Adding Dimension and Texture to Print with the Xerox Color 800/1000 Press and EFI Fiery Image EnhanceSubmitted by Christina Vullo
June 18th, 2013
Written by Leon Williams
Chief Scientist, EFI
Perhaps you knew of the ability to add clear dry ink to images and text with the Xerox Color 800/1000 Press – employing spot or flood creative effects that enhance the value of the output. But what if you could also add dimension and texture to the output? What opportunities could that open for your customers and your business?
When Xerox first discussed the possibility of enabling dimensional printing by using multiple passes of Clear Dry Ink (CDI), it sparked excitement at EFI to create a new workflow to simplify its use. The result is a new Fiery Image Enhance Visual Editor (IEVE) that can automatically add clear channel separations to any image for professional looking textures in just seconds. While previous solutions had required knowledge of sophisticated publishing tools and a good deal of artistic flair to achieving dimensional effects, IEVE can extract photos from any PostScript or PDF file, automatically derive layers for the application of clear dry ink and place these new layers into the original file for a custom dimensional effect.
Like the original release of IEVE for quick photo corrections, the focus in on quality and productivity. It’s all about getting the best, saleable print through the press as fast as possible. The new software enables dimensional texturing of all images at once or individually with each image receiving custom treatment. To further simplify the process of getting just the right level of texture, IEVE employs novel visualization of the resulting CDI coated photos right on the screen. A technique known in the video gaming industry as “bump mapping” enables the operator to see and modify how the resulting levels of Clear Dry Ink will appear before ever printing a single page. This results in extremely fast turnaround for beautiful, high value prints.
To truly appreciate what multi-pass CDI and IEVE can do for your prints and your customer, you really must experience it firsthand. The results are both eye-catching and delightful. Whether creating brochures, newsletters, direct mail, point of purchase displays, posters, menus, photo-book covers or business cards the results are sure to grab attention and satisfy clients all with minimum effort. To twist the old saying, “you have to feel it to believe it.”
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Leon Williams is currently the Chief Scientist for Fiery at Electronics for Imaging. Over his 13 year career with EFI, he has managed the development of interpreters, color profiling, color management, RIP performance, compression, halftoning, rendering, image processing, hardware acceleration and drivers. He now investigates and develops advanced technologies for future EFI products.
May 23rd, 2013
Written by Patrick Bont
Marketing Manager, Graphic Communications, Xerox Europe
One thing I’ve learnt in my career is that there is strength in numbers. While you may have many great ideas of your own, those ideas are often made greater by access to business trends, “insider” information on technology and solutions, and talking about new ideas to grow your business. I’ve also learnt that some of the most useful information, resources and people are dotted across the globe and often hard to find.
It’s with those thoughts in mind that Xerox decided to create the Xerox Graphic Arts Premier Partners Global Network – an exclusive, global community consisting of the world’s top digital printers.
Undoubtedly, achieving growth is on everyone’s mind at the moment. Here’s how the three essential ingredients of Xerox’s Premier Partners Network are helping the world’s top digital printers grow in today’s challenging marketplace.
Industry Knowledge – understanding customers
Backed by over fifty years of experience, we provide our Premier Partners with the right knowledge to address their target markets. Members are free to make use of our exclusive learning programmes, business development tools, print and marketing services trends and case studies targeted at specific industries like automotive, retail, medical and legal. All designed to help our Partners better serve their clients.
Peer-to-Peer Networking – learning from others
Our global network consists of hundreds of partners, and our community just keeps on growing. Partners across the world attend our exclusive events, from peer-to-peer networking sessions to social media conversations – there’s always something going on to keep them in contact with their global business peers or new customer opportunities.
Connection and Collaboration – working with others
Our online search directory connects Partner company capabilities and services with enquiries and opportunities. Partner company profiles enable them to e-market their business. Plus, whether it’s sharing ideas, responding to multi-location print needs, taking advantage of a business partner offer or sharing experienced insights, Xerox Graphic Arts Premier Partners enjoy community connections and collaboration.
For thirteen years now, the Premier Partners Programme has been opening eyes to different ways of doing things and opening minds to new ways of thinking using these three pillars – all to help grow businesses across the world. Why not join us?
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May 16th, 2013
Written by Dharminder Biharie, Business Development Manager
Xerox Graphic Communications, The Netherlands
There’s a good chance that prior to the economy taking a major hit in 2007 and 2008, you didn’t have to spend too much time pulling hairs over your sales process and strategy. Business was running well, sales were high, and your printing presses were running non-stop. And your sales rep – why would you have possibly worried about him? He was achieving the organization’s goals, customers loved him (he was always on the phone with them!), and he was a likable guy who had worked at your company for many years.
