menu
With the changing media landscape, printers need to find a way to remain relevant to their clients in order to remain profitable. One of the ways touted as being the saviour of the printer is to move up the value chain from being a print service provider (PSP) to a marketing services provider (MSP).

Many believe the skills and tools needed to offer a full marketing service are rather different to those needed to run a print shop and come from totally different sources to those printers deal with day in and day out.

This is only partly true. You can take the first step on the ladder to becoming a marketing services provider by using any one of the big digital vendors’ business development services to help you get to grips with the basic principles. You can also obtain the tools to deliver cross-media marketing from several sources such as Xerox, DirectSmile and GMC. But what’s been missing until now is a package to deal with the clever data analytics and cleansing that are needed at the beginning of the process before you even get near to running a campaign.

Kodak has come up with an addition to its Insite range, Insite Campaign Manager that it believes addresses just that.

One-stop shop
“Insite Campaign Manager (ICM) does everything: data,
e-blasts, PURLs (personalised URLs) and print,” says Kodak Insite Campaign Manager business development manager Serge Grichmanoff.

“This shows where we are heading as a company,” adds Kodak enterprise solutions marketing director Matthieu Bossan. “Our future is in software and in marketing workflow, as we see our customers evolving into MSPs. For our customers, it’s about thinking about where it is they want their businesses to go. Some are very prepared; others know they need to do something.

“Look at the market today: printers are doing variable data printing (VDP) and from that expanding into offering landing pages and PURLs. That should be the starting point.”

However, he believes that just doing the production work isn’t enough for a firm to really prosper.

“When you create marketing it needs to be relevant, which is what sets ICM apart,” he says. “You need to start by looking at the client’s data and developing a marketing strategy. No other product in the market that we operate in analyses the customer’s data to create knowledge.”

However, some rivals argue that this is because, though their products allow a limited amount of data cleansing, it’s better to use many of the dedicated standalone products or services for analytics and insight.

But Bossan counters that there is a commercial benefit from having the tools in-house: “You’re buying time by having a unified system; it’s maybe a two-day turnaround cycle, rather than a week or two.”

Nine-step process
In ICM, the workflow for running a campaign follows a
simple nine-step process once the client has defined what that campaign is.

Step one is to collect, load and store all the customer records for a campaign. This is followed by data cleansing and reporting, which includes reporting on the hygiene (that is accuracy and completeness of the data), repairing data and preparing the data for the next steps. Grichmanoff calls this step data discovery and defines it as making sure all the fields are complete and that you have data on the right products, people and geography to carry out the campaign.

The third step is to target the client’s marketing offers to their customers. This is done using a technology called Multivariate Interaction Detection (MID), which is Kodak’s pièce de résistance in the package.

Following MID are the processes to manage the outbound components of the marketing campaign – emails, PURLS and the physically mailed items. This is followed by the bit that will be familiar to printers – the management and production of the printed piece, which is achieved via ICM’s integration with the rest of the Insite suite and with Kodak’s Prinergy workflow, as well as third party pre-press systems and digital press front ends.

Step eight is to manager the inbound responses and analyse the results, while the ninth step is to carry out post-analytics and to review the success of the overall campaign and work on how to finesse follow up campaigns.

In step two – the data hygiene phase – ICM provides the tools to pre-flight data and to fix any problems such as truncated addresses.

Data can be edited and amended using what the firm calls SmartOps. These software tools allow you to edit variables, create new ones, delete records or ignore them.

“The idea is to take complexity out of data, but to allow you to still do sophisticated stuff,” says Grichmanoff

Key to that is what he calls Multivariate Interaction Detection (MID), which is a data analysis technique designed to better classify customers into groups to receive targeted offers. Using MID, it is possible to identify the most profitable customers to help ensure the client achieves a good return on their marketing investment and to devise offers that are targeted to very precise groups of consumers.

Dashboard access
ICM is accessed via a dashboard, which gives the user access to data management, template creation and reviewing campaign performance. Variable data composition is intended to be handed over to Kodak’s Darwin product for print and Adobe DreamWeaver for the digital elements.

One aspect that Kodak stresses is important and different about ICM from other cross-media marketing applications is that it is the email and web server too, ensuring security and integrity. Grichmanoff says that the software is compliant with data standard ISO 17799.

ICM is currently in beta testing at four customers in the US and Canada and one in the UK. It will be commercially available towards the end of the year. The firm is also using it to manage its own marketing campaigns too. Kodak is targeting the product at any firm that is sending out more than 1m pieces of personalised marketing per year.

The software will be sold on a monthly subscription basis. Pricing has yet to be finalised before the official launch, but Kodak has provided a ballpark figure starting at €2,500 (£2,144). Customers will need to buy one or two servers to run the software, depending on the scale and complexity of their implementation. The firm is also investigating whether the software could be installed at an offsite data centre, or even offered by Kodak on an ASP (application service provider) model.

Backing up ICM is a comprehensive return on investment (ROI) calculator. Kodak bases this on the principle of the lifetime value of a customer, which helps to answer questions such as how much should be spent on acquiring customers and how much on retention.

The launch of ICM shows the changing climate of the industry and the rising pressure on printers to offer more than just ink on paper. Its one-stop shop approach offers a way to achieve that without having to juggle learning about multiple platforms.


specifications

Description
Cross-media marketing campaign management tool including data analysis and cleansing, outbound email, print, PURLs creation, mail sorting, inbound response monitoring and post-campaign analysis
Platform
PC – one or two servers

Contact
Gulf Commercial Group        +9714 343-9496

THE ALTERNATIVES
                         

DirectSmile Cross Media
Although still thought of as the image personalisation package, DirectSmile Cross Media, as the name suggests, is a full cross-media campaign management tool that supports personalised documents and images in print, email and online via PURLs. It also includes full campaign tracking for monitoring responses and further targeting follow up communications. Available in web and email only or web, email and variable data print versions.


Platform                                    Windows XP or Vista
Contact                                      DirectSmile GmbH +49 30 62777
                                                  www.directsmile.de

GMC Printnet
Printnet is a well-established product in the composition space. Its high-volume print heritage means it’s robust and capable of handling high throughput of print, email and PURLs. The firm says metrics and tracking are core strengths of the system with its ability to integrate with a wide-range of third-party applications and suppliers such as Alterian and Experian for data analytics and insight. It does have the ability to cleanse data and integrate with multiple databases.


Platform                                          Windows, Unix, Linux or Mac
Contact                                            GMC 01530 276135
                                                          www.gmc.net

 

XMPie PersonalEffect
PersonalEffect has offered cross-media production functions since the very beginning and in the past 18 months has added the Marketing Console for post campaign analysis. Designed to be intuitive it makes use of standard Adobe applications for the design side. XMPie is a division of Xerox, which sell the software to its customer base, but it’s also available to drive third-party presses from XMPie or resellers such as Positive Focus.


Platform    Mac or PC
Contact     07738 627503 www.xmpie.com,This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.