Joe Burke is PlusMedia’s resident Director of Production. He is instrumental in optimizing our clients’ media campaigns by reducing production spend through format efficiencies and rate negotiations on paper, printing, plate charges, and freight. Joe brings over 25 years of experience, having worked in production at Ogilvy and procurement at IBM, serving global brands such as Colgate, Unilever, Biogen, Coca-Cola, American Express, Coty, Jaguar, and AIG.

Joe has a wealth of expertise across direct mail, print & print management; print procurement; sheet-fed, digital, web & rotogravure printing; paper program management; letter shop, bindery & special finishing; USPS mail regulations & requirements; postal indicia management; fulfillment, logistics & freight; warehousing; fulfillment center management; and freight & logistic sourcing.

Below, he shares a few words of wisdom from the production front lines.

What’s the benefit of working with an agency on production?
“First and foremost, volume discounts. As an agency, PlusMedia prints a large quantity of material across our client base for both insert and direct mail campaigns. By combining print runts for multiple clients, we’re able to achieve significant savings, which we pass along to them.”

With the ever-rising cost of postage, what’s the best way to gain maximum efficiencies for direct mail?
“PlusMedia works with suppliers who utilize the latest USPS-approved sortation software. This allows us to determine the best possible cost scenario for delivery and postage based on the mailing data. USPS discounts such as tactile/sensory, personalized color, and informed delivery are applied whenever possible, along with commingling, which alone has saved our clients thousands of dollars on postage.”

What printing trends should marketers be aware of as we move into 2020?
“Digital printing equipment is expected to become more widely adopted next year, resulting in cost convergence with conventional printing methods. The increased utilization of digital printing will enable offline marketers to establish a true one-to-one relationship with consumers that previously wasn’t possible, with print campaigns offering the same level of customization as digital executions.”

Can you share a production innovation that was utilized in a recent client campaign?
“Earlier this year, we produced a direct mail piece for a food delivery service that smells like bacon. Drawing on my experience with perfume companies and scent strip manufacturing, we were able to develop a unique bifold where the scent was delivered automatically when consumers opened the mail piece. Not commonly used in direct mail, this scent delivery system created a subliminal olfactory interaction with the piece in conjunction with the explicit visual one, engaging multiple senses for greater impact. Because of the scented element, we were also able to capitalize on the USPS tactile/sensory postal discount program to save on postage costs for the direct mail campaign.”

Looking to innovate and optimize your next print campaign? Reach out to Joe at 203.448.4796 or [email protected] for a production assessment.