AlphaGraphics North East Campaign Achieves 100% Response Rate and ‘Xcellence Award’ at 2012 XMPie Users Group Conference
By Christine DeNering (formerly Winter), PR/marketing programs manager, XMPie, A Xerox Company
Just over a month ago, the annual XMPie Users Group Conference was held in Boston. 189 people attended (up 23% from last year!), representing 13 countries, including USA, UK, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, and Sweden. Women attendance was also up 50%, and there were over 35 sessions presented by Adobe, Xerox, prindoz, NEPS, VDP Success, PB Systems, InfoTrends, Traffic GMBH, and XMPie. In talking with some of the attendees, it was obvious that they were very pleased with this year’s conference. Frank Romano even stopped by and had some very positive things to say! Check out the video here.
I myself enjoyed the opportunity to learn and network with our customers. One story I’ve been meaning to share is that of this year’s Xcellence Award winner – AlphaGraphics North East. Stephen Jones was there to represent the Stockton, U.K.-based company and present the innovative marketing campaign that scored the most votes among attendees.
The campaign, referred to by AlphaGraphics as their ‘Contact Toolkit,’ has become an essential marketing tool for their internal and external sales teams to communicate with clients and prospects in a professional manner, sending out personalized, targeted and highly memorable information across multiple media, including email, SMS, direct mail and websites (Personalized URLs). Standard communications, such as a follow-up to a sales meeting or a request for product information, all receive a personal response, tailored to the customer enquiry.
The results of the ‘Contact Toolkit’ campaign demonstrate how AlphaGraphics’ competitive and innovative use of XMPie software works. A massive 100% of customers read through their personalized emails, and 99.3% clicked through to their Personalized URL, a response rate that speaks for itself. AlphaGraphics also greatly improved internal productivity levels and streamlined the overall sales process with this application.
AlphaGraphics North East prides itself as the most technologically advanced firm in the region, and is now offering this ‘Toolkit’ service to local and national businesses. So, a big congratulations to them, and thanks to Compu-Mail, Stoque and NEPS – three great customers who also submitted their work for the awards competition!
I had a chance to sit down with representatives from all four companies at the conference. Watch my interview with Stephen Jones, below, and hear more about AlphaGraphics’ winning campaign. A case study with more details will be coming soon, as well as the video clips from my other customer interviews, so stay tuned!
By the way, the XMPie Users Group in Germany will be holding their 4th conference November 20-21. Interested? Register here.
By Frannie Garvey, operations manager, XMPie Users Group
In the coming month, XMPie Users will be gathering to learn the latest knowledge and trends within cross-media communications at the XMPie Users Group Annual Conference in Boston. Will you be joining them? It’s not too late to register for this exciting event that brings together the best in the industry.
XMPie Users Group Conference
September 9– 12
- Sophie Vandebroek, Xerox Chief Technology Officer and President of the Xerox Innovation Group, will deliver a keynote session, “Knowledge Work in 2020: Are You Ready?”
- Three educational tracks for technical, design, and marketing professionals
- Sessions featuring the XMPie management and technology teams, Adobe, InfoTrends, fellow customers, industry professionals and partners
- Networking opportunities to connect with other XMPie users and customers
- Pre-conference tutorials providing deep-dives on programming and designing with the XMPie solutions
- Picking up where the Best of the Best Awards left off, the Xcellence Awards will be presented at the conference, showcasing attendees’ marketing campaigns that display the best practices and growing trends within cross-media communications
Download a copy of the agenda to review all of the great sessions planned!
Non Member Registration Rate: $895 USD
BEST VALUE! Member Registration Discounted Rate: $595 USD
Additional Pre-Conference Tutorials: $249 USD
Reserve your spot today to meet, interact and learn from the best!
Join us at The Revere Hotel Boston Common and take advantage of our discounted room rate of $209 a night if you reserve by Monday, August 27th. To receive this special attendee rate you must book online with the code “XMPie,” or call the hotel directly at +1 855 OREVERE (855-673-8373).
