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Vertis Communications — 21st Century Marketing

October 2007 By Erik Cagle
Senior Editor
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THE WORLD of direct marketing is volatile, always changing and always moving. By nature, marketing is a beast built for evolution, where trends are king and the next movement is just a consumer research study away.

It stands to reason that those businesses who wish to convert information regarding the wants and needs of the consumer public to their economic advantage need to align themselves with the most savvy of marketing concerns. And any conversation dealing with marketing, advertising, printing and mailing is incomplete without a healthy mention of Vertis Communications.

Speaking of a company constantly on the go, Vertis Communications mirrors the industries it serves. The Baltimore-based behemoth has seen its name change twice in the last seven years; once known as Big Flower, the moniker switched to Vertis (the middle part of ‘advertisement’) in 2000, then to its current handle in 2006 to more accurately reflect its role as a marketing partner.

The shingles in front of Vertis Communications’ 100 nationwide locations aren’t the only difference in the company. Take a peek at what has transpired in the last two years alone.

During 2006:

• USA Direct of York, PA, was acquired.

• Ten Océ VarioStream digital printing systems were installed at the Bristol, PA, plant.

• Vertis Communications beefed up its direct marketing campaign solutions with the release of the ¡Alcance! Hispanic tools.

• The Vertis OnDemand Web portal was introduced, enabling print-on-demand fulfillment of direct mail and marketing communications.

• Variable data digital color capabilities were bolstered at two facilities.

• Michael DuBose assumed the role of chairman and CEO in December following Dean Durbin’s resignation.

And 2007 hasn’t exactly been quiet, either, with a few headlines to date:

• Barry Kohn is named chief financial officer.

• The company invests $33 million in capital expenditures through June, a figure that will reach $55 million by year’s end.

• A new premedia facility is opened in St. Louis, while a direct marketing plant in Chalfont, PA, embarks on an expansion project.

• The company unveils MailTrail, its direct mail tracking program.

• At press time, Vertis Communications was putting the finishing touches on its merger with American Color Graphics (ACG) of Brentwood, TN. ACG posted revenues of $445 million in its latest fiscal year, and the union would create a company with just shy of $2 billion in sales.

Results-Driven Processes

It’s a tall order to fully absorb the depth of products and services offered by Vertis Communications. Understanding its objective—finding the most efficient, cost-effective and results-driven processes to deliver a client’s message—is far easier.

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