on inbound calls from every direct mail campaign

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Know who visited the website from your mailing list and get new leads for your next mailing

Kirsten Forsberg Associate Art Director, Bullhorn Beth Geiger Senior Manager, Strategic Marketing for Commercial Print, WestRock Stacy Peluso-Slaney VP of Sales, Shawmut Communications Group Annalise Taber Creative Director, Shawmut Communications Group Trish Witkowski CEO, FoldFactory and FreshCut Crafts

Supercharge Your Direct Mail with Shawmut MailPlus Today


The Staying Power of Print Early this summer, news broke that retailers J.Jill and Nordstrom lost millions in sales from cutting their direct mail programs. According to press releases at the end of Q1, both companies’ sales were far below expectations. J.Jill’s profits dropped to $116.3 million from last year’s $120.3 million and Nordstrom’s CEO specifically credits their drop to the decision to cut print from their loyalty program marketing. And this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a global brand re-think their decision to cut print and direct mail programs. Lands’ End and JCPenney, for example, have both reinstated their catalogs and even Amazon launched a holiday catalog last year.

available to help them deliver engaging and memorable print experiences. “I didn’t know you could do that with print!” We hear this often, particularly when people tour our print production facility. Many marketers and designers—even those that have been in the industry a while—have never visited a printer and it can be a really eye-opening experience. It shows them what’s possible and highlights how much happens behind the scenes to bring their creative vision to life.

Marketers—even many that work for digital-first companies—are realizing print can rise above the digital noise and give them a leg up on the competition. In fact, one of the experts featured in our Women in Print article believes that print is on the verge of a major comeback.

While I’d love to have every customer in for a tour, it’s not always possible. That’s one of the reasons why we produce Tactics Magazine and include a creative print production technique in every issue. It’s our way of showing (instead of telling) everyone about the latest trends and unique applications for print, paper, inks, finishes and more. Enjoy the issue!

Some brands may be opting to start small but those on the leading edge of this trend are pushing the boundaries of what print can do. They know there is an endless array of creative options and technology

Michael Peluso President




S  avvy marketers have learned to look at print through a new lens—and how to lean on their partners to squeeze every drop of its influence throughout the customer journey.



 Hear from four women who are paving the way for future generations of women and helping to reshape the print and marketing industry along the way.

CAN YOU INCREASE CONSUMER ENGAGEMENT BY SIMPLY CHANGING PAPER? W  e all know quality when we feel it—materials matter. Specifically, when it comes to print, sturdiness matters. See how brands are driving up engagement rates by changing their paper.



T  here’s no denying that marketing and design go hand-in-hand. Hear from Shawmut’s Creative Director andVOL. get9,tips on4,how can 1 ISSUE 2019marketers Shawmut improve relationships with designers.

How Savvy Marketers are Using Creative Print Options to Boost Lead Gen Efforts



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Fueled by the knowledge that customer experience is a brand differentiator that’s predicted to surpass price and product by 2020, many companies are rethinking the way they attract—and convert—leads into customers. HubSpot’s 2017 Demand Generation Benchmarks Report states that organizations with revenues under $500 million have a mean cost per lead of $180; companies with revenues above $500 million spend more than double that, at roughly $430 per lead.

To compete, savvy marketers are using print to create engaging visual and tactile customer experiences that draw leads in. By adding print and direct mail strategies to their digital marketing mix, they’re seeing conversion rates go up. Neuroscience research out of Canada Post shows that direct mail is far more persuasive than digital media. Its motivation response is 20% higher—even more so if it appeals to senses beyond touch—because its physical format stimulates the underlying mental processes that guide behavior. In other words, by engaging more senses, direct mail has the power to drive more action—and more leads—than digital media. Together, integrated direct mail and digital campaigns capture 39% more attention (time spent) than digital campaigns alone. Despite its proven success, digital technologies and trends have been major disruptors to the print industry for decades. Fortunately, industry leaders dealt with the disruption head-on. The print industry has become more efficient while also developing a slew of new technologies, automation, software, papers, inks, and finishes for marketers to take advantage of.

