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.
By Christine Winter, PR/marketing programs manager
You’ve probably heard the mantra “we live in a world where we are bombarded daily with irrelevant and generic data, messages and information.” And by now, you’ve probably heard that embedding personalized images and URLs (PURLs) into your targeted marketing campaigns can help you cut through the clutter and generate a higher response.
While all of that remains true, marketers – and the service providers that support them – must continue to adapt to the ever-changing marketing culture across print and new media. In today’s mobile society, that means the integration of such digital technology as quick response (QR) codes within traditional direct mail pieces. And this trend is gaining major momentum.
So, what is this technology? What marketing goals do they meet? Why should you include them in your marketing? Here’s what we think.
To be literal, QR codes are two-dimensional barcodes that have significantly greater storage than that of a traditional barcode. They were originally used for tracking parts by vehicle manufacturers, but are now quickly gaining popularity with the mobile phone industry. When incorporated into one-to-one marketing communications, smartphone users can scan and decode them with a QR code reader to be automatically linked to websites, pictures, videos, product reviews, social media sites, etc. For print providers, they offer a unique way to use the print component to drive a response through other media and continue the conversation.
So, okay, you’ve heard all this. But what you might not have known is that XMPie makes generating QR codes within one-to-one marketing communication pieces a breeze. We have customers using them already to direct recipients of their direct mail pieces to PURLs – what we like to call response URLs™ (RURLs) – videos, and even dynamic maps. And they are seeing results, which they attest to the fact that scanning a code to get to a website is much easier than typing the address in a mobile browser, for example.
The XMPie Advantage
When creating personalized QR codes, XMPie and its Automatic Dynamic Object Replacement (ADOR) technology has a unique edge over other technology providers. This is because with XMPie software, you never have to worry about the information in the QR code (i.e. Jane Doe’s contact information) matching the information in the personalized communication piece on which it was included (i.e. Jane Doe’s business card). Consistency between the QR code and its context is automatic because XMPie encodes and images a QR code in the same step, leaving no room for mistakes in selecting the code image for a given individual.
This differs from non-XMPie solutions in that many times the creation of a QR code image and the coding of the image are done by separate tools. The room for errors in selecting the wrong image is wide open, and the process coordination investments in order to minimize these types of errors are very high. Hence, with XMPie, a match is effortless – it’s just built in – and creating QR codes is really simple and reliable.
Just Five Easy Steps
Process for Creating QR Codes in XMPie
- Open static art in InDesign
- Link to data source
- Create a new Content Object (information to be encoded into code can be a combination of static text and variable text)
- Create a graphic box on the design where the QR Code will go
- Select the new graphic box and double click the Content Object to link the two together
The bottom line? QR codes are soon-to-be-everywhere, and they make it easier for your customers to access the information you want them to respond to. And let’s not forget that with XMPie, you can actually track QR codes just like any other event or action in a campaign. So, yes, you should include them in your marketing. It’s as easy as X-M-Pie. Cheesy, I know.
Check out the previous blog post by David Baldaro for an example of a campaign XMPie executed using QR codes, and stay tuned for more on this very fascinating technology.