It’s time for a new campaign, which means it’s time for new creative, and let’s face it probably the most exciting, sexiest part of the marketing mix. Now, we don’t want to ruin anyone’s fun, or be thought of as the boring sense of reason, but there are some very good reasons why you might just want to put that creative on hold and sort out your print requirements first – here are five of the most important:
- Pagination – Design, look and feel, the image and assets, all of these are important to creative and they usually end up determining pagination and size. However, the world of print works in sections and Impositions. By talking with print providers in advance, you will determine the most cost-effective spec, leaving creative to work their magic. This approach might even deliver more space to work with.
- Paper – It is easy to get carried away with the creative’s need for luxurious high-quality paper, which is ‘essential’ to match the quality of their work. However, over-engineering highly-disposable direct mail products, is just wasting money. For higher volume, short lifespan promotions recipients will never notice or care about a 10gsm difference either way. Therefore, taking time to minimize paper consumption will have little impact on the creative, while reducing cost wastage. For more about paper considerations, click here.
- Timing – Creative timing is based on how busy the studio is, which has little impact on the cost of campaign. Print, however, is a different story. Printers fill presses months in advance, especially if they offer competitive rates, making the last-minute dash to book space a risky and sometimes costly strategy. Even then you need paper, which may require a 4-week turnaround depending on the size of the job. Leave booking to the last minute, and you may just find that your preferred options are no longer available, or, they have increased in price. Therefore, the longer you allow to implement a print strategy – the more likely you are to get what you want, when you want it, at the right price.
- Mailability – Your printed spec is a gateway to economy, it can ensure your DM meets the most economical size and weight with various distribution and postal criteria – keeping the distribution cost down. Therefore, ensuring your print spec is super mailable before the creative starts will allow you to reap the benefits and savings down the line.
- Balance of payments – Money isn’t everything but look at the numbers, the creative might cost you as little as £2,500 but you’re going to spend £35k on print. If you’re looking to reduce costs, which most people are, then which area should you focus on?!