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Cross-media marketers

Mar 1, 2009 12:00 AM


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Marketing agencies, large corporations, and small businesses all benefit from the array of cross-media personalized marketing strategies, tools, and campaigns Montage Graphics (Fort Collins, CO) offers. Many agency clients rely on the company to help them design effectively for 1:1 marketing, while the company's work for enterprise clients including HP, Land Rover, and Savvi Formalwear, encompasses design, production, and printing of nationwide, data-driven marketing campaigns.

Personalized marketing campaigns can include many different customer touch points, including direct mail, e-mail, personalized URLs (PURLs), and customized Web landing pages. Based on marketing data and lists from clients or outside sources, Montage Graphics designs messages, images, and incentives that appeal to specific audiences.

Campaign design often involves a variety of elements that must be integrated to create a comprehensive promotion. Design elements used in a direct mail piece, such as images that feature a person's name integrated into a photograph, may be repeated on a Web landing page. To successfully execute cross-media campaigns, Montage Graphics has built a unified, intuitive design and print production environment that enables designers to explore more creative possibilities and experience new levels of productivity.

Focus on personalization

Eighty percent of the jobs Montage Graphics produces are personalized, and business continues to grow. The company experienced 15% growth in 2008, with annual revenues of $2 million. And personalization is not limited only to print materials; the company embraces a 1:1 strategy in online communications, as well.

To deliver its personalized marketing services, Montage Graphics relies on a toolset that includes cross-media personalization technologies, on-demand digital printing, large-format display production and more. The company uses an HP Indigo digital press to achieve the look of conventional ink on paper while integrating the flexibility and personalization VDP offers. Large-format, 6-color prints up to 60 inches wide, and any length, are printed on the firm's HP DesignJet large-format printers.

Montage Graphics uses its ParticleLogic suite of personalized marketing strategies and tools to create and deliver sophisticated 1:1 marketing campaigns. Whether designing a direct-mail campaign, e-mail promotion or Web landing page, Montage Graphics relies on Adobe Creative Suite 4 Design Premium software to create personalized, integrated variable campaigns. DirectSmile software rounds out the firm's image personalization and VDP capabilities.

Creating engaging experiences

ParticleLogic — a Montage trademark for its personalization tools — is composed of three primary delivery mechanisms, enabling personalized communications to be sent through the mail (ParticleDirect), posted on the Internet (ParticleClick), and transmitted via e-mail (ParticleZap). All VDP direct mail pieces are designed using Adobe InDesign CS4, while e-mail messages and Web landing pages are designed using Adobe Dreamweaver CS4.

A plug-in to InDesign, the DirectSmile Generator includes image rendering, and job and database management functions. By making associations with Montage Graphics' proprietary database, which manages all of the variable client data for campaigns, DirectSmile drives different assets within InDesign CS4 and can turn InDesign CS4 layers on and off while varying elements on each layer.

Montage Graphics uses ParticleLogic tools to produce campaigns for Savvi Formalwear, helping the independently owned locations maintain a consistent, nationwide presence while personalizing and targeting sales offers for specific regions or owners.

When a bride-to-be attends a wedding show and signs up to receive information from Savvi, her address is mapped to the closest Savvi retailer. Soon after the show, she receives a personalized direct mail piece that includes an initial offer and a PURL. Using the wedding date provided at the show, Montage Graphics sequences e-mail and print mail incentives.

Simplifying the creative design process

Moving creative assets from one program to another easily is a huge time saver for Montage Graphics and critical for successful cross-media campaigns. The company takes advantage of the integration capabilities among the applications in Adobe Creative Suite 4 Design Premium, as well as the individual product enhancements in the latest version of each application.

Montage Graphics can create custom preflight profiles for customers to use during the design phase to minimize errors up front. This helps eliminate the need to recreate projects at the last minute, saves time, and lowers overall production costs. Designers can use these preflight profiles while working in InDesign CS4. The Live Preflight functionality constantly checks the job for potential production problems, so they can be fixed as they arise. On the printing side, when InDesign CS4 files arrive at Montage Graphics, prepress operators can use Live Preflight to identify potential production problems and fix them earlier in the process.

VDP campaigns make it necessary to integrate design and coding to achieve creative, personalized results. The Live Code view in Dreamweaver CS4 makes it easier for designers and developers to see both their code and a live rendering of what their page would look like when completed. As a result, they can preview and test Web content more quickly than in the past.

Online collaboration

Montage Graphics embraces online tools that improve collaboration and approval processes. An Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) workflow is at the heart of the company's ecofriendly efforts, helping improve efficiency and reduce waste. For preflighting files, Gadd uses Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro. Acrobat.com's Adobe Share functionality is used for PDF proofs, reducing the number of paper proofs generated and share files that are too large to send via e-mail. Montage Graphics can accelerate the review process by using the Adobe ConnectNow feature of Acrobat.com, accessing it from the ShareMyScreen menu item in InDesign CS4 or Acrobat 9 Pro.


Michael Ninness is sr. product manager, Adobe InDesign and InCopy, Adobe Systems Inc. Contact him via www.adobe.com.

About Montage Graphics

Montage Graphics (Fort Collins, CO) has found a way to enhance its existing printing business with cross-media offerings that create new revenue streams and reduce paper consumption.

For more than 30 years, Montage Graphics has served the needs of marketing agencies, designers and businesses in Colorado and around the world. The company began as a graphic arts service bureau in 1976 and has since evolved into a pioneer of 1:1 marketing solutions. Acquired by president Toby Gadd in 2001, Montage Graphics is now a one-stop shop for digital imaging services.