Customizing printing, marketing for clients helps business succeed

02/16/2012 5:00 AM

02/16/2012 6:38 AM

Allen Woolf and John Pankanin make an interesting team.

Woolf is a laid-back Midwesterner who started Total Printing Solutions 31 years ago. Pankanin is a fast-talking former New Yorker who some people think is in Wichita "as part of the Witness Protection Program," as Pankanin puts it.

"Well, his Social Security number does start with two zeros," Woolf jokes.

Together, they make up the TPS Marketing Group. Woolf started the company in 2010 to provide more business for his printing company; Pankanin uses 20 years of experience in marketing to generate that business.

TPS Marketing’s approach is built around automating and individualizing the marketing process. It offers several types of services, including using Web-based tools to generate direct mail campaigns for clients. Because the tools are automated, customers can design their own campaigns in literally minutes and TPS Marketing can deliver them for a comparatively low price, Pankanin said.

For instance, to send segmented direct mail, a business customer would log onto a website, choose a mailer from number of designs, buy marketing data such as the age, gender, interests and spending habits of targeted customers, then approve individualized mailers for those customers.

Another service, called information-on-demand technology, lets businesses use auto-response generators to send personalized direct mail, microsites or eBrochures to potential customers who’ve visited their website.

The customizing of mailers and eBrochures goes beyond names and addresses of recipients. As an example, a mailer from a college trying to attract a student interested in drama might include a photo of a theater production, while another intended for an athlete might show a photo of a basketball game.

"We can get as specific as cats and dogs," Pankanin said of segmenting target market interests.

The ability to produce small batches of mailers is a key to success, Pankanin said, as marketing becomes more individualized. One large company doing business with TPS confessed that it had been throwing away $75,000 a year in printed materials.

Now, he said, "They’re ordering just what they need, customized," he said.

Two of TPS Marketing’s biggest customers are Blue Coat Systems, a California-based provider of Web security applications, and Custom Cupboards, the Wichita-based maker of cabinetry.

TPS Marketing’s automating approach isn’t unique, but its Midwest location allows it to beat similar operations on price, Pankanin said. It also syncs with Woolf’s long involvement in automating the printing side of his business.

"He understands automation," Pankanin said.

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