September 19th, 2013
Written by Shelley Sweeney
VP/GM Service Bureau/Direct Mail Sectors, Xerox Corporation
With the regular drumbeat of invitations to receive bills and statements electronically, it may seem counter-intuitive that printing these transactional documents is among today’s best digital printing growth opportunities. But indeed, transactional documents that incorporate marketing materials—known as TransPromo documents—are projected for a healthy 30.2 percent compound annual growth rate from 2011 to 2016, according to InfoTrends.
TransPromo, or transactional marketing, is benefiting from three favorable trends:
- Continued consumer demand for print. A 2011 survey of 5,000 U. S. Households by Phoenix Marketing International found that 65 percent prefer to get printed copies of bills and statements.
- The increased affordability of inkjet production printing, which runs at about 2.5 cents per page today, half the cost of other digital color printing technologies and competitive with roll-fed monochrome. Inkjet brings the benefits of digital color printing to a higher volume band than other digital technologies can reach cost effectively.
- A desire on the part of companies and institutions to consolidate their communications—and to get their messages read in a cluttered marketplace. What better way to incorporate marketing content and promotions than in the most highly read communications consumers receive: their bills and statements?
Inkjet’s role in driving this growth can’t be underestimated, and was on full display during last week’s Print 13 tradeshow, the largest printing convention in North America. In the Xerox booth, we dedicated about half of our space to high-speed production inkjet devices, showing a broad portfolio that includes both aqueous (Impika iPrint) and waterless (CiPress) inkjet offerings.
Inkjet quality is already sufficient for most TransPromo applications. The relatively low inkjet printing costs make color affordable, meeting marketing’s requirement for the added interest color brings to transactional marketing content. Inkjet’s fast speeds—as much as 30 times faster than the fastest xerographic color presses—ensure that tight print windows will be met. And the higher monthly volumes with inkjet presses mean that even lengthy customer communications, such as magazine and newsletters, can be accommodated in long runs for large customer bases.
But inkjet isn’t the only option for printing today’s transactional marketing documents. For lower volumes, digital color xerography makes sense, particularly with products like the recently introduced Xerox 8250, which incorporates top-line iGen® technologies into a printer engineered specifically for the cost, quality and reliability needs of transactional marketing.
For all the opportunity TransPromo affords, however, it is not an application to be offered casually. The best providers have multiple levels of safeguards to protect the sensitive data they handle and ensure the recipients’ privacy, while offering both print and electronic delivery options. Mistakes are not tolerated when producing checks and invoices, and delivering sensitive medical and financial data.
But for those with the know-how for handling these sensitive applications, now is the time to step up your game. The technology is here to deliver the Holy Grail of business communications: personalized documents that pull from comprehensive customer databases to deliver educational pieces and offers that are tailored to precisely where customers are in their buying and consumption cycles.
Many members of the Xerox Premier Partners Global Network of top Xerox customers recognize the opportunity. In an August survey of the members, 20 percent cited TransPromo as a significant source of growth, up from 13 percent two years ago.
What do you make of the TransPromo opportunity? Do you think, as I do, that paper will continue to be a preferred delivery method for bills and statements—complemented by electronic communications—for the next two decades or more?
Shelley Sweeney is vice president and general manager of Xerox’s Service Bureau and Direct Mail Sectors.
The TransPromo space is alive and well – are you taking advantage? This Printer Did, Reducing Client’s Statement Costs by 30%Submitted by Bill Michael
April 3rd, 2013
Written by Bill Michael
eMarketing Manager, Xerox Corporation
You may have noticed that print has been capturing it’s fair share of media attention as of late, mostly in regards to mail delivery (in light of a February announcement that the US Postal Service will end Saturday delivery, beginning in August), as well as the protection of select printed statements/communications (with a new Congressional resolution seeking to reverse recent federal initiatives to completely eliminate paper-based government information, such as earning statements and income tax forms). Call me a traditionalist, but I still prefer to receive my statements and transactional communications in print form. This is likely due to a combination of things:
- Fearfulness of forgetting to make a payment without the physical prompt a printed statement delivers
- Not wanting to add to my collection of usernames and passwords I have registered across a few handfuls of websites (and then straining to remember my log-in credentials)
- An excuse to re-familiarize myself with an experience that doesn’t involve an electronic device and a screen
And I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. Post & Parcel recently reported results to a survey showing that while over 75% of consumers can view their bank accounts online, over 85% elect to continue receiving statements by mail. Last year, the USPS released a statement citing that transactional statements are “opened more than 95% of the time and, on average, the receiver spends two to three minutes with each piece”. It’s clear that consumers value their transactional mail. Phoenix Marketing International reported that 73% of all bills and statements are still sent by mail, and according to PayItGreen, the average household receives approximately 19 printed bills and statements each month. Nineteen! With roughly 30% of the American population-alone without Internet access, printed communications and statements, specifically those of the TransPromo or transactional-promotional breed, represent huge opportunities for those involved.
