Catalog Marketing 101 (6 of 8)


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Catalog Marketing 101 - Catalog Production
This tutorial will expose you to the most important steps involved in catalog production from planning to design, printing and finally mailing. The production process is affected by the type of catalog...B2C or B2B, the size of the catalog in terms of dimensions and numbers of pages, how the catalog will be printed, assembled and distributed. All of needs to be tied into a well detailed production plan and schedule. This tutorial will walk you through all of the important steps and things you need to consider. If you're new to catalog production or this is your organization's first catalog, it's a good step-by-step guide. If you're an experienced cataloger, you can use it as a refresher and checklist of the things that you need to constantly stay on top of in the process. All of the other factors that go into making a successful catalog, mean nothing if the final product (catalog) doesn't meet your and your customers expectations or the book is not mailed and delivered on time. This tutorial will help you manage the entire process.

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  • 1. Determine unique selling proposition.
    1.What sets us apart from our competition?
    2.How is our assortment better?
    3.How is our service better?
    4.What makes us the authority in our market?
    5.Why should people buy from us?
    2. Determine in-home date preference
    1.Based on competitor analysis, when is the best time to be in the mail boxes of our customers? Check with your list broker to find out when your competition is mailing because most of them keep a “decoy” report for exactly that purpose.
    3. Define editorial position.
    1.Are there any particular trends that affect our industry, our customers or our products? If so, what is our judgment about that - - etc.
    2.There may be no “position” necessary - - - “our stuff is for fun - - so have fun”
    4. Determine catalog look.
    1.How much white space
    2.Call outs
    5.Photography – models – locations – studios – etc.
    5. Complete square-inch analysis.
    1.Units sold or $ sales per sq. in helps predict how something might perform in the future and should be considered when determining how much space to devote to each item.
    2.For purposes of assessing “vendor co-op expense” to participate in the catalog
    6. Preliminarily review continuation product.
    1.Dudley – merchant point of view
    7. Preliminarily review new products.
    1.Dudley – merchant point of view
    8. Prepare product information sheets.
    1.Vendor and contact information
    2.Units of purchase (case of 12, dozen, gross, each, etc.)
    3.Lead time
    4.Country of origin
    6.Return policy
    7.Contact name, address, phone
    8.SKU #
    9.UPC barcode
    10.Product content
    9. Review pick-up copy and presentation.
    1.Make sure copy is still current and accurate and makes sense in the “new context of the new catalog” – still must be relevant.
    2.Make sure image is consistent with the current feeling of the catalog
    10. Paginate and allocate space.
    1.Use square inch analysis information, buyer/merchant trend analysis, selling price, gross margin analysis and anything else available to help decide position and space allocation for each item
  • Prepress
    Prepress commonly refers to all the print production functions that take place from the time the printing company receives the artwork — from a graphic designer or customer — up until the actual printing takes place on the printing press.
    These functions normally include at least some of the following: receiving media files or downloading them from the web; creating a “proof” for approval; making any changes requested; creating negatives; and finally making the plates that will be used on the press.
    Press check
    A representative should be on press to compare the printed sheet to the match proof. There’s always some judgment involved, since the printing process can’t match every page exactly. But some correction is possible on press.
  • Bindery
    After a job is printed it always goes to a bindery stage, sometimes called “finishing.”
    This stage can include one or many steps depending on the end product: cutting (also called “trimming,”) folding, laminating, scoring, perforating, stitching (with wires or staples for magazines,) perfect binding (for paperback books,) spiral or plastic comb binding, and hardback bookbinding.
    The final step in the bindery stage includes packaging for delivery. A small job might be shrink wrapped; stacks of magazines are often strapped together so an entire stack can be picked up easily; and larger jobs can be boxed or crated, generally requiring a forklift to move them from the delivery truck.
    Delivery / Mailing
    Here again we have a number of extremes. Some jobs will either be picked up by the customer or delivered by the printer.
    In other cases, they may be delivered to a specialized mailing facility, with some larger printers also having their own in-house mailing services.
    In this stage the addressee labels are applied or computer-imprinted from the customer’s mailing list database.
    For sophisticated direct mail packages, the computer imprinting can also include the recipient’s name as part of the letter to give it a personalized touch, using a mail-merge software program.
    The final destination for direct mail projects would be the post office.