But now you have customers who don’t love him. He is not connecting with customers and prospects on his phone, e-mail, or social media. His cubicle was always vacant from being onsite with customers, but now he is always in the office. The fact is that most sales processes have changed over the last 5 years. The graphic arts industry has become a high tech business, where automating business processes to reduce costs is a key to survival. If your commercial department hasn’t grown to meet outside changes, you are probably facing challenges with sales and proposition.
Here is a list of 10 challenges in the sales process:
- If you can’t explain the added value of digital or litho print, you will end up with customers basing their purchases solely on price comparison. Always sell using return on marketing investment (ROMI). Even business cards deliver ROMI.
- You don’t understand the environment of your customers. Are they specialized in specific markets with specific requirements? Are there trends that you can use to offer recommendations and solutions?
- Your proposition doesn’t match your online profiles (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) or your website is old and out-of-date. Keep online information updated and use free metrics software such as Google Analytics to see how you’re doing online.
- You don’t actually know what problems to solve. When you are offering digital print, always ask if you are solving a logistic or a marketing problem for your customer. Otherwise you will run into the same price comparison problem mentioned above.
- You are not familiar with the changed landscape of communication. Today we have more channels to communicate with. Be prepared so you can use them to your advantage. Integration is key.
- You do not have a system in place to calculate and discuss return on marketing investments (ROMI).
- Maybe you have calculated ROMI, but you still present it as a proposal. Communication plans should always be presented as projects, not proposals. Help your client visualize the experience.
- You have a top-10 list of your customers in order of % revenue in your account plan but you haven’t asked your customers who comprise their top-10 in % revenue. Also ask what kind of headaches they have in communication, marketing, sales and adding/selling value. This will help you help them.
- Are you a sales (500 doors to cover), account manager (100 doors to cover), key account manager (5 doors to cover) or trusted advisor (customers come to you)? Knowing your role can improve the quality of engagement with your customers.
- You don’t know what customers think about you and your company. If this is true, you almost certainly don’t know what your customer’s end-users think of them. Knowing this information can help you to improve your customer’s business, and as a result improve your business as well.
Don’t start to panic as you read all of this. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and improvement is a constantly evolving process. Try to improve your quality of sale by starting with a goal to focus on 3 of these 10 points. I am convinced that this will help you improve your relationships and interactions with customers, and in turn, impact your business.
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May 15th, 2013
Written by Heidi Tolliver-Walker, Print Industry Analyst
Guess what? Your tax dollars just bought you more data — or at least better access to data. That’s the hope anyway.
Last week, President Obama signed an executive order, with the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Science and Technology Policy released an “open data policy” declaring that data gathered by the government is a national asset and should be easily accessible by the public. Much of this information is available already, but the goal, according to the administration, is to make it even more so.
In a press release, the White House Press Office gave several examples of how open data has spurred innovation and product development that ultimately has helped the economy. Examples include the economic sector of agricultural advisory services stemming from government weather satellites and ground stations (something we can thank for The Weather Channel, too) and commercial GPS-based products resulting from the release of formerly military-only data.
While much government data is already available to the public, the White House is declaring its continuation of this commitment and intent to make the data even more accessible. As part of this commitment, you can watch for a re-invigorated and improved data.gov (the central hub for open government data), including new services such as easier navigation, better mapping tools, and robust API access for developers.
For XGPPN members and print providers alike, this is an open invitation for your business development and IT staff to poke around and see what business opportunities you can generate. You’ve been handed a treasure trove of data at absolutely no cost, and over time, that treasure will become increasingly easy to use. What will you do with it?
Interested in other topics similar to data and how to leverage data in your business? Check out:
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May 13th, 2013
Written by Bill Michael
eMarketing Manager, Xerox Corporation
You understand the benefits of direct marketing, its effectiveness for your customers and the value it can deliver for your bottom line. But actually doing it, and doing it well – now that’s a completely different story!
DMA states the response rate of direct mail is more than 30x higher than that of email, with an average response rate of 4.4% compared with the 0.12% of email. Offering direct marketing services can help you deliver endless value to your customers, transitioning your company from a print provider to a trusted adviser for marketing strategy and print production.
But becoming a strategic partner involves more than simply adding to your service offerings – you’ll also need a sales team in place capable of selling direct marketing services. If this sounds intimidating – just remember, you aren’t alone and Rome certainly wasn’t built in a day. If making the jump into marketing services was so easy, everyone would be doing it!
We recently gathered with a large group of print providers, marketing service providers and industry experts to discuss everything-direct marketing at the Gil Hatch Center for Customer Innovation in Webster, New York. Our Thought Leadership Workshop covered:
- Psychology based marketing and how to trigger the unconscious minds of your consumers
- The art and science of selling direct marketing
- Real examples of how customer database information can be utilized to market more personally
- Integrated direct marketing opportunities using XMPie offerings
Psychology-Based Marketing: Direct Marketing that taps into consumers’ unconscious mind
During our workshop, Jeanette McMurtry of e4marketing explained the importance of understanding the thought processes and unconscious mind of your consumer. This allows you to better position direct marketing campaigns for success. Brand loyalty doesn’t exist today like in the past. 52% of a company’s ‘highly loyal’ customers will be reduced in one year’s time, with 33% leaving for a competing brand. 60% of brands will lose at least half of their customers from year-to-year.
