The new service, named Publish, utilizes a free Adobe plug-in that allows businesses to extend the use of their preferred design software to become an end-to-end print workflow solution for high-quality publications. The plug-in includes templates for four cover formats, five paper types, and eight trim sizes, including Blurb’s new 8.5x11-inch size, which is exclusive to Publish. Publish also enables designers to complete their projects up to 75 percent faster using Blurb's custom proofing tools, automated pre-flight checks, and the ability to order via credit card from within the interface.
“We’re pleased to join with Blurb to deliver a solution for marketers to deliver key content quickly and efficiently to targeted audiences,” says Aaron Grohs, executive VP of sales and marketing at CGX. “The combination of our expansive sales force and customer base and Blurb’s leading software and high-quality product selections is a win-win for businesses that need quick turnaround on short- to medium-size print runs, without sacrificing quality.”
By allowing orders of a single unit and higher, Publish provides a cost-effective solution for smaller volume projects that require rich production values such as client pitches and presentations, highly customized brochures, commemorative publications, look books, corporate capabilities pieces, portfolios, product or exhibition catalogs, and other limited edition corporate collateral. Businesses have a growing need for smaller, custom print runs to service specific needs on more immediate deadlines. Publish serves this need by delivering high-quality publications using the industry's only digital print-on-demand workflow with independent color management in as little as seven days.
“It used to be that businesses required a big budget, lots of lead time, and a need for thousands of units before they could produce a high-end print piece,” says Eileen Gittins, founder and CEO of Blurb. “Now, with Publish, creative professionals can design and print rich publications with amazing production values in runs as small as one unit—and get them turned around in about a week. Although we have been working closely with businesses for years,” Gittins continues, “taking this capability to scale with Consolidated Graphics is a big deal. We believe this new flexibility will result in an explosion of new and remarkably creative print publications.”
Multichannel “Cloud” Marketing
“For many companies, managing and executing their branded messages across various sales and marketing organizations can be a challenging and expensive endeavor,” says Jeff Allen, director of marketing for Commercial Markets. “Marketers are being asked to show return on investment for every campaign and are contending with a growing number of options that can be used to communicate with an ever more fragmented and localized audience. These new solutions help ensure content is relevant and consistent across all sales and marketing channels,” Allen continues, “while helping balance the corporate need to protect the brand and obtain measurable results with the local market rep’s desire for flexibility and customized content.”
Digital Direct Marketing assists companies in managing and executing targeted, cross-media campaigns that advance their reputation, create sales leads, grow revenue, and build customer insight. It can integrate customer touchpoints, including Web, mobile phones, email, direct mail, and traditional mass media, to allow companies to deliver targeted, personalized communications that attract, retain, and grow their customer base.
Local Marketing can give companies the control and flexibility they need to maintain brand consistency across sales channels while enabling local users to create and deliver personalized communications and sales and marketing collateral. The solution also provides marketers with the peace of mind that their brand standards will be maintained throughout their sales and distribution networks.
Both the Digital Direct and Local Marketing Solutions utilize the company's existing SMARTworks Enterprise Marketing Management platform, which is a cloud-based technology framework that enables asset management, workflow configuration, financial settlement, and user management in the industry’s most secure, scalable environment.
The Magazine Channel
Although smaller in scale, Publishers Press of Shepherdsville, KY, is another innovator. With 1,400 employees, two plants, and sales of approximately $160 million in 2011, the fifth-generation, privatized magazine printer is among the top third or so US printers. It was founded in 1866, making Publishers Press only two years younger than RR Donnelley.