Print Production: A Place to Cut Marketing Costs, or an Opportunity for Improvement?

In today’s economy, it’s only natural to be looking for areas in your marketing budget to cut costs or reallocate. And with printing often being a significant expense for many marketing initiatives, it can seem like an easy decision to go with the cheapest printer and a house stock. After all, it’s just paper and ink, right?

Not so fast! A less-than-professional print job can send the wrong message to your customers, and you don’t want your high-quality ideas or products to be dismissed because your brochure looks amateur. There are so many opportunities to improve your direct mail, collateral or other printed pieces with some careful thought about how you want to print it.

For example, we recently concepted a Christmas card for a client, and instead of just turning over artwork with no thought to production, our recommendation included printing with silver ink on Neenah Paper Inc.’s “Starwhite” Flash Pearl paper (a white stock with a shimmery pearl effect) — a combination that screamed holiday cheer.

The paper and printing process you choose can also help enhance your message. For example, if you’re working on a piece to share your sustainability story, an uncoated, recycled paper with soy-based inks makes a lot more sense than a glossy house stock. Or, if you’re marketing a product known for its strength and durability, why not engage your audience with a non-tearable synthetic paper?

Upgrades like these don’t always need to cost a lot of money. Many marketing agencies employ production services specialists who can provide recommendations and guidance, or a quality printer should have knowledgeable reps on staff to help you understand what options are available.

So, before you send your next piece off to the printer, stop to think about the production possibilities. There’s a whole world to explore full of colored, textured papers; shimmery and metallic inks; glosses and coatings; embossing and debossing; variable content and customization; and many other interesting materials and processes. Have some fun, and good luck!

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