Roanoke, Va.

Sean Norris is editor-in-chief for Promo Marketing. Reach him at snorris@napco.com.

If we've learned one thing in the ongoing aftermath of the recession, it's that efficiency is more important than ever. Budgets are tight, resources are limited, and time is so scarce we're going to need Greenpeace to intervene to protect it.

Headquartered in Roanoke, Va., Magnets USA  launched web-to-print technology, allowing customers a turnkey and self-directed approach to ordering and designing their own personalized magnetic football schedules. Orders will be completed more quickly with this technology, as customers will be able to proof and approve their order immediately. This self-serve function also will eliminate the set-up fee associated with products designed by Magnets USA’s in-house graphics department.

InfoSeal, Roanoke, Va., recently completed testing of its forms and equipment at the OCÉ North America Design Documents Systems Division facility in Boca Raton, Fla., and was issued a certificate of connectivity that allows InfoSeal to operate its pressure seal system in-line with its high-speed continuos and cut sheet LED printers. InfoSeal recognizes this strategic development as an important relationship to distributors when selling to accounts with OCÉ equipment. The company plans to continue developing partnerships such as this that will support distributors selling against the major directs. InfoSeal provides unique, printed, self-mailable documents and fold and seal mailing equipment through a nationwide

With this issue, another successful Top Design Contest has come to a close. We received scores of entries representing every niche of products sold by distributors. Once again this year, Rick Lewis, president of Stratis Print Communications, Long Beach, Calif., took Best of Show, along with staff graphic designer Louis Nidorf, also from Stratis. This year's award was for a 139-page book that depicts a compelling, focused journey through Cuba. The book is comprised of photographs taken in Cuba by 18 students and two professors from Brooks Institute of Photography, Santa Barbara, Calif. Details can be found on page 24. One Platinum Award was presented this

Distributors find that there's more than one way to sell commercial printing. While distributors agree that commercial printing is an excellent market, no two have exactly the same philosophy on how to best serve clients. However, rather than being a source of discord, this difference of opinion enables distributors to successfully conduct business in their respective niches. For example, the following four distributors attribute 25 percent to 60 percent of their sales to commercial printing and each have distinct methods of servicing clients. By the fiscal year's end all four companies grossed between $10 million and $70 million in sales last year, proving there's

How marketing with manufacturers can strengthen the sale. It might be sufficient to conduct thorough research, produce detailed proposals and drop off a few catalogs when selling solutions to clients. But if the expertise of manufacturers is not added into the mix, it may not be enough. When offering a complete solution sell these days, it is the teamwork between the distributor and manufacturer that can provide the extra power needed to win over large re-gional and national accounts—even ones that might have utilized directs in the past. This was just the case for Jim Constantin, product manager for Source4, Roanoke, Va., who competed

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