Cathedral Corp. : Leading by Good Example

Cathedral Corp.’s executive leadership (from left) includes Donna Eychner, Marianne Gaige, Mary Keating and Kimberley Waltz.

Juan Ramos operates one of the company’s intelligent inserting lines.

Cathedral’s Xerox 980 continuous-feed color printer is a key component in the all-digital plant.

Marianne Cathedral, Cathedral Corp. president and CEO, and Christos Sfinas, Rome plant production manager, are surrounded by mail lines.

Speaking of the chief exec, Gaige has presided over considerable growth since taking the reins in 1993, when the firm was almost exclusively a $3 million per year envelope printer for the Catholic church. Now, Cathedral stretches a bit higher in the sky with roughly 5,000 clients within a diverse mix of client verticals. In addition to the religious set, Cathedral serves industries ranging from financial services to health care, higher education, utilities, nonprofits and government entities.

Highly Targeted Pieces

“We don’t produce the million-piece campaigns. Segmentation is really our specialty,” she says. “We analyze the data, segment it and then create targeted pieces that address each of those segments. Multiple match is another area where we excel, bringing in pieces of information unique to 
that recipient. Lots and lots of database work…that’s our specialty.”

Transpromo has been a work in progress that, in recent years, has paid off handsomely for Cathedral and its clients. The evolution to full color juiced an area that had resigned itself to black-and-white transactional statements and documents out of cost considerations.

“Transpromo has been a buzz word forever, but getting there is really harder than it looks,” Gaige notes. “It really requires a lot of work for our customers to create targeted offers based on analysis of what their clients are currently buying.

“During this recession, our customers who incorporated transpromotional, truly personalized and targeted offers in their statements grew and didn’t cut back pages. They don’t look at these statements as just a cost center, because they realize that, in essence, transpromo documents provide a free ride for marketing to sell more to that customer. It’s a lot less expensive than putting an ad in a newspaper.”

One of the tools in Cathedral’s belt is its Essentials line of printed and electronic communications programs—documents, statements, direct mail—adaptable to the vertical markets that the printer serves. Its tag line (developed with the help of strategic marketing consultant Marion Mathison) is “transforming data into essential communication.”

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