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Solving Mystery of 1 1 Marketing -- Waldman

January 2004
I saw the future in a play and it wasn't on Broadway. Actually it was four short plays in the Xerox booth at the recent Direct Marketing Association event in Orlando.

The plays, complete with professional actors, dramatically delivered an insight into how one-to-one marketing can work from the customer to the printer. The impresario behind the plays was my old friend Larry Zusman, manager of VI Solutions Marketing at Xerox. Larry, together with Bob Wagner, Xerox's vice president of creative services, gave the audience a very clever and entertaining way of demonstrating one-to-one solutions.

Applause and rave reviews aside, I thought that these plays were a great educational device. One-to-one marketing is going to play a vital role in the future of print as competition from electronic media intensifies. That's because one-to-one marketing really works, in some cases delivering response rates of more than five times traditional direct mail. Yet, it's not well understood by a large number of printers. And for good reason; it's both complicated and a 180-degree departure from traditional print, where large quantities of the same piece have prevailed since Gutenberg.

Seminars Offer Benefits

So with the opportunities quite apparent for those who are willing to learn how all this can work for them, Xerox's plays and seminars—in addition to educational events by other companies like HP and Heidelberg—can be very beneficial to say the least. Add industry groups like GATF and you can see there's a wealth of valuable resources available.

I am not saying anyone can provide you with a complete plan of action. What they can do is give you valuable information to help formulate your plan. Xerox's Innovate '03, offered in 15 cities in the U.S. and Canada, was such an example. No question, Xerox wants to sell product, but the seminars really did focus on education. And, most importantly, they also invited their partners to demonstrate their software solutions.

Most printers, by now, understand or should understand digital presses. So the printing part of one-to-one marketing shouldn't be a mystery. What does get complicated is the front-end software that makes it all happen, and how it all comes together. And that's what Xerox's plays and the Innovate '03 tour were all about. Software vendors like XMPie demonstrated how all this works.

For example, XMPie's software is divided into three main modules. The first is called uPlan. XMPie defines this module as the interface for the planning and specification of business and marketing logic. Basically, it's a very well-designed interface where the database person establishes all of the fields that fit the one-to-one marketing plan.


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