So what does ESP and direct marketing have in common? Jeanette explained how human behavior is based upon two fundamental premises: the avoidance of pain and pursuit of pleasure. Identifying the pain your customer’s end-users are trying to avoid, and addressing through a well-thought out direct marketing campaign can drive incredible results. Each consumer’s behavior is guided by its id, ego, and superego, as explained in Freud’s theory of personality. If your customer is looking to create a campaign to reach 100 consumers, they are actually reaching out to 300 because of the varying personalities! As a marketer – it is critical to understand how different personalities affect loyalty to brand and purchasing behavior.
Do you know what makes your customer’s target audience feel happy and what they value? Happiness and an understanding of what is important to them can drive purchase behavior. By knowing what messaging will resonate with end-users, a campaign can more accurately be designed. Edelman Good Purpose Survey found that 71% say they will make a point to buy from companies with similar values as their own. Is it a coincidence that this year’s Super Bowl ad that generated one of the top purchase-intent scores was created for Got Milk? They understood their female audience and what messaging would resonate, crafting an advertisement that conveyed how their product can help in the caring for their family.
Jeanette then went into detail on the importance of color and messaging in campaigns, and how they each uniquely affect consumer response. Studies show within 90 seconds, a consumer will make an unconscious judgment of a product, and 60-90% of that judgment is based upon the use of color. Choosing the right messaging can help tap into consumers’ unconscious. Words such as ‘dependable’, ‘limited time’, and ‘approved’ are proven to be emotionally charged. How a message is framed is also a critical consideration, as ‘free’ speaks louder than ‘two-for-one’.
Easier said than done, but by understanding the unconscious mind of your customer’s end-user, you can better develop a psychologically relevant campaign that will drive a desired behavior.
A Look Inside Relevant Direct Marketing Programs
Shelley Sweeney, Vice President Service Bureau/Direct Marketing at Xerox, shared several examples of direct marketing campaigns that have utilized database information to market more personally. One that really stood out was a campaign for the New York Mets, who were moving into a new stadium but were struggling to drive attendance. In a typical day, a consumer is exposed to roughly 3,000 media messages. They pay attention to 52 and will positively remember 4. For the Mets, a relevant and highly personalized campaign was necessary to drive a behavior – purchase of season tickets!
The campaign targeted group sales, using a database of 3,000 groups that had attended games in the past, as well as a purchased mailing list that brought the total to 6,800 groups. Database information included the organization name, contact name, address and email address. Variable marketing pieces were created and included the name of the organization, the group leaders surname sprawled across the back of a jersey (using XMPie uImage) and specific messaging and imagery reflecting the group’s category and likely interests (boy scout organizations included different messaging/images than business organizations, for example).
The list of 6,800 groups was split in half to create a test group (Shelley emphasized this during the workshop), with 3,400 receiving static mass-marketing pieces similar to what the Mets had been sending in the past – while the other 3,400 received the newly- created customized mailers. Three weeks later, a follow-up mailing was sent to the same divided list.
The results were quite impressive: the data-driven mailer saw a 57.2% increase in group ticket sales over the static control mailer. Revenue from the data-driven mailer was 40.9% higher than revenue from the static mailer. Even more impressive, the Mets saw an 80% increase in group ticket sales over the previous season.
What have you found to be critical considerations for successful direct marketing? Check out these other direct-marketing related posts:
- Selling Direct Marketing: 7 Steps to Success
- Tough Questions about the PSP-MSP Evolution
- Leveraging a Self-Promo Direct Marketing Campaign to your Benefit
- You Don’t Have to Become a Marketing Services Provider to Offer Marketing Services
Part II of our Direct Marketing recap will discuss the art and science of selling direct marketing services, as well as a look into integrated direct marketing opportunities using XMPie. Jeanette McMurtry of e4marketing can be contacted for more information on the Psychology of Direct Marketing.
April 30th, 2013
Written by Susan Weiss
Manager, Xerox Worldwide Customer Business Development
Two firms with starting points in different locations and decades have had their paths indirectly cross by how they have chosen to serve their customer bases. QuantumDigital began business in 1986 specializing in postcard mailings for real estate agents, while PIP Printing and Marketing Services Columbus got its start in 1974 as a general-purpose commercial printer. Today, the two firms have arrived at a similar place: finding growth by aggregating production volume from small and medium-sized businesses that share industry-specific marketing needs.