With the pre-conceived shackles of old-school print removed, the ability to create highly targeted, memorable, long-lasting experiences that engage customers throughout the buyer journey is driving a new era of creativity, fueled by print. At the same time, it’s forcing many digital marketers and designers out of their comfort zones—as they learn how to transform and augment digital campaigns with print. Studies have shown that haptic (touch) memory is the type of memory that has the strongest impact on the human brain. Textures and finishes like embossing, debossing, raised ink, foil, glitter and other enhancements engage customers to do more than just see the print. It entices them to experience a truly unique sensory experience that screams out, “touch me!” Consider the phenomenon of unboxing videos. YouTube reports that videos featuring unboxings of anything from running shoes to dog toys were viewed more than 1.1 billion times in 2015. 60 million hours were spent watching other people open things. As crazy as it sounds, millions of people have shown that they’re more than willing to invest five minutes or

more watching someone unpack a box. In fact, 62% of people who view unboxing videos do so when researching a particular product. Think with Google puts it this way: The amount of time people have spent watching unboxing videos is the equivalent of watching the holiday classic Love Actually more than 20 million times. If someone is willing to spend 10 or 20 minutes talking about a product and/or its package and if millions are willing to watch an unboxing, just imagine how capitalizing on this trend can impact brand awareness—and in turn, customer acquisition. Recent print innovations make it possible for any business to deliver the ultimate unboxing experience. One that stimulates senses and creates an experience not soon forgotten. In Beyond CMYK: The Use of Special Effects in Digital Printing, KeyPoint Intelligence projects the digital print enhancement market to be over a billion dollars by the year 2020, with buyers willing to pay between 24% and 89% more for digitally-enhanced print over traditional CMYK-only work. These effects can help marketers leverage the sense of touch to create memorable and long-lasting customer experiences that sell.

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Kirsten is the Associate Art Director for Bullhorn, where she is responsible for creating high-impact, compelling designs for web and print, driving and executing brand campaigns, and helping produce multiple industry conferences around the globe.

Unfortunately, a large number of digital marketers and designers are unaware of the latest innovations and trends in the print industry— and the important role it plays in customer acquisition, conversion, and retention. The print industry’s expertise spans data, postage, direct mail, postal regulatory and compliance requirements; embellishments and textures; workflow, automation, and e-commerce software; packaging, signage, event options and more. It’s easy to become quickly overwhelmed by the physical world of print.

“Industry events are a very stressful process,” says Kirsten Forsberg, Senior Designer for Bullhorn. “There are a ton of printed materials to get done along with signage, event logistics, speaker coordination, staffing, and so much more. I couldn’t do it all without the support of a knowledgeable printer.”

“Our conference guide and other print materials really make a big difference for our attendee experience,” explains Kirsten. “A few years back we skipped the guide and opted for a 1-pager and mobile app instead and it was like herding cats. We became painfully aware that the printed materials were something we could never do without. We’ve learned For this year’s conference, the team that the conference guide can help at Bullhorn was looking to elevate people get the most out of the the guide for attendees. As one of experience and many use it years the most well-attended conferences later for reference.” in staffing, they wanted to reflect on their growth and the quality For Kirsten and the Bullhorn team, attendees had come to expect. partnering with Shawmut led to Unfortunately, past efforts to raise new print strategies that fit their the bar on the printed conference goals. And the best part for Kirsten guide hadn’t worked out, so they is that she didn’t have to do the sought out a new partner. research. She was able to rely on

To help digital designers, printers are sharing time-saving tools, templates, tips, and advice on how print can help their lead gen efforts. It’s a good idea to tap into the “When we pitched the project to expertise of print service providers Shawmut, we were planning on for guidance—from the latest something similar to what we had trends and technologies in papers, done in the past,” adds Kirsten. inks, and finishes to up-to-date “But our rep, Dave, wanted to take legislation and postal regulations, things a step further and help us rates and programs. Working explore other creative possibilities. together, printers, marketers, He sent over a ton of samples and designers can find ways to too which was very helpful for boost results while making the our team of visual learners.” most of budgetary limitations. After consulting with Dave and An annual conference guide for reviewing Shawmut’s print samples, Bullhorn, a Shawmut client, is a Kirsten and the team ultimately recent example of success derived decided on a strike-through varnish from collaboration. technique which is an elegant, but 4


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cost-effective way to achieve a similar look to spot gloss effects. Leveraging Dave’s advice, they also moved to Mohawk Via for the stock for the inside text pages which gave the book a nicer feel.