For more information on travel, transportation, local attractions and weather, click here.
We look forward seeing you in Boston!
As if you didn’t have enough reasons to come to the 2012 Conference, I received this email from the XMPie Users Group today:
“We have exciting news to share: Sophie Vandebroek, Xerox Chief Technology Officer and president of the Xerox Innovation Group, will deliver a keynote session, Knowledge Work in 2020: Are You Ready?, at the 2012 XMPie Users Group Conference! Dr. Vandebroek is responsible for overseeing Xerox’s research centers in Europe, Asia, Canada and the US as well as the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC Inc.).
During this session, Dr. Vandebroek will discuss how a confluence of multiple trends is quickly changing the nature of knowledge work. Businesses and individuals must adapt rapidly to succeed. A new framework and several scenarios of knowledge work in the year 2020 that go beyond the typical considerations of automation and globalization will be presented. The evolution of four dimensions is described: (1) technology, (2) information, (3) people, and (4) organizations. This comprehensive perspective helps analyze all aspects of knowledge work: sourcing, organization, training, execution, management, and evaluation.
As these aspects change, both businesses and individuals will be faced with new challenges and opportunities. Will they be ready? Some adaptations will come naturally; others are more counter intuitive and will require conscious preparation. Examples will be discussed which are already observable today and give advice on how one can prepare for the future.
Other exciting sessions scheduled for the 2012 conference include:
- XMPie President’s Keynote Address and Technology Update – Dr. Jacob Aizikowitz, XMPie Inc.
- Adobe Creative Suite 6 and Cross Media Campaigns – Adobe
- The State of the Multi-Channel Market: How Mobile, Social and Cloud Computing Drive Marketing Forward – Stephanie Pieruccini, Senior Research Analyst, InfoTrends
- XMPie New Products Session – XMPie Products Team
- Adobe PDF Workflows and Imaging in Support of PDF/VT – Adobe
Register today to ensure you do not miss this opportunity to hear from Dr. Vandebroek, Dr. Jacob Aizikowitz, Adobe, the XMPie experts, and your fellow customers!”
So, what are you waiting for? Or if you’re already registered to attend, what are you looking forward to most?
By Christine Winter, PR/marketing programs manager, XMPie, A Xerox Company
Today is my 25th birthday. Yes, I know. Your reaction was probably something like “Oh my goodness…you’re such a baby,” or “Good for you! Your car insurance premium will go down now.”
I’m not telling you this because I want you to send me a card or gift like my grandma did, call and sing to me like one of my co-workers did, take me out to lunch like my future father-in-law did, write on my Facebook wall like 56 of my friends did (and counting), take me shopping like my future husband is going to later, or take me out to dinner tonight like my mom and brother will….although all of these things are awesome and much appreciated. The fact is, I just don’t expect you to know that it’s my birthday. But if you do, I think it’s very smart to use that information to market to me.
You see, I’m a sucker for email lists because I crave deals. In fact, I have an email account dedicated to what most people consider “junk mail” because I hate going anywhere or shopping for anything without using a coupon. And I love it when a store or restaurant I visit often knows what I like and buy, and lets me know when it’s on sale.
But even if you are like many who don’t appreciate the constant email blasts, I think you would agree that there are some occasions where you’d make an exception – like your birthday!
So, I’d like to send out some kudos to Red Robin, Old Navy, Uno Chicago Grill, T.G.I. Friday’s, Panera Bread, Redbox, Cirque du Soleil…and I’m sure there’s more I’m forgetting…for sending me emails today and over the course of the past couple of weeks to wish me a happy birthday and offer me everything from a free dessert and a free movie to $15 off my next purchase. I appreciate your intelligent, relevant 1:1 marketing, and you can bet that I’ll probably be taking advantage of your offer and coming back in the future!
