Variable Catalogs Delivered On-Demand: An Interview with Jason Kort

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An effective catalog has been proven to increase sales, both online and offline, by countless sources. Throw in variable data, variable imagery, on-demand printing and image generation, and an easy ordering interface, and you have a sales and marketing dream come true.

I recently had the chance to talk with Jason Kort, Director of Marketing for Redemption Plus, a leading distributor or incentive and redemption merchandise. You may know them as the inventor of the “World’s Largest Whoopie Cushion.” Redemption Plus is no doubt a very fun business focused on delivering all the wonderful toys, games and prizes used by family entertainment and educational franchises nationwide.

Jason recently led the implementation of print automation and variable data technology that is improving the catalog that is essential to their business. Here’s a portion of that interview:

How did you recognize that you needed a different process for producing electronic and hard copy catalogs?

JK: There were really three areas that were driving me crazy:

  1. It was taking too much time to create and produce a catalog and the instant we printed one it was out of date.
  2. It took 10-15 minutes for our sales reps to send our catalog to individual prospects.
  3. It was too hard for our customers to determine what they wanted to buy from us.

What was the biggest challenge to implementing an automated printing and digital file delivery system?

JK: Variable data and print automation were new to us, so figuring out exactly what we needed and what we wanted to do was the biggest challenge.

What advice would you give other marketers who are changing to an automated variable data catalog?

JK: This is really like an IT project. Make sure you thoroughly define what you need and scope it out like an IT project.

Could you summarize the biggest benefit your personalized, on-demand catalog system has brought to Redemption Plus?

JK: I’d love to narrow it to one, but I can only get to three:

  1. The time it takes my sales reps to order catalogs has went from 10 minutes to 30 seconds.
  2. We never print a catalog that is out-of-date due to the real-time integration with our product database.
  3. It’s easy for our customers to quickly access the types of items they want to order, which has lead to an easy increase in sales.

Easy and relevant are the words that come to mind when describing this new tool Redemption Plus has created. Kudos to Jason and his team! To read more about Redemption Plus and their dream-come-true print-on-demand catalog, read the case study.

So how are the variable images and information used to create a personalized catalog?

Here are some visuals of the new and improved Redemption Plus catalog.

Click on the thumbnail images to view larger, with variable information circled.

Personalized catalog cover

On the catalog cover, customer information and the date are personalized.

Variable catalog interior pages

Inside the catalog, products are customized based on current items in the database. Pricing is specific to the end-users’ mark-up requirements.

Variable data catalog personalization

Sales rep information and photograph is automatically included.


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