Shawmut’s recommendations and plans to do the same next year. Whether your leads and customers come through your website, trade shows, advertising or referrals, knowing how to get the most out of each lead is important to your bottom line. Savvy marketers have learned to look at print through a new lens—and how to squeeze every drop of its influence throughout the customer journey. 

You Can Too! 4 Women Share Their Stories of Success In Print and Marketing

Call it print, graphic arts or her curriculum—a focus on print “When I started, the industry was marketing. No matter how you production. In response, she made mostly male and I wondered if define the industry or your role in it her mission to learn everything I would be taken seriously,” says it, we can all agree it’s undergone she could about print, starting Trish. “But I have to say, it was more massive change. One of the with pursuing a Masters degree welcoming than I thought. Everyone most dramatic changes has been from the Rochester Institute of I worked with was generous with the emergence of opportunities Technology (RIT). their time and knowledge. for women in what was once a They were open to exploring “I decided that knowing how largely male-dominated industry. the world of folding with me to design and produce those Although the “Printerverse” which was pretty new at the time.” designs would give me a more (a term coined by one of the Witkowski has gone on to remarkable women profiled below) marketable skill set,” said Trish. become a worldwide speaker is still largely led by 50-something “I never thought it would lead me to discover an industry niche with and educator, content creator, men in suits, the tides are turning. so much untapped potential.” and direct marketing consultant. These four women—and countless However, she’s probably best others in print and marketing—are Trish’s entry into the world of known as the Chief Folding Fanatic proof. They’re managing teams, folding began while she was of FoldFactory, a company she creating engaged communities, working at RIT’s publications launched in 2002. FoldFactory.com and driving growth. Most department. “At the time, the which includes the award-winning importantly, they are inspiring publications department used FOLDRite™ Template Builder the next generation of women to the same folding styles for the system has become a one-stop follow. We hope these four women majority of the pieces produced. folding shop for direct marketers inspire you to go the distance, Occasionally, I’d come across more and designers. Through her work, try something new, and continue interesting options but they were she’s amassed the world’s largest to drive our industry forward. few and far between. So when it collection of folded samples which came time to choose a thesis, I she shares through her wildly wanted to find out how many popular weekly YouTube series folding options existed,” adds Trish. called the “60-second Super-cool Fold of the Week” which recently Finding the answer to that question Trish Witkowski hit 2 million views. turned into a massive seven-year CEO of FoldFactory and FreshCut Crafts

After switching majors from fine arts to graphic design, Trish noticed something missing from

research project. Her research fueled The Professional’s Guide to Folding, Witkowski’s two-volume book which remains the industry’s go-to resource on folding.

“Over the years, I’ve heard many people (women and men) say they feel like outsiders in the print industry, but that’s because they’re waiting to be invited in. You’ve got VOL. 9, ISSUE 4, 2019



to make your own road and have the confidence to explore new areas. When you do, you’ll find that the industry is very welcoming,” explains Trish. She says one of the most rewarding aspects of her career is the community that’s formed as a result and the positive feedback she gets from marketers, designers, and printers. “When someone reaches out to say thank you it makes all the difference,” adds Trish. “Through my work, I’ve had the opportunity to meet (virtually and in-person) lots of women and men who said I inspired them to push forward and do more with their marketing. That’s a great feeling.” Moving forward, Witkowski is excited for the future of print and marketing—and believes we are on the cusp of a big comeback for print. She notes that many “digitalfirst” companies are launching magazines and turning to other forms of print and direct mail to stop their message from ending up in the “deletable” category. This creates some unique career opportunities for people who can bridge the gap between marketers and printers. “There are certainly more women in print than when I started, but more importantly the women in our industry have strong voices and are a force of change,” says Trish. “I’ve seen this in printing and paper companies as well as marketing and design agencies— many of which are now being run 6


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and managed by women. The opportunity is there for women who want to enter the printing industry and my advice is to go after it. No one is going to get in your way if you have an honest mission and are passionate about what you want to pursue.”

