Written by Larry Zusman
Director, Video Personalization, XMPie, A Xerox Company

I get a chance to speak to print providers, agencies and enterprise marketers around the country and what separates the great ones from the everyday ones are inspiration, innovation, and differentiation.

Companies with exponential growth curves have examined the market and identified those areas that offer the greatest ROI in the next 5-10 years – this is their inspiration. Offerings with the highest return are oftentimes not part of the company’s core competencies.  But for the successful ones, they understand that the fundamentals of the business are similar enough for them to make a go at it—and make it work.

A great example is those digital print providers who invested in cross-media solutions. Clearly, they did not have all the skills needed for this type of service offering when they started doing it – including creative services, database management skills, and Web programming to name a few. But they did have one, maybe two of the them, and felt that at the core, 1:1 cross-media publishing was an extension of print production – and they could transition to it over time and learn while expanding into this type of new service offering.

Those that made that transition are at the top of the revenue and profit pyramid of service providers.  They are also the ones seriously considering entering the newest media opportunity—video personalization. But they shouldn’t be alone.

Inspiring with the Next Big Thing: Video Marketing.
With data pouring out on the exponential growth of video marketing in the future – and solutions now available that provide personalization of all content in standard format movies, the time to “get inspired” is right now for everyone!

Think about how excited your customers will be and how they will respond when they receive a video with content that is highly relevant to them — their name, company, product of choice, offer, and call to action specially chosen for them.  In fact, we already know that the conversion rate of such a campaign can exceed 90%.

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Changing the Playing Field with Innovation.
For those in the 1:1 print and cross-media community, as a collective group, we have “innovated” the way business communicates, interacts and responds to consumers. Instead of static, generic messaging being the norm, companies now deliver highly targeted, relevant content based on consumer demographics, geographics and psychographics (the last being the raison d’etre of enabling 1:1 communications). And as opposed to the response being the same for all, it is specific to the recipients with offers perfect for their stage in the “loyalty continuum” (for more info on this, check out books by Jill Griffin, the guru of loyalty marketing).

As a result, the typical 1-2% in a direct marketing campaign has been catapulted to 12-16%. And in some cases, the response metrics are well over 20% with these programs. When  movies are driven from QR codes, are part of a comprehensive 1:1 cross-media campaign, are embedded on web pages with survey links that capture more customer “intelligence”, and used on mobile devices to advertise local businesses in your immediate GPS area; they classify as not only innovative, but rather what could be called “disruptive” communications. And that is what every marketer strives for.

Differentiating yourself from the rest.
For providers and agencies, the competition for the most progressive and aggressive clients has never been greater. But what if you have completed the process of transitioning to an MSP or are working on it? How do you then position yourself as something special within that group of select companies?  This is where differentiation comes in.  It is the early adopters to technologies and solutions that are seen as the companies that are innovative and unique.  Once these capabilities become “mainstream,” there is little opportunity to truly differentiate from the pack.

The video marketing space is a great example of this. Companies that are making investments – not major ones by the way – to enable personalized videos as part of their 1:1 cross media campaigns are finding marketers at the highest organizational level very receptive to their sales presentations. The interest stems from the fact that these marketers also see “differentiation” in their messages as the “knife” that “cuts through the clutter of communications” in the market. They are convinced that consumers respond to these videos faster and more positively than other media channels.

Getting Involved: It’s not too late.
The top of the cross-media service provider pyramid has pulled away more this year from those below. This is clearly the result of these firms making the right business decisions several years ago. It is not too late for those not in this group to break away from where they are today and migrate “upwards”. It requires the inspiration to transition to a service provider of the newest “new media” like video personalization, innovation to create and deploy videos using tactics that generate the highest ROI, and differentiation that leverages a changing communication paradigm. For providers, agencies and their clients, the opportunity is to take full advantage of emerging technologies in the world of one to one communications for increased revenue and growth.


If you are ready to move ahead of the rest, separating yourself from the competition, then I urge you to come to the Xerox-XMPie booth at Print 13 (#1202), attend our video personalization sessions in the Marketing Pavilion or check out our Virtual Site.  See, hear and feel the power of video personalization first-hand, and gain an appreciation for how it will transform your company into one of the best.