It’s all about response. Nothing else has ever mattered. So when the results came in, I was really excited (even more than usual for those who know me). Personalized videos work — better than anyone imagined. Over 50% click thru with 96% conversion. Consumers are definitely intrigued by the words “Click here to see your personalized video”, and apparently lots of them “click”. Data is finally here that validates that targeted movies where the name, images, and all other relevant content change for each recipient is the perfect vehicle for grabbing attention, getting read, and evoking the desired action — essentially marketing nirvana.
Its only been a year since XMPie released their video personalization solution and changed the way service providers and their clients use 1:1 cinematic-quality movies to deliver rich multimedia content to desktop and mobile devices. Now, industries such as the automotive, financial services, education, non-profit, and travel and hospitality industries have taken notice and are engaged in on-going campaigns using XMPie-driven personalized videos. Response. Results. Rewind.
The time is right now to learn more about personalized videos and why marketing service providers, ad agencies and enterprise marketers are embracing and investing in this new media. Don’t’ miss our Webinar on May 21st @ 11 am EDT on Video Personalization. We will show many campaign video samples — even ones with personalized maps, too.
Nirvana is only a click away. See the registration link below.
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 Larry Zusman, worldwide marketing manager at XMPie, A Xerox Company
Last week I had the pleasure of attending and participating in the Xerox Focus Forward event in Orlando. This is one of many that are being conducted around the country, and the audience is split between print and marketing service providers and those interested in enterprise managed print services. About 140 customers attended this event. The good news is that I came away feeling like I was NOT at a typical industry event. This is a different type of venue than I have seen in the past – and to be honest – it is a very refreshing change.
The day started out with a keynote from Bill Taylor, co-founder of Fast Company. Bill stood in front of the audience – all 140 people – and did not use ONE PowerPoint slide, ONE video, ONE picture. Nothing! It was just Bill, talking to folks about why originality, creativity and innovative thinking are what make the difference between great companies and not-so-great ones.
As is the case with every speech from the movers and shakers in the industry, there were a couple of phrases that carried the day, and stories that will resonate with me and others for a long time. One of those was that R & D, according to Bill, stands for “Rip-Off and Duplicate.” The point he made – namely that R & D must create new ideas, new ways of doing things, and that original thinking needs to be a fabric of the company, its employees, marketing, sales and, of course, branding – is an important lesson for an audience of print service providers looking for a way to differentiate themselves and gain competitive advantages.
To make the point, he told the story of DaVita, a company that started as a stodgy kidney dialysis company, like others, and reinvented itself into top condition (while significantly increasing its bottom line) – a vibrant, unique, customer-focused, employee-loving firm that truly embodied its new name that means in Italian “to give life.” When he finished, everyone got the point that the way to bring a shaky, less-than-well company to sustainable, good health, is with original, out-of-the-box thinking.
Once Bill was done, the audience was divided into the production and managed services tracks. I attended production, and it was in this session where I was introduced to a new way to liven up a day-long event. Since you are going to have various guests with different topics, and are planning on sprinkling in company commercials and videos from your guests, why not borrow The Tonight Show’s format? After all, there are guests, and each one comes with a video trailer for their movie or TV show. So that is exactly what Xerox did. And they did it with no PowerPoint slides of any kind. At first, it felt like some strange alien planet where the word Microsoft is unknown and the inhabitants actually engage in interactive dialogue. But after about five seconds, I got very used to it – and enjoyed every minute afterwards.
Industry experts provided their industry expertise (it’s what they do). Xerox partner companies talked about the importance of workflow (it’s a critical part of printing]. And well-thought-out customer panels with the folks that are realizing success were interspersed throughout the program, offering insights to print providers on how to effectively move from PSP to MSP, value price their offerings, and grow their business with new services like variable data print and one-to-one cross-media marketing. I was fortunate enough to be part of one of the liveliest panels of the day focusing on the newest applications. It included a demonstration of the power of printing digital photos with Xerox presses in personalized calendars and wide panoramic image books; how Web-to-print solutions specially designed for print providers can link Facebook pictures and other data with print; specialty media applications, such as personalized FunFlips™ and AccordianPix™, and how the new XMPie video personalization solution can literally be the “icing on the cake” in a multichannel campaign.
Also introduced on this panel was a short video, for those who could not get to drupa, of the new XMPie Circle™ Software as a Service solution. This interactive, digital storyboard for planning, building and reviewing a campaign is designed to help everyone sell, create and implement cross-media campaigns. For a moment (a very brief one), I felt like George Clooney introducing the trailer to his newest picture to Jay Leno.