By Christine Winter, PR/Marketing Programs Manager, XMPie, A Xerox Company
Wow! That’s the first word that comes to my mind as I sit here reflecting on my first drupa experience, because ‘wow’ is a word that encompasses my many emotions from those 13 days – joy, happiness, pride, surprise, excitement, appreciation, hope, exhaustion, relief, gratification…
My feelings of joy, happiness and pride come from all that I saw the Xerox and XMPie team accomplish at this show. Before coming to drupa, I could only imagine how much effort and teamwork it would take to put together and run an exhibition of this size. Now I know.
For starters, the sales and marketing personnel had been working for months and months to coordinate all the logistics, promotions and customer experiences. The XMPie product, research and development team worked tirelessly to prepare new software versions and applications to showcase at the trade fair…and what a reaction they got!
uStore 6.0 was a big hit with its new features, including the ability for store customers to upload static Microsoft® Word, PowerPoint and PDF files, combine them with other uploaded documents and/or documents that are available in the store catalog, choose a binding method, and see a 3D preview.
Another new development that was introduced at the show and gained a lot of interest was our exciting new uStore Facebook Connector application, which allows brand/company pages to link to their XMPie uStore storefront via a Facebook app so that their fans can order company-branded, printed materials. The sample product we showcased was a perpetual calendar that included the birthdays and pictures of each individual’s Facebook friends. It was exciting to watch it go viral, gain XMPie over 100 new fans, and drive traffic to the Xerox 770 Digital Color Press on-site!
But perhaps the newest innovation that drew the largest crowd was XMPie Circle: The Digital Storyboard for 1:1 Multichannel Campaigns. During the first week, we ran live shows in the XMPie 1:1 Cinema Theatre every 30 minutes, and nearly every show was a full house! Circle is a SaaS solution for collaborating on, sketching, planning, building, reviewing and monitoring multichannel, individualized communications campaigns. And with its highly-visual campaign flow diagramming tools, intuitive user interface, and ability to seamlessly connect with the XMPie uProduce™ production engine, the feedback we got was that it would undoubtedly improve the way our customers work with their customers – making it easier for everyone to understand and sell the power of personalized cross-media campaigns.
On another note, my surprise, excitement and appreciation comes from the quality time we got to spend with our customers and prospects from all around the world, the several XMPie applications that were running on almost every Xerox press, and of course, the 36 Cirque du Soleil shows I got to watch over the course of the show in the Xerox booth.
But now, still with hope for new and revitalized customer relationships over the next few weeks as a result of our presence at drupa, the exhaustion has set in. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t relieved that I’m finally home (after making a quick stop in Paris), but overall, drupa was a great experience. I’m very pleased to have had the opportunity participate in the show and spend time in Düsseldorf with my colleagues….many of whom I had met for the first time.
Now I suppose it’s time to start planning for Graph Expo!
By Deb Haines, senior trainer/solutions specialist, XMPie, A Xerox Company
The first key to doing any type of variable application, from a simple direct mail piece to a highly-complex, ongoing cross-media campaign, is having accurate data. Often, for those new to the industry, data and managing the files holding the content is a daunting new world. Sure, most people are familiar with using and working with everyday databases; for example, entering information into their phone’s contact list or putting an address list together for events that need invites. However, most people don’t think about the actual list itself, and how a computer application understands or works with that list of data. Most computer applications that read data (similar to the way you would) use a special language called SQL (Structured Query Language), but that discussion is for another time. Let’s start with the basics. Just so you know, terminology will be italicized.
All databases have common characteristics. First, there is the content, which can be described and labeled. For example, the label for “123 Main Street” would be “Street Address,” and the content would consist of letters and numbers. To a computer, the content “123 Main Street” is the called the data value, “Street Address” is called a field or field name, and the description of the content is known as a data type—in this case, a list of characters, known as a string.
When you group a set of related fields, you’ve created a record. The easiest way to see a record is to create a list using a column format with the field names at the top of the column. When you group a set of related records together, you have a data table.
