By Larry Zusman, Worldwide Marketing Manager at XMPie, A Xerox Company
We all know that greeting cards have been around since the early days of printing. And at this time of year, we all receive them in one form or another. But for those companies that have the capability of using customer and company data in unique ways in print and cross-media campaigns, the holidays provide a “not-to-be-missed” opportunity to demonstrate the true value of personalized communications—to their customers. And this year, we are excited to bring our North American customers a special program to add personalized video to their XMPie-driven holiday campaigns.
Among the print and marketing service provider community, the story of the shoemaker who never has time to fix his own shoes is more apropos than ever. While XMPie users develop the most attention-getting, lead-generating campaigns for customers of all types and sizes, they seldom turn those skills upon themselves. For those few who do, self-promotion campaigns have won awards, praise from the industry, and most important, generated leads that have turned into new business. But many users – you know who you are – forget that when it comes to selling 1:1 multichannel campaigns, you need to demonstrate, not just talk about your ability to create “disruptive,” memorable campaigns.
Your customers are the most important ingredient for your continued success. So, it makes sense that this year you invest time and resources to deliver an engaging experience for them in your holiday campaign. For those of you with our uDirect solution, keep in mind that our Marketplace library has many wonderful holiday-themed uImage templates that can be easily incorporated into any campaign. You can also print personalized messages on specialty media and add customer-specific data in the gloss layer of your printed piece. Be inventive and your message will break through.
For our PersonalEffect and uStore customers, the opportunity for you is clear. At a time when companies are investing heavily in new media marketing, and the buzzword on everyone’s lips is “multichannel,” this is the ideal time to pull out all the stops on your holiday campaign. Use print, of course, but also incorporate the use of other media in your messages. Let a print piece start or contribute to the conversation of “thanks,” but also bring them to your Web or mobile site with additional content that reinforces and enhances your messages. Develop a campaign for a local store or restaurant with QR codes to add value to your words of thanks. Provide calendars and other products that will remind them of you and your value to them throughout the year. This may even spur them to look at putting a calendar app on their Facebook page.
Mail getting through the clutter is sometimes difficult, but using multiple channels for your message ensures arrival. Many customers will have their tablets with them and phones, and not be at their desk. Why wait to reach them when they return from where they are? Make sure your campaign is as portable as they are.
Enter Personalized Holiday Videos! For XMPie customers that want to demonstrate the newest capabilities in multichannel communications, and generate exciting new business opportunities in the coming year, we are offering holiday video personalization services through DME Studios, an advanced XMPie video technology provider. This video component, created with the new XMPie uDirect Video solution, is intended to supplement your existing cross-media campaign with PURLS that bring your customers to engaging, musical, multimedia videos, sending your personal “Thank You and Best Wishes in the New Year.”
These engaging, 3D animated videos can be accessed on a Web page or via QR codes to mobile devices. By adding this element to your print or multichannel campaign, you not only strengthen your messages of “thanks,” but position your firm as a leader in new media marketing. And if you do land a personalized video project (which is very likely), XMPie will support you all the way. If you want to know more about our holiday personalized video services, contact me at email@example.com.
As the title says, “it is time to show off” what you can do for your clients. Time to get those creative juices flowing – or find someone that can do that for you. Time to delve into the full capabilities of XMPie, if you have not yet done so. Time to get the word out there on how you can generate more response for your clients. Time to use new media to forge new opportunities as the communications landscape evolves in front of us. And lastly, time to take all that unique one-to-one power of your solution and put it to the best use possible: thank your customers for their support of all the great work you do for them.
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 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 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?
It’s official. The latest version of XMPie’s Web-to-print, marketing portal solution, uStore® 4.0, is now available, and last week, I got a sneak peak! It’s new look and ease-of-use features make it even more practical and manageable for service providers, creative agencies and enterprise firms to build e-commerce-enabled stores and marketing portals.
In fact, uStore 4.0 has several new Web portal capabilities to help users expand their operations into the business-to-consumer (B-to-C) space. With anonymous shopping for instance, store visitors can browse offerings and add items to shopping carts without being registered. And, store products and categories can now be tagged with searchable terms to maximize visibility to search engines, driving potential customers to a store.
I asked Ray Aspeitia, digital media program manager for Sells Printing in New Berlin Wis., and uStore 4.0 beta customer, what he thought of the newest version. He said, “uStore 4.0 is definitely a must-have upgrade. The new features are helping us drive more print and marketing business by allowing us to expand and target new markets, and present even more out-of-the-box options to our customers. It’s a complete and powerful solution.”
The newest uStore version also features enhanced user and group management, as well as permission management capabilities, which give store administrators a simple way to organize storefront customers and back office administrators with defined access, roles and permissions. In addition, uStore 4.0 includes a new image customization tool that allows image crop and automatic color correction, and the Ogone payment option, which provides another payment gateway.
So, if you’re looking to provide your customers with an interactive experience in which they can easily browse, select, customize and order dynamic documents, driving both print and electronic media, uStore 4.0 is your single turnkey solution. And if you’re already a user, we hope this newest version offers you the new features you’ve been looking for.