The Printing on the Wall: CGSM Redesigns Itself for Tenth Anniversary

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Strategic marketing firm celebrates a decade leading industry trends.

As the largest direct marketing event of the year kicks off in New York City today, Canterbury Graphics Strategic Marketing (CGSM) is celebrating a decade of industry-leading changes that have enabled it to provide services for every link of the direct marketing supply chain, from design to execution.

When Mark Kolier launched Canterbury Graphics here ten years ago, he called himself a print manager to distinguish the services he provided from print brokers who just put deals together. He was already looking into the future.

“Printers are no longer in the print business,” Kolier says. “Today they’re in the communications business.”

Back in 1996, marketing departments still had specialists on staff for every phase of print production, and print salesmen just took orders and put ink on paper. That was before every business had a website and the printing industry was blindsided by an explosion of electronic documents.

A veteran of the print production business with more than 20 years experience, Kolier saw the changes happening and knew he had to act. He recognized early on that the business model that had made Canterbury Graphics successful in the past wouldn’t work in the future. Print production used to be a separate component in direct-marketing, tacked on the end of a chain of related activities. Managing print production was what Canterbury Graphics did, but Kolier saw it wasn’t going to be enough anymore. To stay ahead of evolutionary changes in direct marketing, he needed revolutionary changes in Canterbury Graphics.

The new model

Today, print production, and all the other activities involved in a successful direct marketing campaign, are integrated into a strategic process. To facilitate that process, Canterbury Graphics, under the new name Canterbury Graphics Strategic Marketing, has been redesigned to provide the breadth and depth of skills required for every piece of the direct marketing supply chain from design to execution.

Room for error has gotten smaller as the supply chain for direct marketing has gotten longer. “Planning is everything,” Kolier says. “We have to work backwards to understand what kind of job it is, how it’s being distributed, what class of postage we’re using, how far back do we have to order paper to make sure that it will meet the press date, when do we need to do our postage requests, data requests, artwork requests. Now that we’ve added data modeling, we’re more frontloaded than ever.”

You want it WHEN?

One thing hasn’t changed, Kolier says: “The most important thing for a customer today is still completing his or her job on time. It’s just that today,” he adds, “there is a lot more involved in getting the job done than there used to be.”

Kolier has built the new CGSM around providing all the skills and services that are needed to consistently exceed the expectations of its direct-marketing customers. Today it even offers email marketing and web initiatives. As part of its commitment to expanding its scope, CGSM hired Peter Stein as Director of Business Development in February. Stein is responsible for helping clients acquire new customers and retain existing ones through the use of data modeling and analytics and the development and execution of targeted marketing programs.

CGSM customers today have the flexibility of choosing from an expanding menu of services to complement their own abilities, and CGSM has the certainty of knowing that nobody knows all the facets of direct marketing better than CGSM.

As complex as print production for direct marketing has become, one simple principle still applies, Kolier says: “At the end of the day, your customer has to benefit from whatever you are doing. We never lose sight of that.”

CGSM customers appreciate its proactive diligence.

A contact you keep

“What CGSM is doing now is certainly consistent with where marketing practices are going,” says David Adelman, founder of New York-based OCD-Media, a media planning and buying agency. During his career Adelman has been director of media planning at Initiative Media and TN Media, associate media director at D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles and has held senior level media positions at Schering-Plough, McCann-Erickson and Saatchi & Saatchi. Everywhere he’s been in the last ten years, he’s kept Mark Kolier’s business card handy. “CGSM consistently exceeds all quality expectations and, because Mark knows the print and paper markets so thoroughly, he can often come in at a price that is substantially less than anyone else. I first worked with Mark ten years ago when I was at Schering-Plough, and I haven’t used anybody else since.”

Meeting deadlines at the New York Sun

Deadlines have a special meaning to anyone in the publishing business and anyone who helps you meet them earns a special appreciation. Linda Seto has worked in the circulation department of several magazines and newspapers and is currently Circulation Director of the New York Sun, New York’s newest broadsheet. Seto has been relying on Kolier and CGSM for a range of inserts and direct-mail packages since 2000. Besides CGSM’s ability to be a one-stop-shop for all her projects, “The best thing about them,” she says, “is when I have a tight deadline, they always meet it. If I tried calling around to individual printers, they would have said, ‘Forget it’. Mark’s a great guy and the staff is wonderful,” she adds. “They keep me on schedule.”

Today, print production is a strategic communications service. It’s not just about ink and paper and selecting the right printer. It’s about marketing strategies and creative design; it’s about modeling and data analytics; it’s about variable data printing and targeting the right audience.

“It’s about time,” says Kolier.

About CGSM

CGSM is a privately-held direct-marketing agency specializing in the marketing strategy, design and production of direct mail-packages and inserts. Its print production skills combined with a focus on data analysis and modeling make it possible for CGSM to offer a unique approach to customer acquisition and retention that takes into account all the complex details of a direct-mail marketing campaign without ever losing sight of the overall business objectives. For more information, please visit or call 203-563-9233.

For a press kit or to schedule an interview, please contact Arthur Germain of Communication Strategy Group by phone at 631-239-6335.

Media contacts:

Arthur Germain, Principal, Communication Strategy Group for CGSM


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