Marketing Materials and the Creative Director: Quality Trumps All
For Scott Thompson, director, creative services and project development at Real Estate Media, quality and good customer service trumps all.
Thompson is in charge of creating promotional materials for conferences;the company does three to four mailings for each of its 26 conferences;as well as brochures for on-site programs and direct mail. His printing needs are also steadily increasing due to the “ebb and flow” of direct mail popularity. “With all of the obstacles in the way, such as CAN SPAM and more sophisticated spam filters, the response rates to emails are down,” says Thompson. “The over-saturation of the market has brought about a trend of going back to direct mail.”
Because of the range of projects his staff must complete, Thompson says that it’s important to work with a vendor who’s going to provide flexibility and special attention to detail. In his own words:
“Both good service and a quick turnaround time are important in a lot of what we do. We need to get it done yesterday, especially within the conference division. There’s such a need for us to time it perfectly in order to be sure these events get noticed;we need the materials two weeks before.
Our current vendor is great because they’ll come to us and say, “Hey, you missed an image,” or “Or this image is too low-res.” A vendor that crosses the Ts, dots the I’s and suggests creative solutions upfront is what we look for.
We also have a lot of questions about postage outside of the normal area, so we’re looking for people that specialize in that and other various areas.
What I think is missing from the industry today is an old school partnership. It’s just lost in some of the bigger printers. It’s just like “send your jobs over and we’ll process them” and that’s it.
We design in-house, but there’s still always room for someone to come in and collaborate with us. That human element is missing.
With FTP sites and emails, there’s probably too little contact between the vendor and me. A printer should still be able to offer a partnership. A small business type of feeling is necessary.”