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.
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 Judy Berlin, worldwide marketing manager, XMPie, A Xerox Company
There’s no doubt that reaching consumers in today’s Information Age requires new techniques – and a major shift from mass marketing to direct marketing has occurred. It used to be sufficient to advertise your business anywhere and everywhere, hoping that people would notice you and that your hard work would pay off. But actually, this “spray and pray” method of marketing made us move away from personal interactions and is no longer effective, as people are starting to expect one-to-one communications again. Why? They are simply bombarded by information, so they tune out the messages that are not relevant to them and their specific interests. Taking into account not only what consumers want, but also providing it at the precise moment when they want it, can lead to greater brand awareness and sales.
Although this type of individual attention seems a daunting task in today’s fast-paced, digital environment, it is possible and even practical to scale this business wisdom and efficiently apply it to the masses. Because in addition to broadcast media, technology and other channels now exist (i.e. digital printing, email, Internet, mobile, social media, variable data and cross-media software, data mining, analytics, etc.) that enable you to engage in ongoing, one-to-one communications with each of your customers.
Take variable data printing (VDP) for example. VDP, as defined by worldwide document technology strategy and consulting firm, InfoTrends, is a form of on-demand digital printing that produces customized or personalized documents targeted to an individual. Within a single document design, elements such as text, graphics, and images are changed from one printed page to the next based on recipient information from a database.
Many print service providers (PSPs) are providing some type of VDP service and have been for quite a while. It is not something new, but it has come a long way. A VDP solution from a leading software provider like XMPie, allows PSPs to work with familiar design tools and file formats, and utilize simple data files, to incorporate all the demographic, geographic, and psychographic information they know about their customers (i.e. name, address, occupation, age, gender, interests, hobbies, spending habits, etc.) into their direct mail campaigns in clever, relevant ways that get noticed. InfoTrends research and existing case studies confirm that doing so yields higher margins, creates new revenue streams, and drives more volume to digital presses.
But what’s even more exciting to consider is that more and more PSPs are extending their personalization knowledge and capabilities to other channels, such as websites, email and mobile messaging. The key is to start with what you know and grow from there. Clearly, you need to have a foundation in VDP before jumping into the more advanced cross-media capabilities. But if you realize that this is where you need to go, and are willing to make the right investments in technology, people, and possibly partnerships or acquisitions, there are few limitations on what you can sell and deliver to customers.
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.
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.
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.
By Larry Zusman, worldwide marketing manager, XMPie, A Xerox Company
Although I spent most of my time the past few days in the XMPie booth at the DMA Annual Conference and Exhibition demonstrating our new Video Personalization solution as another component of integrated cross-media marketing, I also got the chance to walk around and network with many attending marketing professionals. Here are my observations.
It seems quite clear that print, email, Web, mobile, and even voice technologies are becoming so advanced, that they are becoming somewhat inconsequential. What I mean is that with untold numbers of companies involved in what could be defined as the “Cross-Media Marketing Landscape,” the real differentiators must come from more than just the technology.
As I walked around the show, it appeared at first glance that everyone is doing exactly the same thing. But, of course, that is not the case, as those that have flourished must be offering some type of unique selling proposition to their customers. The trick to finding what is inside their hat, so to speak, is to look for that magical formula for success. I believe that with most firms, in addition to them having the perfect solution to create relevance in their cross-media marketing, their unique value lies within the data strategy, gathering, and intelligence behind these communications. Those thriving are more than just cross-media marketing companies that can use variable data, images, graphics, and video. Rather, these are firms that have perfected the capture and analysis of data to understand the who, what, where, and most important, why of purchase behavior – past, present and future.
Through using this intelligence to drive integrated cross-media marketing campaigns with relevant print, email, Web, mobile, and now video content, these messages can break through the usual marketing clutter and evoke response and action. In short, it is the data that drives the decision. For those involved in cross-media marketing, it illuminates the need to develop campaigns that capture critical customer information, use it to generate highly-individualized communications, and track and analyze the results for optimal ROI.
Another important observation is that technologies must be viewed on a continuum of marketing tools. Clearly they are evolving at a never before anticipated pace, and as such, the value of the technology is much more important than the details. For example, lots of companies are using QR codes for their campaigns – they are an excellent tool for linking print to personal mobile sites (PURLs) – but it’s more important to view this “category” as technologies that bridge offline and online communications. By looking at it this way, you can leverage the concept with a wide selection of technology choices. For example, with the rise in mobile, voice systems and geo-location systems can also be used to bridge various modes of communications and can be factored into the cross-media mix.