And for advertisers and printers, this is likely music to their ears. But let’s be clear about something – when we say TransPromo, we aren’t talking about the stand-alone filler inserts that accompany a transactional statement, fall out of the envelop as you are pulling out your bill, and eventually end up in the trash. We are talking about utilization of a client’s ever-precious consumer data to deliver targeted, personalized, and relevant promotional information and offers that are integrated directly onto the transactional statement – engaging the recipient and creating a higher likelihood that an action is taken. The service provider sending the TransPromo statement can either occupy the promotional space for their own advertising purposes (promoting a new reward program, CRM marketing strategy, and/or attempting to up-sell or cross-sell products/services) or sell the advertising space to outside companies who can target specific consumers with targeted, personalized messaging. Either way, the promotional opportunities and endless and can serve as a huge revenue-generator.
The benefits for all involved are very clear, and can be illustrated through the work former Best-of-the-Best winner Telemail, S.L. provided Iberia – Spain’s largest air transport group and one of the 10 largest airline businesses in the world. In this case, Iberia offered passengers credit cards that allowed them to earn frequent flyer points, while boosting the company’s bottom line. The monthly statements were printed in mass quantities through offset printing and later variable information was introduced through a separate digital print run. This created excessive waste, limited opportunities to offer personalized and targeted promotional messaging, and became a costly nightmare when trying to pair the multiple promotional inserts to the individual recipients.
By taking advantage of the TransPromo model, Telemail was able to provide Iberia with a fully integrated solution printed on their Xerox 980 Color Continuous Feed System. This solution reduced production costs by 30% for Iberia as their statements were now printed in a single run, ensuring document integrated was 100% accurate. By integrating the promotional content directly onto the statement, Iberia’s mailing required fewer inserts and thus lower mailing costs. In addition, Iberia was the beneficiary of increased revenue from 3rd party advertisers as a result of the ability to include more targeted promotional content.
The TransPromo space is alive and well – are you taking advantage? How do you view the potential opportunities made available through providing TransPromo offerings?
Interested in learning more about the TransPromo opportunities? You may want to check out:
- Printed Customer Communications – Marketing Opportunity or Inconvenience?
- Digital Printing Cuts Soaring Coast of Monthly Statement by 30% for Global Airline
- Optimism about the Future of Print Highlighted by Printers in Survey
- Radical Redesign of Bond Statements Generates Flood of New Business
Are you a member of the Xerox Premier Partner Global Network? Don’t miss out on your chance for international recognition! There’s still time to enter your best print work into the Xerox Best-of-the-Best Contest – but hurry, entries close at 11:59pm EST on April 3, 2013!
Looking to boost awareness of your company’s capabilities and attract new customers? The Xerox Best-of-the-Best Program can help!Submitted by Bill Michael
December 17th, 2012
Written by Mary Roddy
Marketing Manager, Premier Partners Global Network
Innovative personalized chocolate packaging that produces $100,000 in profit through a single holiday season, a direct marketing campaign that helps Mercedes-Benz UK achieve a 53:1 ROI, a wedding invitation book that helps drive over $2.5 million in revenue….what do all of these have in common? They are all previous winners of the Xerox Best-of-the-Best Program, a worldwide award contest, open exclusively to members of the Xerox Premier Partners Network.