Jenny Dela Cruz Co-founder & COO of Snowball Print Marketing

Last year, Jenny Dela Cruz participated in a panel discussion at the SGIA conference. The session titled “Why Sustainability and Profitability Go Hand in Hand” was aimed at debunking the notion that sustainable business practices are more costly. As she and the other panelists offered examples from companies across the country that have become more profitable by going green, she saw a lot of nodding in agreement. However, Dela Cruz also noticed that the audience was 95% male. “Other than a few other female speakers participating in the Women in Print panel, nearly all of the conference attendees were male,” recalls Dela Cruz. “Women in print do amazing things but we’re not great at putting those accomplishments in the spotlight and making our presence known at industry events.” Jenny, who got her start by taking a graphics arts class in high school,

has worked in just about every facet of the print industry before launching her own company. “I fell in love with the concept of being able to design something and see it come to life and that concept has stuck with me my entire career,” said Jenny. After attending RIT for print management, Dela Cruz went on to work for RR Donnelley and Almaden Global where she held roles in project management, operations, and scheduling. “I wanted to learn everything I could about print operations and doing so helped me take my career to a whole new level,” adds Jenny. “I went on to join HH Global where I served as a project manager for Google helping them develop and execute direct mail strategies. You know you’re doing okay when Google is asking for your advice!” While working on-site at Google, Dela Cruz grew concerned over the volume of mail Google was sending on virgin paper stock. Given the search giant’s status in the world, it was critical for the company to make sustainability a larger priority. To best advise them, Jenny wanted to learn all that she could on the subject so she pursued a certificate in business management and sustainability. “After getting my certificate, I came back and helped Google set goals for sustainability and metrics that would help them determine success,” explained Jenny.

“Google used 100% post-consumer waste paper when possible and using the EPN calculator showed the resources that were saved.” The feedback was tremendous and over the next two years, the paper was switched where possible across the company. “I was blown away by the impact we were able to make and wanted to share these strategies with other companies,” Jenny explained. “Sustainability became my passion and it led me to create Snowball Print Marketing.”

Cruz and Shaw feel responsible for setting an example for other women to follow. Their corporate values are designed to help the company, its customers and partners not only do well financially but to also show the world that sustainability and profitability go hand in hand.

Today, Deborah is an industry speaker and blogger, host of Podcasts from The Printerverse and #PrintChat on Twitter, as well as the founder of International Print Day and #ProjectPeacock. She has also been a driving force behind the Girls Who Print movement which has created numerous opportunities for women across the spectrum of print and marketing to connect, celebrate achievements, and give back through leadership and mentoring.

Her advice to other women: get involved with a community you are passionate about and find a mentor that will encourage you to try new things. Most importantly, always keep learning. “I’m excited about the changes I see in the industry for women,” says Deborah. “Thankfully the Snowball Print Marketing, which days of seeing ‘booth babes’ at Dela Cruz launched with cothe trade shows seem to be over. founder Katrina Shaw, began Deborah Corn Although the change should have in 2018. The company works Intergalactic happened sooner, I think it’s an with Sustainable Green Printing Ambassador to The Printerverse important evolution. Now, when Partnership (SGP) and Canopy I attend industry shows I’m Planet’s Blueline Ranking vendors The intersection of print and delighted to see more women and is the only women-owned, marketing is the place that walking the floor, speaking on ancient-forest friendly print Deborah Corn calls home. panels, and representing the management company in the world. After a 25-year career in the ad businesses they own.” agency world, Deborah gave new “You have to do what you’re meaning to the term grassroots. For Deborah, success is defined by passionate about,” says Jenny. She has built a global community the success of her audience and “For me, it’s protecting trees. The of print and marketing enthusiasts she’s grateful to be the facilitator. industry is a tough one to crack and works behind the scenes when people are focused on “It’s all about building a community to connect everyone to the price. So I give clients insight where people don’t feel like they’re resources and education they into environmental savings being sold to,” adds Deborah. need to succeed. opportunities in addition to price. “Social Media, especially LinkedIn, People often have no idea how “It all started by launching the Print is often thought of as a sales much their money can make a Production Professionals LinkedIn tool versus a communication and difference in the world.” group,” explains Deborah. “The relationship building tool. While I goal was to offer a place where agree that it’s all connected, most Today, Snowball Print Marketing people could get information and people and companies don’t put seeks to set new operational resources from their peers without in the time that is required to build standards in print. More importantly, a sales pitch. Then from there, their audience organically and with as the only women-owned print things just took off.” purpose. The work I do provides management company, Dela VOL. 9, ISSUE 4, 2019



