TransPromo Printing — Making a Strong Statement
Suppliers need to have the marketing expertise to come up with some examples to get the client’s creative juices flowing, Morgan continues. He also reiterates the importance of having a proven ability to keep sensitive data secure, as well as a robust IT infrastructure that can integrate the transactional and marketing data streams.
K/P offers another production option that is easier to implement, but Middleton contends it still qualifies as transpromo. Using the Exstream Dialogue software, it can run out statements that contain a two-dimensional barcode and then load them into the plant’s 10-bin intelligent inserter. That machine reads the barcode to direct the insertion of versioned brochures into the envelope, along with the statement, based on selected criteria and data elements.
Although on a somewhat smaller scale, the story is much the same for Lewis Creative Technologies, a commercial printing (digital and offset) and mailing operation, and Research Data, its data management and direct marketing arm, both based in Richmond, VA.
Keith Bax, vice president of both companies, says he sees a huge opportunity for transpromo, but cost and organizational issues can be stumbling blocks with prospects. “Most operations managers in Corporate America are unwilling or unable to champion a new way of using statements for promotional purposes, if there is an increased cost to do so,” he reports. Even if color printing costs drop as expected, the large organizational effort required to redesign and implement new statements and bills will remain a hurdle, Bax adds.
The organizational issue also relates to cost, in the sense that companies are not set up internally to share the wealth when transpromo turns profits from this former cost center, he explains. “Operations (IT) seems unwilling to take on the additional cost of moving to variable color digital printing, and marketing seems unwilling to internally transfer the advertising revenues that result from transpromo activities.”