    In the case of letters, the mailing service would have prepared pre-sorted (by zip code) bundles and counts of letters; periodicals generally have a 2nd-class indicia imprinted and are pre-sorted and weighed. The total postage is paid and from there on the postal service takes over until the materials are delivered.
    Send your mailing list to the printer at least 7 days before the scheduled binding/addressing date so that the list can be analyzed and the estimated postage computed.
    Send your postage check at least two days prior to the mail date.
  • Web press
    Is an offset press that uses rolls of paper
    Use of roll paper allows for faster printing
    Two types – heat-set and cold-set
    Sheet-fed press
  • These are the factors involved in catalog production and the order in which the processes should occur.
    Present initial catalog design concept
    Layout catalog
    Design order form
    Revise layouts
    Plan photo shoot
    Shoot new photography
    Finalize photo picks
    Prepare composed pages
    Proof loose color
    Revise composed pages
    Finalize composed pages
    Create version changes if any
    Proof composed color and type
    Select printer
    Select paper
    Buy paper
    Print catalog
    Proof on-press
    Develop circulation plan
    Assign list source codes
    Order mailing list
    Dedupe mailing list
    Select mailing house (if not printer)
    Schedule mailing with mailing house
  • Catalog Marketing 101 (6 of 8)

    1. 1. Catalog Marketing 101 Workshop By Dudley Stevenson, Mark Eubanks (651) 315-7588 Catalog Marketing 101 Workshop 1
    2. 2. Table of Contents • Part 1 – Catalog Marketing Overview & E-Commerce • • • • • • • Synergy Part 2 – Front & Back End Marketing Part 3 - Catalog Merchandising Part 4 – Catalog Creative & Design Part 5 – Catalog Copy Part 6 – Catalog Production Part 7 – Management, Financials & Analytics Part 8 – Operations & Fulfillment (651) 315-7588 Marketing Planning 101 Workshop 2
    3. 3. Catalog Marketing 101 Part 6 Catalog Production (651) 315-7588 Marketing Planning 101 Workshop 3
    4. 4. Catalog Production Process (651) 315-7588 Marketing Planning 101 Workshop 4
    5. 5. Steps 1 - 10 in Process 1. Determine unique selling proposition 2. Determine in-home date preference 3. Define editorial position 4. Determine catalog look 5. Complete square-inch analysis 6. Review continuation products 7. Review new products 8. Prepare product information sheets 9. Review pick-up copy and presentation 10. Paginate and allocate space (651) 315-7588 Marketing Planning 101 Workshop 5
    6. 6. Steps 11 - 20 in Process 11. Finalize merchandise selection 12. Present initial design concepts 13. Layout catalog, first draft 14. Design order form. 15. Revise layouts, second draft 16. Write manuscript copy 17. Plan the photo shoot 18. Shoot new photography 19. Revise manuscript copy 20. Finalize pricing, sizing, etc. (651) 315-7588 Marketing Planning 101 Workshop 6
    7. 7. Steps 20 - 30 in Process 21. Finalize photo picks. 22. Prepare composed pages, first draft. 23. Proof loose color. 24. Revise composed pages, second draft. 25. Finalize composed pages. 26. Create version changes (if any). 27. Proof composed color and type. 28. Pre-press 29. Printing – initial print run 30. Press check (651) 315-7588 Marketing Planning 101 Workshop 7
    8. 8. Steps 31 – 33 in Process 31. Printing – final/full print run 32. Bindery 33. Delivery / Mailing (651) 315-7588 Marketing Planning 101 Workshop 8
    9. 9. Selecting a Printer / Mail House • Select a printer that specializes in printing catalogs – Inquire about the possibility of co-mingling with another mailer to save money and time by achieving greater saturation and more direct access to BMC (Bulk Mailing Facilities) • Commit to printer at least 4 weeks prior to printing to guarantee paper delivery • The printing, binding and mailing process usually takes about 2 weeks • Prepare your mailing data in advance of your print date (651) 315-7588 Marketing Planning 101 Workshop 9
    10. 10. Catalog Printing Presses / Methods • Sheet fed press • Web press – Heat-set web press – Cold-set web press – UV ink cold-set web press (651) 315-7588 Marketing Planning 101 Workshop 10
    11. 11. Sheet Fed Press • This is the traditional low volume press that prints on pre-cut sheets of paper • It’s a much more precise printing method, so it produces the sharpest printing of the three types of presses • It can print on a wide variety of paper weights • Because of its slower speed, it’s the most expensive printing method – so it’s generally used for small runs and catalogs requiring the best printing quality (651) 315-7588 Marketing Planning 101 Workshop 11