the space for open information exchange through conversation. That helps my partners build brand loyalty and establish thought leadership, and the audience— who I consider my customers— to make the best choices as they learn about the products and services available to them, without the sales pitch attached.” Online communities, like the ones created by Corn and Witkowski, have created a new path for print and marketing education. Collectively, members of these groups have shared countless resources and fostered an environment that favors communication, transparency and collaboration over sales. Corn says print companies that can streamline the print buying process, communicate quickly, and collaborate well with marketers will win—and she thinks women can play a key role in that strategy moving forward. “I know it doesn’t apply in all cases, but in my experience, women tend to be natural communicators and problem-solvers,” adds Corn. “In general, I think we all need to be better ‘gatherers’ than ‘hunters’. Gatherers tend to dig deeper and assess the information more fully before presenting options which almost always leads to better outcomes.” No matter what role you play in the Printerverse, Deborah urges women and men to be authentic 8


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and stand by what you believe in. Just pop into her weekly #PrintChat on Twitter or catch her speaking at an event and you’ll see her living out that mantra. Her authenticity and commitment to education have fueled a community of nearly 150,000 (and growing) raving print and marketing fans around the world.

Stacy Peluso-Slaney Vice President of Sales at Shawmut Communications Group

“Some of the best advice I ever got was from my mother—’Surround yourself with people who strive to be better in life.’ That spirit is contagious,” Stacy Peluso-Slaney, Shawmut’s own Vice President of Sales, recalls. She did just that when she began her career in the printing industry by joining the family business as an account executive. Today, Peluso-Slaney serves as Shawmut’s Vice President and is responsible for developing new clientele and supporting the marketing and sales teams. While traditionally dubbed “the ol’ boys club,” the printing industry never slowed Stacy down. In fact, her experience has been very positive. “I have worked with some really incredible men on the print side and with clients on the marketing

side. Shawmut is a family-owned company and I am part of the third generation of Pelusos to have worked here. I can honestly say I never felt isolated and have been treated with respect from co-workers and industry partners,” she shared. “When I started at Shawmut, I was the only female print salesperson. However, I was not the first or the last. Currently, many of our top producers are female.” Peluso-Slaney’s success doesn’t stop there. She also is the first female in the Peluso family to be an active owner—a title that wasn’t just handed to her. “Like everyone, I started at the ground floor and had to prove my worth to move up in the company,” she said. “I am competitive by nature and always felt the need to justify my existence. Over the years, I have felt that I need to break all sales records in order to justify my role.” Peluso-Slaney advises other women to find a confidant at work if they’re feeling alone. Also, bring the issue up to management. “If management is part of the problem, then you have to make a decision for yourself—being selfish is okay. Life is too short to have other people’s insecurities weigh on you. There are companies out there that appreciate a person who works hard, no matter their gender or ethnicity.” 

Can You Increase Consumer Engagement by Simply Changing Paper? As marketers, we consistently put our promotions to the test. We invest hours into developing the perfect design to grab the attention of the right people. We test headlines, subject lines, creative, call-to-action, and many other variables. We analyze the metrics, adjust our campaigns and learn what prompts our target audience to respond. But does that cover everything we should consider? The answer is simple: No.

The paper we select to deliver our design and message can make a huge impact on our audience.

Impact of touch on the perception of your product and brand Studies conducted at MIT, Harvard, and Yale show that our judgment and decisions are subconsciously influenced by an object’s texture, hardness, tactile feel, and weight1,2. How do these studies relate to printed materials? We all know quality when we feel it. From the first touch, a sturdy paper creates a lasting impression of superior quality. On the flip side, a flimsy paper can create a negative impression.

Sturdier paper can also increase response To determine how a sturdier paper relates to the success of a marketing initiative, WestRock conducted direct mail trials with a Fortune 1000 retailer with more than 800 stores nationwide. The test included a series of six 6 × 9" direct mail postcards. The postcards featured identical creative and offers. The only difference: the paper. Half of the postcards were printed on 100 pound 12 point fine coated cover. The other half were printed on sturdier 12 point WestRock Tango® Coated Cover. The results speak for themselves: The sturdier postcard printed on 12 point Tango

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packaging, signage and other touch points present a positive impression of the brand.