Here’s an example of a customer data table:
|ABC Corporation||123 Main Street||Philadelphia||PA||US101|
|XYZ Industries||222 South Avenue||New York||NY||US102|
|LMN Company||321 NE West Blvd.||CapitolCity||CA||UX202|
|Massive Dynamic||890 Central Road||Denver||CO||US102|
Typically, data of this sort has other information that can be associated with it. In the example above, each company has an agent, and agents have a data table of their own information containing a field called Agent ID. Fields that are common (same data) between two tables are called key fields. Key fields usually have the same field name, but it is not a requirement. When there are multiple tables that can be linked directly or indirectly through other tables, this is known as a Relational Database.
Data tables can be stored in two ways: (1) as a flat data source, or (2) by using an application known as a Relational Database Management System.
Flat data sources are tables that are stored as text files with a symbol known as a delimiter (often a comma or tab) between values, or entered into a spreadsheet (like MS Excel). Data stored in this way usually doesn’t have a method for properly describing the data, nor is there a method to associate their key fields with other tables.
RDMS applications (MySQL, MS Access or SQL Server, Oracle) were built with ways to manage lots of data (millions of records), thousands of data tables, how they relate to each other, and usually their own flavor of SQL.
So, those are the basics of a critical component to successful variable data print and cross-media campaigns – data. Now check out this Digital Publishing Solutions article for insights on obtaining, maintaining and leveraging customer data. Our very own Judy Berlin, worldwide marketing manager for XMPie, shares a couple key pieces of advice.
Thanks for reading, and please comment below if you have any questions!
By Christine Winter, PR/marketing programs manager, XMPie, A Xerox Company
Here we are…almost through the second week of 2012 already! And while I feel like 2011 went by way too fast, I’m extremely excited about the year ahead.
This is going to be a big year for me for a number of reasons – both personally and professionally. First of all, I am getting married! Nothing beats that. If only I could get Robin Nelson at Trialogue Direct to put together a wedding campaign for me…hmm…
Another reason? I am going to be traveling to Europe for the first time! No, I’m not referring to my honeymoon (we haven’t decided on a destination yet). I’m referring to the world’s number one trade fair for the printing and media industry. That’s right; it’s time to start thinking about drupa 2012. It’s going to be an amazing show with some exciting announcements and new opportunities! I hope you’ll get to join us in Düsseldorf.
And since I don’t think I need to list any other reasons to prove why it’s going to be a good year for me, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all for reading the XMPie Blog. It is my goal to bring you more customer success stories, event highlights, and 1:1 tips and trends every month this year.
Now tell us: Why is 2012 going to be a big year for you or your business? What other topics are you interested in reading about this year?
The results of a recent study conducted by Harris Interactive for Xerox Corporation confirm what we’ve been saying for years—people are more likely to respond to information and offers that are relevant to them and their specific interests, and are communicated through the channels they are comfortable with. This is especially important for marketers to consider carefully during the holiday season, when advertising soars and shopping activity peaks.
It all comes down to this…
Prior to the advent of broadcast media channels, such as radio, television, newspapers, etc., intimate relationships between business owners and their customers were practiced and managed very successfully for generations. Somehow that intimacy was lost along the way. It’s not that business leaders forgot about the value of individual relationships. It’s the fact that they saw no practical way to scale this business wisdom and apply it to the masses—efficiently—through the media channels that were available at the time.
But now, in addition to broadcast media channels, technology exists (i.e. digital printing, email, Internet, mobile, social media, variable data and cross-media software, data mining, analytics, etc.) that enables us to have customer relationships like people used to have with their corner grocers, and people are starting to expect this one-to-one communication more and more.
Take Target for example. The retail chain built individual shopper profiles from data gathered from credit card purchases, and Web and email interactions of 2 million customers. Then they designed and distributed personalized self-mailers featuring products and coupons based on each recipient’s previous purchases. The results: double-digit response rates, a 50 percent lift over previous static direct-mail pieces, and a 30 percent savings in operations costs.
So, don’t get lost among the flurry of sales promotions about to hit every consumer this holiday season. Avoid a one-size-fits-all approach, and give your customers the individual attention they want (and deserve). Here are some tips to keep in mind when developing that next 1:1 cross-media campaign.