DMA2011 had many themes, but perhaps the one that rang out the loudest, and was the main focus of Xerox CMO Christa Carone’s keynote speech on Sunday, is this: the world of direct marketing as we know it is morphing into something very different, in which all forms of media will become more convergent, direct, relevant, and in fact, intimate. What is most important for us all to remember is that as technology advances, and ways to communicate are introduced that we have not even dreamed about, the same marketing strategy will always remain – the more customers we can reach with content that grabs their attention, gets understood, and generates a positive response, the more we will sell, grow and profit.
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 Judy Berlin, director of Worldwide Marketing, XMPie, A Xerox Company
The Internet and mobile communications through smartphones, and ever-more-popular Apple iPads and tablet computers, are altering the landscape of the commerce world. Add social media to the mix and one can see a dramatic empowerment of the individual to influence brands in both positive and negative ways. We also know that customers today are more inclined to use the Web to research and evaluate products and services through mobile and online networks, and this increased role of e-media in the buying process is taking place across all industries.
Does all this mean that print is no longer relevant?
As the director of Worldwide Marketing at XMPie, A Xerox Company, I often receive promotional mail pieces from a variety of sources. The other day, Arie, our IT manager, handed me a mail piece he had received from a most surprising source. Google – the icon of advertising in the online world – sent me a printed coupon with an offer of 200 shekels off a Google Adwords campaign for our company website. Now, if you think about it, despite the fact that Google has a relatively easy-to-implement means of getting their message to us online, they chose to also send a traditional mail piece with a pretty good offer. This is because Google cleverly understands the value of print.
Research shows that print is still a vital component, and when included in an integrated, one-to-one cross-media marketing campaign, it is a force multiplier that generates much better results. In fact, according to Infotrends, marketers today understand this and will, on average, utilize at least three different media types for their campaigns – including print. The winning combination consists of a print component, email, and personalized landing pages, and actually proves to be the most profitable.
Mastering the technologies around online components of a marketing campaign is definitely important, but the value of print as a driving media channel should not be ignored. As mobile and social communications become ever more prevalent and accepted in modern marketing tactics, marketers and their service providers that can reach customers with the right personalized message, using the preferred media channels, including print, will win.
By Larry Zusman, worldwide marketing manager, XMPie, A Xerox Company
It seems a surprising place to have the premier direct marketing institute in a university setting, but if you have the good fortune to visit the University of Akron as I did Monday, that is exactly what you will find there.
There in a former warehouse, beautifully transformed into a San Francisco-style creative boutique, you will find an environment specifically designed for teaching, creating and implementing exciting, state-of-the-art direct marketing programs. Led by a team of people that have been doing these campaigns successfully for many years, and supported by the business faculty of the university, this is a quite an amazing facility already, and will be even more impressive when completed very soon.
I found out that the institute, although “housed” at the university, will be much more than a learning center. Rather, it will be a real-world (profit-making), think tank for the development of cutting-edge DM campaigns for companies of all sizes and types. You can think of it as a DM laboratory of sorts, where students will combine the newest 1:1 cross-media direct marketing tools with traditional approaches like focus groups, data profiling, telemarketing, video, and campaign analytics for optimizing results.
I had the opportunity to speak at the Interaction Conference yesterday to a few hundred “hungry” marketers looking for new ideas on how to market their products better, and sell more of them. There were some very interesting conversations at the breaks with marketers experimenting with new technologies to drive interest. One marketer, who directs the Museum of Akron, is planning on placing posters with QR codes at many venues around the city to drive interest in their exhibitions. Clearly, these types of strategies are showing continued growth among both profit and non-profit segments.
Other attendees were very interested in knowing more about how B2B and B2C marketers could use personalized URLs in print campaigns to leverage their use of the Web more effectively. There were other presentations as well, and these were excellent overviews of some of the best strategies for taking full advantage of cross-media marketing and social media. From my conversations at the event, marketers are seeking to learn more about how to use all the tools available to reach customers more effectively, and more directly.
Akron is a city undergoing lots of change – all of it for the good, I hear. Every year, the institute uses the Interaction Conference for a luncheon honoring those that have made a significant contribution to the DM world. I suspect that the Taylor Institute is just the type of garden where more of these talented individuals will bloom. What do you think?