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Transforming into a Cross Media Services Provider: How CustomXM Did It

April 28, 2010 By Paul Strack
LITTLE ROCK, AR—Our company has never been afraid of change. My father started Custom Printing Co. out of his garage in the early 1960s before moving the business to its current location in North Little Rock in 1966. My mother joined him as a business partner and since then the company has undergone no fewer than five expansions. In the early 1970s, we were the first commercial printer in the area to embrace the new “direct-to-plate technology,” and a few years later we were also the first to install high-speed copiers.

When I came aboard in 1990, I quickly learned that succeeding in this business meant delivering value to our customers and providing unequalled customer service. It was all about building strong, long-lasting relationships. That definitely has not changed.

Today, as president of our family business, I can tell you what has changed: just about everything else. For several years we watched closely as traditional printing was modified and reinvented by the “digital revolution.” Instead of resisting these changes, we embraced the new technologies to ensure that we could continue to provide our clients with the communication tools they need to succeed. In short, to help our clients grow their businesses, we had to transform ours.

So began our transition from Custom Printing Co. to CustomXM. Since installing high-end production digital equipment in 2006, total sales revenues have increased more than 35 percent. Digital color revenues alone have increased 102 percent during this same time period. Additionally, as digital production drives direct mail, our mailing services revenue increased 394 percent.

The “XM” in CustomXM speaks to the “cross-media” campaigns we help our customers execute. This represents the integration of digital printing, database technology and the Internet, all of which changed the face of marketing. The marketing strategies needed by our clients have moved beyond a simple print job. We realize that value to our customers is based on our ability to offer cutting-edge technologies that enable them to develop and track very sophisticated marketing campaigns.

“Market Smarter”

Helping our customers utilize a customized mix of media to deliver a consistent message across multiple channels helps them build loyalty with their various audiences. We’re really working to help our customers “market smarter.”

Our first experience with “personalized cross media” was working with personalized URLs (PURLs). We leverage customer data and use a variety of media—direct mail, emails, text messages—to drive target audience members to their PURLs. This increased some customer response rates by as much as 30 percent or more!

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