The content sounds like a typical event, but with the talk show format where the very talented Brian Walsh plays a fun, engaging and appropriately self-deprecating host, it makes for an entertaining afternoon – which by the way is pretty darn educational, too. The only thing missing is Johnny Carson’s “Carnac,” who, if you’re old enough to remember, you will know really was the best host ever. The rest of the hosts are really into “R & D.”
However you want to define it, Focus Forward in Orlando was a day to move forward and focus on what matters most, namely business creativity, knowledge of the market, and making the right solution choices. And that means that you need to get to one of these as soon as you can, instead of holding up envelopes to your forehead for the right answers.
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 Larry Zusman, worldwide marketing manager, XMPie, A Xerox Company
What do a guy who acts like a future Jimmy Fallon, personalized videos, and XMPie cross-media all have in common? They are all being used to promote the 2012 PODi AppForum in Las Vegas this January.
PODi, together with DME Studios, a premier marketing agency specializing in innovative forms of communication, and one of XMPie’s first customers in North America, developed a fully integrated, attendee acquisition campaign that uses a personalized video at the forefront. It is a very clever, engaging campaign that I think everyone will get a kick out of. If you haven’t already been invited to experience this campaign, you need to go to www.sparknewideas.com, enter the information required to view the first episode, and you will later receive the subsequent ones.
This campaign is important for several reasons. First, it shows the ability to use very little personalization in a video campaign and be very effective. The key is not what is personalized, but rather how it fits into the story you are trying to tell. Herman’s story works perfectly.
Second, the campaign includes many components, such as email, personalized landing pages, refer-a-friend and data capture, to drive registrations, increase the value of each phase of the campaign, and improve the accuracy of the recipient database. All of this is being driven using an XMPie engine, which is generating all the e-media in the campaign and managing the database. The key point here is that it is fully integrated, with each component “feeding” and “being fed” by another.
Third, the campaign showcases the power of video personalization, and soon, with the introduction of the XMPie PersonalEffect® Video solution, MSPs will able to create these types of videos and a lot more, without custom tools and programming. XMPie PersonalEffect Video, which will be showcased at the AppForum, includes a plug-in for Adobe After Effects, the premier cinematic video and motion graphics software in the industry. Using the Adobe and XMPie software, you will be able to create personalized, cinematic movies with virtually no limitations on text, images and embedded footage. What if you could put personalized data on a rocket in HD video with Dolby sound? Think about how that idea would take off.
I would be remiss if I did not put a plug in for the 2012 PODi AppForum. I have attended many of these conferences, and for those starting to get involved in VDP and cross-media, or for those wanting to move to the next level, this is the place to be. There will be two audiences present: print and marketing service providers (MSPs) and enterprise marketers. Marketers talk about their one-to-one campaigns and share the results. MSPs discuss what campaigns they are doing for clients and how they created and implemented them.
In addition, I am sure most of you are familiar with the PODi Best Practice Awards. These are presented at the conference and the winning applications are showcased in special sessions with the marketer and provider behind the campaign. It is extremely rare to see both on one stage, discussing the campaign in-depth and being able to ask questions about it. You should not miss it.
Be sure to use the Herman campaign to register for the conference today if you have not done so. But first, leave a comment on this blog with your thoughts on the campaign, personalized video, or the PODi AppForum, and we’ll send you a promocode to save $100 on your registration!
Also, don’t forget to check out the special pre-conference intensive session, On the Cutting Edge of Cross Media. We’ll show how to use the new XMPie PersonalEffect Video to create amazing personalized videos from templates with just a few clicks of a mouse. And who knows, maybe Herman will show up after all.
See you there! Larry…out.
By Larry Zusman, worldwide marketing manager, XMPie, A Xerox Company
The Cleveland House of Blues is a very cool venue for a presentation. That goes without saying. But when you add a room full of attendees at a ‘Lunch ‘N Learn’ that are hungry for the keys to success in cross-media marketing, you have just the right harmony for a successful event.
Yesterday, I had the privilege of meeting and speaking with some of our prospects and customers in the Cleveland Ohio area. It was an eclectic bunch to say the least. There were commercial printers, digital printers, creatives, in-plant managers and marketing professionals — pretty much the entire spectrum of the industry.