earned a 38 percent response sales lift3 compared to the 100 pound coated cover, and even caught the attention of the brand’s CEO. Let’s explore the impact of a sturdier paper in other markets. Consider a major, nationwide greeting card manufacturer that hoped to increase greeting card sales from their B2B mailings. The company tested 12 point Tango greeting cards versus 8 point greeting cards within their mailing packages. The sturdier 12 point Tango cards resulted in a 63 percent lift in response/orders with a 28 percent lift in revenue—all to targeted buying groups. A nationwide healthcare provider wanted to determine if sturdier paper could drive more website traffic to their new mobile app. Using a Folded Self Mailer Design



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(FSM), the brand conducted an A/B split test of Tango 12 point 100 pound versus their 80 pound coated cover control. The sturdier Tango paper resulted in a 32 percent lift in traffic to their new mobile app.

Consumer expectations require a premium brand experience Now, let’s take this a step further. Today’s consumers expect a premium experience. They form an opinion of a brand in a matter of seconds. With expectations so high, it’s critical that all materials,

Effective design and creative are important to every printed piece. However, from first engagement to fulfillment, selecting the right paper is equally as important. When selecting your paper, consider the various aspects that can affect response and the perception of your brand and product. Is the paper sturdy enough? Is the paper shade proven to create a consumer preference? Does the paper shade create brand and printing consistency by matching throughout its various sizes, grades, and thicknesses? And are you able to deliver a consistent premium experience at every touch point? From sturdiness to the matching clean-white shade for optimal graphics, Tango is designed to elevate brands and drive response. Learn more about Tango at westrock.com/tango.  1 Incidental Haptic Sensations Influence Social Judgments and Decisions, National Center for Biotechnology Information, 2010 2 Does Touch Affect Taste? The Perceptual Transfer of Product Container Haptic Cues, Journal of Consumer Research, 2007 3 Calculated by the delta between the 1.64% response on the control piece vs. the 2.27% response on the test piece.

Beth Geiger is Senior Manager of Strategic Marketing for WestRock’s commercial print business. She is responsible for developing marketing strategies for WestRock’s innovative Tango® commercial print paperboard products. Prior to this, she led WestRock’s marketing communication function, supporting the consumer packaging businesses.


How Designers and Marketers Can Work Better Together A Q&A with Annalise Taber, Shawmut’s Creative Director

Every great marketing team needs an equally great design team and vice versa. Relationships between marketers and designers come in all shapes and sizes, but the key to any successful one is efficient and effective collaboration. When marketers work closely with designers, they can collectively turn content into something unique and memorable. Unfortunately, even the most well-planned projects can go off the rails, usually due to a communication break-down. Although marketers and designers are both in the creative services field, each role thinks differently

and approaches their work from varied perspectives. Understanding that is the first step in developing a successful relationship. So how can marketers and designers work better together and get the most out of their relationship? We asked our Creative Director, Annalise Taber, to share her secrets. As a successful Creative Director and owner of her own freelance design company, she’s spent years working with a variety of marketing teams and knows what it takes to develop mutually beneficial relationships.

What are some of the project missteps you’ve seen between marketing and design teams? It’s a pretty common problem: a project is final (or near-final), and then, in the eleventh hour, a key stakeholder gives their take. Budgets, timelines, and creative direction all hang in the balance. Often, all is well and projects continue on their way to production—be it a hand-off to a printer’s prepress department or a developer. Sometimes, however, it’s back to the drawing board. How can they be avoided? Depending on the structure of your organization, sometimes these last-minute stakeholder swoop-ins are unavoidable. I’m sure it comes as no surprise that the projects with the most compelling results and streamlined process are the ones with clear and ongoing lines of communication. The best projects begin with clear direction from both sides of the table.

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ASK AN EXPERT It’s crucial that marketers have an idea for how they’ll measure project success, as well as what their budget, timeline, and approval process looks like (this includes defining stakeholders early on). It’s equally important that designers ask probing questions to help determine project scope. Depending on the stage of the relationship, designers should expect to do some basic research and prepare a few concepts ahead of an initial meeting.

However, there’s nothing stopping a savvy marketing team from making a moodboard themselves, especially if they have a clear direction in mind. After all, designers are visual people. The more examples and guidelines you can provide at a project’s inception, the better. Brand guidelines, examples of past work, and similar projects (if applicable) fit the bill just fine and present a good jumping-off point for creative discussion.