    12. 12. Heat-set Web Press • Is the stand catalog and magazine printing press • The press dries the ink on the paper as it exists the press • This allows the press to print at high speeds and coated papers, such as gloss • The presses are large, complicated to setup and require several people to operate and setup • It’s only reasonable to use this type of press for print runs of 10,000 or more catalogs and in increments of 8 pages, preferably 16, which is a full signature • 99% of all mail-order catalogs are printed on this type of press (651) 315-7588 Marketing Planning 101 Workshop 12
    13. 13. Cold-set Web Press • Because this press does not have a heated drying unit, it can only print on unfinished stock • They are smaller and simpler than heat-set presses • Good press for very small quantity catalo print runs starting at 1,000 copies. • Once the quantity reach 15 to 20,000, it’s more effective to print on a heat-set press (651) 315-7588 Marketing Planning 101 Workshop 13
    14. 14. UV Ink Cold-set Web Press • This is a hybrid of the cold-set press which uses high intensity UV energy to cure the ink on paper • UV is environmentally friendly and can be used on a variety of paper grades and types from newsprint to gloss coated book stock • It’s an excellent choice for smaller print runs starting at 1,000 • Once the quantity reach 15 to 20,000, it’s more effective to print on a heat-set press (651) 315-7588 Marketing Planning 101 Workshop 14
    15. 15. Catalog Sizing • Catalog page size formats (most common) – (8 3/8” x 10 7/8”) is the most used, and most cost effective size – (3/8” x 8 3/8”) is the next most common sized used – They must also use the standard house paper which is typically 60# no. 3 or 4 quality – these are generally low costs paper • Page count – The normal page counts that are ideal for having a catalog printed using a web press are • Standard – 32 page signatures • Digest – 64 page signatures – The next most cost effective format catalogs use pages counts in increments of 16, such as 48, 64 or 80, etc. (651) 315-7588 Marketing Planning 101 Workshop 15
    16. 16. Catalog Printing Formats • Self-cover format basics – Self-cover means that the same paper weight and type is used for all pages of the catalog including the cover – More cost effective than “plus cover” format – because the cover pages will print on the same form/signature as the text pages • Plus-cover format – Plus-cover means that the paper stock of the text pages is not common with that of the cover – Plus-cover catalogs are more expensive than “self-cover” catalogs because the cover pages must print on a different form/signature than the text (651) 315-7588 Marketing Planning 101 Workshop 16
    17. 17. Best Catalog Paper Choices • Best paper choices for 4-color process printing for text pages – 70# gloss or dull text or – 80# gloss or dull text • Best paper choices for 4-color process printing for cover pages – 80# gloss or dull cover or – 100# gloss or dull cover (651) 315-7588 Marketing Planning 101 Workshop 17
    18. 18. Press-efficient Page Counts • Working in 8 page increments is the most ideal format because all conventional printing presses are designed to deliver 8 page signatures for sheet fed printing presses • Half-size sheet-fed presses (19” x 25” to 23” x 29”) – 1 press form yields one 8 page signature (sheet wise) or two 4 page signatures (work and turn) • Full-size sheet-fed presses (25” x38” to 28” x40”) – 1 press form yields one 16 page signature (sheet wise) or two 8 page signatures (work and turn) (651) 315-7588 Marketing Planning 101 Workshop 18
    19. 19. Page Counts / Trim Sizes • Most cost-effective Self-cover formats – 8 page self cover – 16 page self-cover – And additional 8 page signatures, thereafter • Most cost-effective Plus-cover formats – 4 page cover + 8 page text – 4 page cover + 16 page text – And additional 8 page signatures thereafter for text • The most cost-effective finished page sizes for conventional offset sheet-fed printing presses are – 5 ½” x 8 ½” to 6” x 9”; 7” x 10” to 9’ x 12” (651) 315-7588 Marketing Planning 101 Workshop 19
    20. 20. Catalog Production Factors • Determining the catalog size – Dimensions – # of pages • Selecting paper • Printing • Select printer/mailer • Preparing / Ordering mailing lists • Postage and mailing • Co-mailing (651) 315-7588 Marketing Planning 101 Workshop 20