Market Plan Key to Success of CSU’s Digital Press
Word-of-mouth promotion was not good enough for Michael Kalstein. If his in-plant at California State University-Sacramento was going to install a digital press—and keep it busy—he knew he would have to visit customers and show them how to use the machine’s capabilities to their best advantage.
To get as much help as possible in this endeavor, Kalstein, director of Reprographics and Mail Services, made market development assistance a part of the request for proposal for the digital press his shop was seeking.
“When we looked at all the major players—HP, Kodak and Xerox—they all either are beginning to, or have already recognized the fact that just dropping the box on your floor isn’t enough,” says Kalstein. “They want you to be successful. It’s their reputation as well as yours.”
Now that the press is on his shop floor—a new HP Indigo 5500—Kalstein is looking forward to meeting with customers, together with HP representatives, to show them the type of projects they can do on the press. HP reps will also teach customers how to collect and manage their databases for effective variable data campaigns. This is all part of the HP Graphic Arts Capture Program.
Before even getting a press, Kalstein did a little “pre-marketing” of the idea to his customers by enlisting their help in the selection process.
“We took files to the various vendors and had them run them, and then we did blind tests with a lot of our clients,” he says. The in-plant laid out print samples side by side and asked customers to pick those showing the highest quality. Most picked prints done on the HP Indigo 5500, he says.
When he and Production Coordinator Laura Sorrentino visited the vendors to see the equipment in action, he did not provide files ahead of time, because he wanted to see how much tweaking was needed to get his files ready to print.
Bob has served as editor of In-plant Impressions since October of 1994. Prior to that he served for three years as managing editor of Printing Impressions, a commercial printing publication. Mr. Neubauer is very active in the U.S. in-plant industry. He attends all the major in-plant conferences and has visited nearly 170 in-plant operations around the world. He has given presentations to numerous in-plant groups in the U.S., Canada and Australia, including the Association of College and University Printers and the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association. He also coordinates the annual In-Print contest, co-sponsored by IPMA and In-plant Impressions.