How can marketers best communicate their vision to designers? What tools should they use?

What should marketers understand about the creative process? How can they best facilitate it?

Everyone’s process looks a little different, but many designers swear by moodboards. Far from the pasted-together poster boards you may be imagining, creative moodboards are simply a loose collection of ideas. This often takes the form of a shared folder or a quick presentation. The ultimate goal: convey basic creative direction before too many billable hours have been spent. Usually, designers create and present these moodboards after an initial discovery meeting with a client.

Once a timeline is agreed upon, expect your designer to stick to it. While delivering early is certainly a possibility, it’s unwise to expect a quick turnaround every time. You never know how many other projects a designer has on his or her plate at a time, and the creative process looks different for every designer. If your project is a rush, be upfront about it. If you have months before initial drafts need to be reviewed, expect semiregular check-ins but otherwise trust your designer to reach out if and when they need to. By all

Annalise is part of Shawmut’s creative services team and is responsible for turning our clients’ creative vision into reality. She is a versatile and experienced designer who works across print and digital channels to deliver exceptional visual communications. Her work includes direct mail, e-books, infographics, brochures, catalogs, websites, and more.



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means, if there are updates to the project scope—be it the audience, budget, quantity, whatever—be as up-front about it as possible. What are some of the best lessons you’ve learned from marketers? Designers tend to measure success by how creative they can be, given set parameters. How closely can you meet brand standards while still being unique? How can you visually elevate a tri-fold, a pocket folder, an ebook, a logo, a website? Marketers, however, are all about metrics. They read the trends and know the science behind what works and what doesn’t. A healthy mix of marketing and design thinking (born from close collaboration) can often yield surprising results. What have been your most successful relationships and why? I’ve found that the most successful projects and relationships involve collaboration from the start. Far before you’re thinking about stock, quantity, or development, it’s crucial to consider goals, message, and audience. Designers and marketers have different ways of approaching this conversation, but they both have key viewpoints to consider. The earlier these voices are brought to the table, the more successful your ultimate product will be. 


How You Print Is Just as Important as What You Print Research from neuroscientist Dr. Eagleman shows how the science of touch—called Haptics—influences our perception of quality. It’s why we think someone holding a clipboard has more authority than someone who isn’t. Or that a person holding a hot beverage is kinder and more approachable than someone holding a cold one. Neuroscience is fascinating and it has many implications for marketers and designers—particularly when it comes to print. Our brains are hardwired to react favorably to things

The digital print enhancement market is expected to be over a billion dollars by the year 2020, with buyers willing to pay between 24% and 89% more for digitally-enhanced print over traditional CMYK-only work.1

that feel good. That’s why how you print matters as much as what you print. Once you’ve made the decision to use print in your marketing strategy— which is a very smart choice—the next step is to find ways to create engaging and memorable print experiences. Sturdy or textured paper, a soft touch coating, or effects like embossing have a significant effect on how your message will be perceived. Here are a few stats that show why specialty print effects have become so important.

72% of people judge a business from their cards, and a colored card lasts 10x longer than a plain card. 2,3

A textured stock has been shown to increase donations by 13.1% compared to a plain stock.4

90% of consumers associate the quality of print materials to the business itself. 5

When reading on high-quality paper, brand recall is 3x higher.6

30% of all printed color pages in the U.S. and Western Europe currently receive some type of special effects.7

1: Keypoint Intelligence; 2: DigitalDoughnut; 3: Adobe; 4: Response Multipliers: How to Boost Your Direct Mail Response Rates without Changing a Word of Copy; 5: SmallBizTrends; 6: Sappi, The Neuroscience of Touch; 7: Keypoint Intelligence

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Shawmut Communications Group 33 Cherry Hill Drive, Danvers, MA 01923 www.shawmutdelivers.com

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The Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP) brings together a community of printers, print buyers, suppliers, and supporting organizations that work together to drive sustainable business practices that today’s customers demand. SGP provides transparent, measurable assurance that certified facilities like Shawmut will help print buyers meet and exceed sustainability goals.

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Tactics Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 4  

Tactics Magazine is a bi-monthly publication created by and for marketing and creative minds.

Tactics Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 4  

Tactics Magazine is a bi-monthly publication created by and for marketing and creative minds.

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