Global Printing : Creating the Right MixAugust 2011 By Julie Greenbaum
Solving problems beyond print has been a way of business for Alexandria, VA-based Global Printing since the day Jerry Dreo, founder and former president, started the company in 1979. Today, the firm has continued to hold true to that mantra by further expanding its traditional printing business with the addition of Global Thinking, a creative/marketing services and software development business unit that provides clients with Web design and Search Engine Optimization (SEO), e-mail marketing, database development, printing and mailing, as well as e-commerce and fulfillment.
When clients started requesting help on projects that extended beyond ink-on-paper and traditional marketing, both Dreo, and Jon Budington, president and CEO of Global Printing, began to map out their plan for a Global Thinking brand. Part of that process included hiring Jason Kowal as the principal of Global Thinking to help build that end of the business.
The executive team then began to look at marketing communications from a more holistic standpoint—incorporating online design and technology, strengthening their understanding of data infrastructure and exploring more advanced methods of customer relationship management. After several years of planning, the Global Thinking unit was implemented in 2007.
According to Dreo, the creation of the Global Thinking brand could not have happened at a better time because, at that point, the Internet was already starting to impact the demand for print. "We were hurting for a while, like many other printing companies during the recession. But, when you hurt you also tend to become more creative," he explains. "We knew that printing was really just one leg of the communications process, so it has become just one component within the many services that we offer."
Since the addition of Global Thinking, the company now offers a vast array of services for a wide variety of markets. It provides traditional print, distribution and marketing support services to non-profit associations, government agencies, health care providers, HR specialists and Fortune 500 companies.
Some of the printed products that the company produces include direct mail and newsletters, full-color brochures, business cards, flyers, signage and personalized mailings. Other services consist of variable data-based, on-demand digital printing; Web-to-print capabilities; binding, warehousing and fulfillment; campaigns and packaging; print and online design; and e-mail/direct marketing campaigns.
As the printing industry sailed into the rough waters of the recession, the Global Printing executives held on to their wits and braced themselves for the unknown. "As a company, we saw our clients' needs changing, so we had adjusted our business model," notes Budington.