Women in Manufacturing
Spotlight: Audrey Jamieson, president of Marketing Kitchen
September 16, 2021 By PrintAction Staff
Audrey Jamieson is the president of Marketing Kitchen (2014), a marketing production company specializing in direct mail and fulfillment. Jamieson runs a 40,000-sf facility in Markham, Ont. An expert in all things personalized, she understands variables, paper, die cutting and fulfillment. In February 2021, the 54-year-old launched 5am Lemon, a personalized greeting card gift box firm.
What made your start 5am Lemon?
AJ: I always had a passion for greeting cards, as well as print, paper substrates and shopping. During the first wave of the pandemic, it was near impossible to send a gift online and couple it with a personalized greeting card. I tried a few times through Chapters/Indigo, and the message was always printed on the packing slip, which was missed by the recipient. I thought it would be great to order a fully personalized card online and have it accompanied by a small gift or gift card. I had just installed the KM-1 inkjet press that had a 23 x 29 sheet size with full variable capabilities, so I started playing with the sheet. The next thing I know, my team and I had created a fun and functional greeting card gift box for my daughter’s university graduation. I even took advantage of the side panels, which formed the box, and included pictures of her with her roommates that she could remove and display.
What is the state of the print industry today, in your view?
AJ: I think outside of the current supply chain issues with paper, the state of the print industry is strong. Print delivers is a tangible punch that is tough to match digitally. Print and direct mail carry a ton of credibility that is harder to match with digital.
What attracted you to the print industry?
AJ: I started selling advertising for special interest magazines back in the early 90’s. That was my first introduction to the print world, and I have been in love with print ever since.
How can the industry attract more young people?
AJ: I think as an industry we need to show young people how unique and powerful print can be in a digital world. We know they are super comfortable with everything and anything digital, but may not feel as comfortable in the tangible world of print. We need to make sure we educate and expose younger generations to the different printing platforms, paper substrates, embellishment opportunities and all the other finishing options available for print communications. As humans, we love engaging in anything we are really good at or know a lot about. The print world can be a scary unknown to younger generations, so we need to introduce them early and take advantage of their creative minds.
In such a competitive landscape, how can printers win more sales?
AJ: Printers need to go beyond just putting ink on paper. They need to constantly be in consulting mode and assist clients with the creation of their pieces. They need to introduce new paper stocks, finishing ideas and cost-efficient solutions. Today, marketers have more advertising options than ever before and anyone selling print or direct mail need to offer an expertise that goes well beyond knowing paper and ink.
What are some of the biggest opportunities in the print industry?
AJ: I see an opportunity for marketers to really stand out in the mailbox using print. The inbox is overflowing, and the digital market can feel a bit saturated. Print offers a refreshing medium that does not interrupt your day, and can be consumed at leisure. Increasing personalization and relevance to a targeted audience is key.
What do you think is the most exciting thing about print today?
AJ: Production inkjet printing is definitely exciting. The ability to offer high-quality, fully variable pieces on unique substrates at an affordable price is really cool. The integration of print with digital will keep getting stronger and it’s going to be great to see how creative marketers are going to use the two media. As an aside, who would have thought it would take a pandemic to make QR codes cool again. I think in the future we will be seeing these codes on much more than just restaurant tables.
Jamieson’s responses were edited for length. For more Q&A Spotlight interviews, please visit www.printaction.com/profile.
This article originally appeared in the September 2021 issue of PrintAction.
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