This program draws participation from the most successful and innovative print shops across the globe, showcasing creativity and business impact using Xerox digital technology. In addition to recognition of great digital work by the graphic communications community, winners receive outstanding marketing and promotional opportunities. Each winning entrant is featured in a case study which can be used with customers and prospects, posted on the web, discussed in presentations, and as a proof point in email and direct marketing campaigns. Winners are showcased at regional, national, and international industry tradeshows/events and also in international press releases.
Today we’re announcing the 2013 Xerox Best-of-the-Best Program will open for entries on January 8, 2013. Members of the Premier Partners Network can submit their work in any of the following categories:
-Digital and Offset
If you are a member of the Premier Partners Network –be sure to take advantage of this tremendous opportunity! On January 8th, visit the Best-of-the-Best website at www.xerox.com/bestofthebest to get started.
If you are not a member of the Xerox Premier Partners Network, visit the Premier Partners Portal today at www.xeroxpremierpartners.com to learn about the program and benefits members receive, and become a member!
You’ll want to hurry – this year’s Best-of-the-Best Contest closes April 3, 2013!
October 9th, 2012
In a recent survey of 485 members of Xerox’s Premier Partners Global Network, conducted with GMC Analytics, more than 70 percent of printers said they are optimistic about the future, believing that print will always be part of the communications mix, but do agree volumes will still decline. The printers also feel that the recession continues to be less of a negative factor than in previous years – 65 percent of respondents agree that the impact of the recession is making investment difficult, notably down from a high of 73 percent in 2010.
Among the opportunities for new or increased revenue, more than one-third (38 percent) of the printers still expect a significant increase in revenue through direct marketing, pointing to a continued need for a balanced marketing mix that includes direct mail. Other opportunities ranked as follows:
- Packaging and Photo specialty products – 18 percent each
- TransPromo – 16 percent
- Book publishing – 12 percent
So what should printers do? The fear of going out of business with traditional services (77 percent) continues to have a strong impact and many are looking for new value-added services to differentiate their portfolio through offerings such as web-to-print services (74 percent). Another priority area for printers differentiating their business is to continue transforming into an overall marketing service provider (50 percent) which jumped from a low of 36 percent in 2011.
Listening to customers is also extremely important in figuring out which direction to go, and the majority of partners reported increased demand in certain areas – those being full-color variable data printing (76 percent), online ordering/web-to-print services (64 percent) and wide-format printing (48 percent) during the past year.
Check out the accompanying infographic we created highlighting the key stats mentioned above and more.
What is your response to these survey results? What is your experience? Are you optimistic about the future of print? Where do you see the greatest potential moving forward?
June 26th, 2012
Remember when you were growing up and your parents would tell you that you were special? Whether you were struggling to make new friends or upset about a bad haircut, hearing that simple phrase could bring a smile to your face – even if it seemed like the world was ending (oh, dramatic youth). Printers today are striving to be special. They want to be more to their customers. To bring smiles to their customers’ faces, while still running an efficient and profitable operation. Many in the industry are turning to specialty digital substrates to achieve this goal.
Mohawk’s Specialty Digital portfolio includes synthetic, pressure sensitive (labels, clings), magnet, embedded, and photo substrates designed for digital presses. Whether it’s on your Xerox Color 560 or your Xerox iGen 150, these unique materials help make you special while increasing your bottom line. If you’re hesitant to go beyond paper, keep reading as I debunk some common myths.
Myth #1: They’re expensive.
Any higher initial cost is easily offset by the printer’s ability to set a higher selling price and achieve a higher margin than traditional paper jobs. They’re also packaged in smaller quantities so you can buy only what you need.
Myth #2: They aren’t compatible with my digital press.
Mohawk has a reputation for quality and works with leading manufacturers to test compatibility of our digital products. Many specialty products perform well in a range of digital equipment, but you can check your specific compatibility in our matrix provided thru Mohawk MakeReady. Samples to test are readily available thru your paper merchant or online at MohawkConnects.com.
Don’t make it harder than it needs to be. Use specialty substrates in your own self promo. Show customers examples and throw a few samples into existing jobs. Explain how these materials can make their marketing campaigns more unique, effective, and impactful. Digital is great for these short, demo runs to spur interest.
Myth #4: My customers don’t have an application for them.
