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.