The subject of the day was “25 Ways in 25 Minutes to Make Money with Cross-Media Services.” The purpose of the event was to educate attendees on the critical success factors in starting and maintaining a value-added-based business consisting of variable data digital print and cross-media marketing services. On the corporate marketing and in-plant side, the approach was to provide insight into what they can now do in the guise of fully-integrated cross-media campaigns. The topics spanned a wide variety of strategies and technologies that can add more revenue and profit to enterprises and the providers who service them. Subjects included integrated cross-media marketing, mobile marketing, PURLS and RURLS, social media, QR codes, tracking/analytics, and email marketing with image personalization.
What got everyone’s attention was when I showed them the latest technology from XMPie in video personalization. They were excited about the opportunity to use Adobe After Effects with the XMPie solution and create cinematic-quality movies. One customer wanted to know how difficult it was to create the videos if you knew After Effects at a basic level. When they found out it as simple as connecting the variable data to the content using a simple XMPie software plug-in, they were ready to jump right in!
With the interest level of the attendees, it is clear that cross-media marketing, and the services associated with it, will continue to be a hot topic in the coming year. For providers who are looking for growth in 2012 with these offerings, it is the perfect time to evaluate the right solution for your business, implement it across your organization, and assemble the best team to deliver it.
I leave you with my one regret on this event. I really should have worn my John Belushi Blues Brother’s black suit with the super thin tie. But thinking twice on this, it never would have fit anyway.
By Robin Nelson, programmer at Trialogue Direct
If you’re anything like me, you never considered planning a wedding until you got engaged. And for those of us involved in any aspect of wedding planning, it can be quite stressful and even make some bride-to-be’s just a tad bit crazy.
Fortunately for me (and my husband and anyone else involved), I was quite the unconventional bride and focused on aspects that typically aren’t the norm. I didn’t fuss about the flowers, the dress, centerpieces or location; my concerns were the printed pieces and creating a “campaign” to market my wedding. Perhaps I’ve been in the print industry far too long and have developed some strange appreciation for paper and printing—or maybe I’m more of a nerd for technology than I care to admit—but either way, I had a very specific plan I wanted to execute.
Because weddings are such personal events, more often than not, the bride and groom have a very unique understanding of each of their guests. This in itself allows for such a relevant and almost effortless recipient data collection not typically available by any other means. Having taken full advantage of this aspect and the resources available to me, I was able to utilize XMPie solutions to truly personalize each piece in my wedding campaign.
Being able to embrace and leverage technological tools like XMPie technology not only allowed me to create a cross-media wedding campaign, which honored much traditional etiquette with a modern flare, but also truly made a world of a difference to me. From gathering more information about each of my guests, to the simplest tasks of organization, the advantages in technology can be quite extraordinary to any bride—and greatly appreciated by her guests.
Among my first tasks was to spread the news after getting engaged, and what better way to do so than the traditional methods coupled with the use of technology? Although I’m no designer, I very much wanted to create a website and handle the creative for such a personal project, even if it forced me into unchartered waters to handle certain aspects. Nonetheless, I was able to incorporate what I do for others on a daily basis for myself.
With the use of variable data printing, there was no confusion on head count (thanks to the guests who updated their RURL, especially in regards to children). This allowed me to stay within budget and easily manage my guest list, which goes hand-in-hand with creating a seating chart. Not to mention, this also allowed me to subtly inform each guest how I anticipated any “plus ones.” And of course, the added benefit for anyone who’s heavily reliant on their phone, such as me, is having so much personal contact details on friends and family being consolidated to a single data source with relevant information—truly quite the gold mine.
Another added benefit was a minor savings in postage, and quite possibly a very underrated convenience for guests to RSVP. With the preferred RSVP methods received from the RURL results, and assuming the logical approach depending on the answer given, submitting a RSVP and meal preference couldn’t be made any easier. Having the XMPie Marketing Console iPhone app had also proven itself handy. It allowed me to provide final head counts and meal preferences to my caterer and vendors alike by merely updating my reports on-the-fly.
Of course, after the wedding, there’s still the daunting task of properly thanking each guest with the gratitude they deserve. Fortunately, I had anticipated this aspect to be among the most challenging and quite possibly the most demanding, so I created a listing of QR codes assigned to each guest, which I would snap to update my SQL table with the item(s) received as I opened each gift. Although this process may sound a bit overboard, it truly helped expedite the entire ‘thank you’ process on a highly-personalized level. And although the thank you notes were NOT hand written, they more than possessed your traditional, personal touch.
And so, unlike many happily ever afters, XMPie most certainly has contributed its fair share to this one.