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 John Arnsdorf, product marketing manager at XMPie, A Xerox Company
Even though QR Codes have been around since the mid 90’s, their adoption rate has only recently taken off. This is due in part to a larger population of people toting smartphones with higher resolution cameras, larger screens, faster Internet connections, and lower data rates. Between July and December 2010, QR Code scanning increased an astonishing 1,200% across North America, according to a report from mobile payments and marketing company Mobio Identity Systems Inc. Additionally, a separate study found that 57% of Facebook and Twitter users said they have scanned a mobile barcode at least once in the past year, while as many as 40% had done so 5 or more times in the past year. Considering the Facebook population surpassed a staggering 900 million active members earlier this year, that is a lot of people scanning a lot of QR Codes. Now that QR Codes have gone mainstream, the challenge is to utilize them in new and creative ways that engage customers and allow them to interact with brands in a whole new way.
I am frequently asked by customers, “How can I use QR Codes in my marketing campaigns?” The real question is, “How can you more effectively use QR Codes in your marketing campaigns?” It is not enough to simply slap a 2D barcode onto something; you need to thoughtfully incorporate QR Codes into each touch point; use one to link to online content, use it as a vehicle to interact with customers, or create experience around your brand. Personally, I don’t like answering a question with a question; however, so I’ve written 5 tips to get you thinking about how you might integrate a QR Code into your next campaign.
- Make a QR Code part of the call-to-action. I’m more likely to make the effort to scan a code if I know it might lead me to a personalized coupon, contest, game or something that is out of the ordinary and unique. I might even scan a code to reveal a surprise, but it better be good. It’s always a good idea to offer a strong motivator to entice your target audience into scanning your QR Code.
- Use QR Codes in your signage and displays. I’m a foodie. Consequently, I frequent a lot of wine and cheese shops, and other specialty stores, to learn about and buy the products they sell. Even though I like learning about the products I choose to spend my money on, I don’t like stores that litter the shelves with information about each product. Displays should have just enough information to draw me in and use QR Codes linking to supplemental information, such as varietal information, tasting notes and food pairings.
- Use QR Codes to save your customers time. If you are inviting your loyal customers to an event, use the code to add the event to their calendar with all the relevant details. If you are prospecting to new customers and want them to visit your brick-and-mortar, use the code to give them a map with door-to-door directions. QR Codes can contain up to 4,296 alphanumeric characters, so use them!
- Make it easy for your customers to give you money. Like many of you, I get countless donation letters from every not-for-profit under the sun. The vast majority of them expect me to fill out a form, write a check, and worst of all, find an envelope and stamp. I’m sorry, but that takes too much of the precious little time I do have, and chances are I don’t have a stamp. I think I am still using the same book of forever stamps I bought years ago. Give me a QR Code I can scan that links to a personalized site with all my information filled out and a place to enter my donation and pay with PayPal, and you’ll get my financial support.
- Give your customers something they can keep. Sometimes, after a long day at work, the last thing I want to do is spend the next 1-2 hours cooking dinner. So, I turn to my restaurant drawer, which is stuffed to the brim with to-go menus that are typically hand-folded photocopies of photocopies. These notoriously poor reproductions of the normal menu are my take-away impression of the restaurant. What a lost opportunity to ‘wow’ me. Restaurateurs, if you are listening, use a QR Code outside your establishment, which links to a PDF of your menu that I can download and keep on my phone. Now I can have your menu instantly accessible anytime I feel like going out for a bite to eat.
However you choose to use a QR Code in your next campaign, make sure you leverage what you already know about your customers and give them a personalized experience. And if you don’t know anything about me, use the QR Code to get me to a page where I can tell you a little about myself. If I think there is something in it for me, I’m liable to give up a little information.
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 Christine Winter, PR/marketing programs manager, XMPie, A Xerox Company
Here we are…almost through the second week of 2012 already! And while I feel like 2011 went by way too fast, I’m extremely excited about the year ahead.
This is going to be a big year for me for a number of reasons – both personally and professionally. First of all, I am getting married! Nothing beats that. If only I could get Robin Nelson at Trialogue Direct to put together a wedding campaign for me…hmm…
Another reason? I am going to be traveling to Europe for the first time! No, I’m not referring to my honeymoon (we haven’t decided on a destination yet). I’m referring to the world’s number one trade fair for the printing and media industry. That’s right; it’s time to start thinking about drupa 2012. It’s going to be an amazing show with some exciting announcements and new opportunities! I hope you’ll get to join us in Düsseldorf.
And since I don’t think I need to list any other reasons to prove why it’s going to be a good year for me, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all for reading the XMPie Blog. It is my goal to bring you more customer success stories, event highlights, and 1:1 tips and trends every month this year.
Now tell us: Why is 2012 going to be a big year for you or your business? What other topics are you interested in reading about this year?
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.
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
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!