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.
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!
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 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.