Both told their stories during a recent webinar in the 2013 Xerox Business Development Webinar Series, “Targeting: Small and Medium-Sized Businesses…the Volume Aggregation Opportunity.”
And a good-sized opportunity it is with about 6 million SMBs in the United States, according to InfoTrends. “They want to do what every other business does: gain new customers, expand existing relationships and do customer retention effectively. But they are constrained by a lack of budget, time and expertise,” said Barb Pellow, group director, InfoTrends, the webinar’s moderator.
Those are the needs QuantumDigital and PIP Columbus are meeting with solutions that blend print, mobile, social, email and Web components. “We automate marketing to take it from a random act to a systematic one that frequently takes place whether the client touches it or not,” said Eric Cosway, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Austin, Texas-based QuantumDigital.
For years, QuantumDigital focused on real estate clients, building an information technology expertise that helped them guarantee 24-hour turnarounds. More recently the firm has leveraged its expertise to win work with franchise businesses, such as Hallmark Crown Stores, Michelin and John Deere.
In addition, QuantumDigital partners with AT&T Systems to run Digital Express, an end-to-end direct mail service that serves small businesses from a QuantumDigital-hosted Web site. “We make small businesses look bigger than they are,” Cosway said.
Columbus, Ohio-based PIP Columbus has long counted small- and medium-sized businesses as its heartland customers, but recently began offering marketing services and targeting verticals in a systematic way.
“We’re all aware that a lot of printers who are only printers are going out of business,” said Susan Layman, general manager, PIP Columbus. The franchise took the advice of its franchisor, Franchise Services, Inc. (FSI), she said, “to broaden our base, and develop the expertise to provide a range of marketing services to our customers.”
Among their targets: the 700 dentists in the Columbus area. “They don’t have time to develop marketing plans,” Layman said. “We show how we can help grow their business, and they appreciate it.”
To hear a replay of the “Targeting: Small and Medium-Sized Businesses…the Volume Aggregation Opportunity” webinar, click here. And to sign up for upcoming 2013 Business Development Webinars, including “Targeting: Vertical Markets…The Enterprise Opportunity on June 12,” click here.
Do you target the SMB market? What’s your approach? Is it working?
Interested in other topics similar to growing your business through strategic opportunities? Check out:
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Susan Weiss, manager, Xerox Worldwide Customer Business Development, is Xerox’s host for the 2013 Business Development Webinar Series.
April 15th, 2013
Written by Howard Fenton
Senior Technology Consultant, NAPL
As I’ve written about before, talking to a search engine optimization (SEO) consultant reminds me of talking to a voodoo witch doctor. Each has their own unique way to position their strange juju to get your page ranking higher on the Google search list. Ironically when you start to research the subject you learn that it’s not as magical as some would make you believe.
What is SEO and why is it important? The goal of SEO is to get your company or product, higher on the Google search page page rankings when customers are researching products. The two main strategies to get higher on the list are paid search, which means you’re paying for listings much like buying ads, and organic search which means the search engines list you higher based on your content, backlinks and webpage design.
As the name would suggest, internal page design refers to the coding behind your webpage such as your metatags, keywords, internal linking, and formatting. Backlinking refers to links from other sites and the popularity of those other sites. The link from a more popular page will carry more weight than the link from an obscure page. Content marketing includes writing blogs and pushing people to those blogs using Twitter and LinkedIn.
One way to increase effectiveness of content marketing is to push people to that content using sites like Twitter and LinkedIn. Expanding upon the voodoo witch doctor theme, to take advantage of your own juju, you want to create the illusion that you are a thought leader. That perception is created by blogging and recommending articles from other thought leaders.
How much should you write and how much should you recommend? I shoot for ratio of 3 or 4 to 1. In other words, for every blog I create, I recommend 3 or 4 articles written by others. Some experts recommend writing 5 blogs a week, but that is a huge time commitment and I have not seen significantly better results from 3 blogs a week. Other ways to increase interest is to include pictures or graphics, and some believe that video blogs are more interesting than the written blogs.
The goal here is to push people down a sales funnel. It might start with a mention and a link in Twitter or LinkedIn which pushes people to a blog, then an article and ultimately to a website where an offer is made. The whole time you’re engaging your audience by talking to them about a subject that interests them and increasing your SEO.
The bottom line is write about subjects that will help your customers in their business, push them to your blogs from other sources, encourage feedback and you will enhance your reputation as a thought leader, become easier to find on the web and create a lead generation tool to sell more products.
How are you going to increase your SEO and generate new sales leads?
Howie Fenton is a consultant and business advisor at NAPL. Howie advises commercial printers and in-plants on benchmarking performance against industry leaders, increasing productivity through workflow management, adding and integrating new digital services, and adding value through customer research. He is a paid contributor to this blog.