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 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
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.
By Frannie Garvey, operations manager, XMPie Users Group
The 2011 XMPie Users Group Conference is less than a month away! This year’s event will take place October 23 – 26 in Miami, Florida, and we’re looking forward to spending some time with the XMPie user community in some warm, sunny weather.
This is the only opportunity for face-to-face education and networking for marketing professionals using XMPie software – register today to reserve your place at this can’t-miss event!
- More than 35 unique sessions, including nine customer-delivered sessions
- Three educational tracks for programming, design, and marketing professionals
- General sessions featuring the XMPie management and technology teams, the XMPie Users Group Board of Directors, industry professionals and partners
- A number of networking opportunities to enable you to connect with your fellow XMPie customers
- Pre-conference tutorials providing deep-dives on programming and designing with XMPie solutions
- Dedicated time to talk with the event sponsors
A full copy of the event agenda can be downloaded from the XMPie Users Group website.
Best of the Best Competition
We will once again be running the Best of the Best Competition at this year’s XMPie Users Group Conference, providing attendees with the opportunity to showcase their successful cross-media marketing campaigns to their fellow XMPie users. If you’re interested in participating in this year’s competition, please contact the XMPie Users Group HQ team. Need more details on the contest? Check out the 2011 Conference overview page.
Registration for the conference is $895 USD per attendee, but full members of the XMPie Users Group receive a discounted registration rate of $595 USD. There is an additional registration fee of $249 USD to attend the pre-conference tutorials.
Travel and Hotel
The 2011 XMPie Users Group Conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency Miami. We have negotiated a special room rate of $159 USD per night for conference attendees; however, you must reserve your room by Friday, October 7 to ensure you receive this rate. You can make your reservations online.
If you will be attending the conference, you can fly into the Miami Airport or the Fort Lauderdale Airport. Additional details about traveling to and staying in Miami can be found on the XMPie Users Group website.
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!
The XMPie Users Group in Germany kicked off their first meeting on May 24th. Hosted at Xerox Germany offices in Neuss, the event was a successful initial gathering where some of the top CEO’s and consultants in the direct marketing business attended.
In addition to networking breaks, the agenda at the meeting consisted of discussions about the need for a German-speaking Users Group, discussion of important case studies, as well as presentations given by key people from XMPie, including Yaron Mohaban, Vice President of Sales, EMEA, who spoke about the XMPie vision, strategy and roadmap.
The next meeting will be held on November 11, 2011 and will be organized by the managing board. Stay tuned for more details.
On a similar note, we are excited to announce on behalf of the XMPie Users Group that they have launched a new website (www.xmpieusers.org)! The new site has more publicly available content and offers improved networking and education functionality to better enable online collaboration.
New tools and features include:
- Improved online communities with photo galleries, discussion forums, libraries and wikis;
- A Career Center to post and search for positions related to working with XMPie (Note: this benefit is only available to full, paid members);
- A dynamic member profile with the ability to share resumes, upload images, and pull and share content from personal LinkedIn, YouTube, Picasa, Flickr, Facebook and Twitter accounts;
- An enhanced XMPie Users Group membership directory;
- Member and community “walls” to exchange messages with other members; etc.
They have also added a new Guest Membership option. Guest Membership provides increased access to the site, including the ability to participate in the online communities. This new option is intended to make the site more inclusive and provide potential members with better insight into all the group is able to offer, and best of all, it’s free!
We encourage you to head out to www.xmpieusers.org and sign up as a Guest Member to test out the site if you’re not already a member. If you have any questions about using the new site, please email email@example.com or call +1 (312) 321-5115.
Filed under: Cross Media, Events, Marketing, One-to-one
How to Make the Most of a Virtual Conference
By Peggy Hatch, Group President, Target Marketing Group
Foreword by Larry Zusman, Worldwide Marketing Manager, XMPie, A Xerox Company
When I heard about the show that Peggy talks about below, I was extremely excited for two reasons: (1) I can attend and staff our booth from the comfort of my own office (and return to my own home, and my own bed, when it’s all over), and (2) I am going to have the chance to talk to many more of you at one time than what’s possible at a live trade show about all the cool things our customers are doing (that you should be doing if you’re not doing them already). I’m talking 1:1 cross-media communications. The kind that will also make it possible for you to talk to many more existing and potential customers at one time than is possible with traditional marketing.
If you are a direct marketer, copywriter, designer or printer, and you want to learn how to succeed in today’s challenging multichannel marketing environment, attend this show next week and visit the Xerox-XMPie booth. We’ll show you examples, we’ll share some tips and tricks, we’ll open up the floor for all of your questions and comments, and we’ll chat about personalization, customer data, PURLs, QR codes…you name it! Most importantly, we’ll teach you how to open a prolonged, interactive dialogue with your customers using the best solutions out there, and turn pennies into dollars.
Peggy Hatch took the time to help you prepare for this stellar new event. Read on to learn how to take advantage of all there is to discover at the show!
If you’ve never attended a Virtual Conference – now is your chance! Direct Marketing Day @ Your Desk is on March 15th and it’s free! Simply go to http://bit.ly/fY1eXt to check out the agenda, the speakers, the sponsors and register.
Here are some quick tips on how to make the most of the conference. First of all, the conference is live on March 15th, but will remain on-demand for 90 days. This lets you pick and choose what you want to do on the 15th, and then come back later – at your leisure – to attend more sessions, download more resources, or check out something you might have missed from the live day.
On the live day of the Virtual Conference, you want to make sure you:
- Login and set up your profile. If you’re serious about professional networking, your profile is a great tool to introduce yourself. At “My Profile” is where you can set your avatar, privacy options and change your password.
- Ask Questions! On March 15th, the speakers will be taking your questions – not only during the sessions, but many will be continuing the discussion in the networking lounge.
- Visit the Exhibit Hall to learn about the latest technologies. The booths will be staffed during the live day for you to pop in and find out about the products and services that will help you grow your business.
- Earn points and be eligible to win a FREE iPad! The more engaged you are by attending sessions, chatting with attendees, downloading resources, the better your chances to win.
Virtual Conferences are rich with resources – both through the sessions held in the Auditorium and through the many whitepapers, webcasts and other materials in the Resource Center. You can download these resources and place them in your Virtual Briefcase along with any V-cards you might exchange with other attendees during the event.
Kick back, grab a cup of coffee and join me on March 15th. I’ll “see” you there!