Show them what they can do and I bet you’ll be surprised. Synthetics are great for waterproof books or ID cards. Pressure sensitive stocks shine as bottle labels, window clings, and decorative seals. Magnets are attractive for calendars and signage while embedded magnets and synthetic cards make durable loyalty cards and save-the-dates. Finally, panoramic photo paper enables layflat photo books and collateral where images and graphics sprawl freely without being lost in the gutter of a traditional bind.
The applications are really endless with these types of materials, especially when paired with digital print and VDP. Don’t limit yourself. Give yourself a shot to be special today!
BONUS: I’m happy to have an exclusive giveaway for the Xerox readers today! Shoot me an email with your shipping info and I’ll send you a free copy of Mohawk’s Specialty Digital Swatchbook so you can begin exploring these high-value materials.
May 2nd, 2012
Written By Bill Michael
You know them: hearing, sight, touch, smell, taste. At drupa, each of your senses will be put to great use, as you will:
- Hear: The excitement of the 1000s of attendees in the print industry having conversations on a variety of topics.
- See: Technology and software that represents the future of our industry
- Touch: Printed samples with specialty media, innovative finishing, and special toner
- Smell: toner, ink and paper in the air as you walk by every vendors stand.
- Taste: German cuisine (maybe for the first time) and perhaps a few brands of German beer with some friends and colleagues.
At the Xerox stand (Hall 8b), your senses can best be used by seeing and touching the applications that we’ll be showcasing live in our stand, including many Best-of-the-Best winners. These winners include: IOS (Digital and Offset), Mediaware (Digital Packaging), MBA Group Limited (TransPromo), Telemail, S.L. (TransPromo), Easy Print (Photo Publishing), Printshop (Photo Publishing). Three additional winners include:
|DG3 Europe Limited
(Best Overall Solution, case study)
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, the largest youth charity in the UK, wanted to enable their award winners to create and order personalized Achievement Packs online. They approached DG3 Europe Limited, who mapped out an end-to-end solution using FreeFlow Process Manager™ and the iGen4 with a Xerox FreeFlow™ Print Server – resulting in a 637% increase in usage of the achievement pack.
(Digital Packaging, case study)
Recognizing the growing area of digital packaging, De Budelse built FotoChoco.nl to enable orders of personalized boxes of chocolate. Using the iGen4 and FreeFlow Print Server, they were able to sell over 11,000 boxes of chocolate. (your sense of taste!)
(Direct Marketing, case study)
Using the Xerox Color 1000 Press, CopyCat used clear dry ink and personalized cross media to drive new business. The campaign generated a 10% response rate and helped bring in 20 new orders from new customers.
Please stop by Xerox Stand in Hall 8B to see and touch these great applications. We’ll find other ways to exercise your other senses!
March 1st, 2012
Written by Gina Testa, Vice President
Worldwide Graphics Communications Business
Coming from Western New York State, the warm, tropical air in Miami Beach this time of year is absolutely transformative. As the Graphics of the Americas show opens its three-day run here today, the gorgeous weather is giving me a lift in much the way that business transformations are bringing new surges of energy to many in this industry.
Tomorrow I’m leading a panel with three graphic communications customers, who’ve all engineered business transformations to take advantage of new opportunities for growth. Roger Manning, owner of Banyan Printing, Mark Serbin, president of Serbin Printing, and Richard Sierra, president of Nationwide Graphics at Dodd Communications are all from Florida and have compelling stories to tell.
While there’s no “right way” to transform a business, some patterns do hold. Change is often evolutionary, not revolutionary, so the transformation takes place over time, rather than all at once.
Moving upstream to provide more marketing services is a common strategy among today’s graphic communications providers. Over time, the graphic communications provider becomes not just the host of a Web-to-print solution, for example, but manager of their customer’s marketing supply chain, reducing costs while improving distribution speed and fulfillment flexibility.
Others graphic communications providers may find transformation in new lines of business, such as production of books, photoproducts or personalized product packaging. Still others may focus on improving their internal operations, automating their workflow to improve their efficiency and lower their costs.
What are you doing to transform your business? If you need ideas, take in our panel discussion on Friday, March 2 at 10:30 a.m. or stop by the Xerox booth at the show. Look for me. I’ll be happy to talk to you about transforming your business…and about the weather in Rochester, N.Y. I hear a few inches of snow fell there yesterday.