Boot camp for brand builders

American Litho University

Ever heard of the 7 P’s that are part of the preparedness strategy used by the U.S. Marines? It’s all about being ready when the big challenges come your way.

Success with any print-based marketing campaign depends on having a detailed map of where you’re headed and the best tools and strategies to help you get there. With this in mind, we recently hosted the first American Litho University – our own boot camp for building your brand.

Our 2-day event in Carol Stream wasn’t quite as tough as what they dish out at Parris Island or San Diego. But every participant came away with a new understanding of print planning, production, logistics and more – elements that lay the groundwork for strong performance.

ALitho U presenters focused on several major themes, including:

  • Planning and teamwork for results
  • Defining campaign objectives
  • The value of accurate data
  • Marketing to the 5 senses

We enjoyed the opportunity to show clients from all vertical markets how our services contribute to success with both print and multichannel initiatives. Open discussions created a lively exchange of questions and ideas – a forum that enriched and extended the learning for all of us.

Sharon Rubar and Sam Dentino

On Day 1, format optimization expert Sharon Rubar (above left) and Sam Dentino (above right) showed the group what can happen when we collaborate early in the game, studying and testing alternate formats that can help jobs run more efficiently for postage and print savings and faster cycle times.

Dave Deschryver and Tim Gaw

Tim Gaw (above right) gave participants a close-up view of pre-press functions and how they deliver precise quality control and beautiful, on-time results. Dave Deschryver (above left) walked us through the in-line manufacturing process, taking us down to the production floor to demonstrate how major jobs come together. Along the way, the group made stops in 7 departments essential to our work: web, sheet-fed and digital production areas plus wide-format production, lettershop, pick-and-pack and fulfillment.

In the plant and in the classroom, participants saw live examples of teamwork that begins long before dollars are committed to paper, press time or postage.

Dwayne Martinez (above left), our merchandising and packaging guru, dug into the topic of developing clear goals that can lead to success with new technologies that integrate print, direct mail, mobile and in-store promotions. Our lettershop’s role in postage optimization and effective logistics came through in a focused tour given by Truman Pope (above right).

The advent of multichannel marketing means an even greater focus on accurate data as a driver of success.

Rob Glaza’s presentation on Day 2 explained the processes we use to optimize customer data and how these integrate with best practices in postal logistics for total mailing efficiency.

Two great guest speakers also helped us show the exciting new possibilities with advanced print technologies.

Rick Mazur (above left) from Kodak wowed the group with examples of 4-color, data-driven variable imaging for eye-popping, personalized offers. Dave Sullivan (above right) of Sappi introduced us to the neuroscience of touch – giving new insights into the power of texture added to postcards, catalogs, in-store collateral and more.

Like Marine boot camp, we think ALitho University was a great workout for everyone. But even if you couldn’t join us, we’re ready to help you tap the full range of knowledge and resources here at ALitho to reach your brand-building objectives. Let us know if you’d like to attend a future session. Semper Fi!

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