Filed under: Cross Media, Events, General, Marketing, One-to-one
By Christine Winter, PR/marketing programs manager, XMPie, A Xerox Company
Unless you’re a N.Y. Yankees fan, why wouldn’t you (the real-time marketer) want an excuse to visit Boston for “the global event for real-time marketers?” Exactly. GRAPH EXPO has come and gone, and now it’s time to shift focus towards DMA2011. Here are five reasons to register today:
- We’ll be there! Visit booth #620 to see first hand how XMPie can help you reel in more business and profit with 1:1 multi-channel marketing communications. And, of course, we’ll be showcasing the new solution that got lots of buzz and won a Must See ‘em award at GRAPH EXPO — XMPie uVideo. In fact, hear Xerox CMO Christa Carone talk about why she’s excited about new video technologies here! That leads me to #2…
- Xerox CMO Christa Carone is the Sunday morning keynote speaker. She’ll discuss how to break through information overload with customized marketing and personalized cross-media communications. Her speech, entitled “Are You Talking to Me? Mastering Relevant Messaging through Mass Customization,” will begin at 11:30 a.m. on Oct. 2. Click here for a sneak peak!
- Boston is a very cool, fun place. Lots of things to see and do. Did you know it’s one of America’s oldest cities? Check out this list of some sights to check out while you’re in Boston for DMA2011.
- It’s the perfect opportunity to check out the coolest, new cutting-edge marketing tools and techniques, of course! Acquisition and lead generation. Creative and production. Real-time and trigger marketing. Mobile strategies. Direct and digital marketing fundamentals. Cross-channel strategy. Data, measurement and attribution. Retention and loyalty. Brand, social and content marketing. These are the hot topics this year, and over 400 technology partners and solution providers (like XMPie) — and many more marketing experts — will be there to help guide you in the right direction for your business.
- Did I mention XMPie is an exhibitor? Sorry; I couldn’t resist.
Hope to see you there!
By Christine Winter, PR/marketing programs manager, XMPie, A Xerox Company
I can’t believe I’ll be packing my bags tonight and heading to Chicago in the morning to attend the largest graphic communications exhibition and conference of the year. It seems like just yesterday (so cliché, I know) that I was shipping everything back to the office from GRAPH EXPO 2010 – the first tradeshow I had ever attended. But, it’s true; here we are again, and I must say I feel a little more prepared and a little less nervous this time around.
Just barely entering my second year at XMPie, I’ll be at the front desk in the XMPie section of Xerox booth #400 – ready to welcome you (with a big smile on my face if I’ve had enough coffee) and point you in the direction of live product demonstrations on all the latest versions of our state-of-the-art software solutions for variable data printing (VDP), integrated cross-media communications, and personalized Web-to-print. And if you’re interested in attending a presentation by one of our XMPie experts, partners or customers in the “Advantage Theater,” I’ll sign you right up and you’ll be entered in a drawing for a great prize at the close of the “show.”
Or, if you’re more interested in learning about the vision of XMPie and real customer success stories, I’ll show you to the QR code-driven Individualized Communications Management (ICM) wall where you can watch a slideshow and browse and obtain XMPie case studies in a wide variety of markets.
Plus, if you haven’t done so already, we’ll even have a self-serve kiosk inside the XMPie booth where you are invited to create your very own personalized Chicago 1:1 Dining Guide – brought to you by The Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau and GRAPH EXPO 2011, and powered by XMPie. Based on your cuisine preferences, your guide will include some superb restaurant recommendations and fun facts about The Windy City! It’s fun, easy, FREE, and will only take you a few seconds.
But what I’m excited about most of all is a brand new solution we’ll be introducing and demonstrating – XMPie uVideo™! It’s the first-ever cinematic-quality video personalization solution that is fully-integrated within a complete 1:1 multi-channel platform, PersonalEffect®, and leverages Adobe® After Effects®. We’re talking personalized video with personalized text…personalized images…even personalized video inside personalized video! Don’t miss this opportunity to see it live for the first time in our booth (or if you can’t make it to the show, get a sneak peak here).
See you in Chicago!