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TransPromo Special Report — Learning from Those Who Know

June 2008
HOUSTON-BASED Personix promises to help build stronger customer relationships through personalized communications. The company (a unit of financial data giant Fiserv) produces a wide variety of personalized printed and electronic materials for clients in the retail sales, financial services, healthcare, entertainment and telecommunications industries.

Also a player in the investment services vertical, Personix produces statements (non-billing), checks and explanation of benefits documents. To help businesses reach their customers and retain brand loyalty, Personix provides customized credit cards, membership and ID cards, billing statements, personalized checks and other related advertising materials—all with a few extra personal aesthetics.

According to Don Mathis, corporate director of composition, “The key components of TransPromo have been around for years…one-to-one marketing and full-color printing. What has changed are the sophistication and economics of the solutions, the skills required to deliver full service, and how and who you sell to.”

Changing Expectations

Mathis adds, “Transactional service providers need to compete differently. Their solutions today need to include content creative and creation. Customer data needs to be supplemented with additional demographic and psychographic data using analytics to determine what message to deliver and when.”

Personix addressed these issues by acquiring the St. Louis-based Jerome Group in 2006. It has an in-house advertising agency and a full-service direct marketing solution, including data analytics and data enhancement.

While toner-based, full-color technology has been available for years, Personix’s view was that it was only cost-effective for niche applications. Ink-jet technology is changing the economics.

“Ink-jet, drop-on-demand solutions are delivering high quality. . .They are very fast and the cost of consumables is reasonable,” says Mathis. “Clients no longer need to choose between quality and cost.”

Personix was the first U.S. print service bureau to install an InfoPrint 5000. “The shift from black-and-white to full-color was not insignificant. Color is exponentially more complex than black-and-white—you need to understand the color gamut, document composition is more complex, and file size explodes,” he notes. “Printing color consistently and cost-effectively requires hard work.”

While electronic document delivery has been around since the 1990s, consumer adoption has been relatively low. Personix notes that as e-mails are used to deliver more transactional documents, companies will need to deliver more and more sophisticated solutions. They will need to link personalized URLs with offers, as well as provide mobile phone support.

Measurement and Metrics

One of the most important ingredients for TransPromo is measurement. According to Mathis, “Personalized URLs are used not only to measure performance, but to generate leads. It is about relevant personalization, great creative and an intriguing offer. And let’s not forget that clients are also asking for user-specific dashboards and API-based tools that can be integrated with their workflows.”

Last, but not least, the final component is deciding who to sell to. While the primary focus used to be in operations, it is now the vice president of marketing. Salespeople need to be able to speak the language of marketing. Terms like customer touch, analytics, micro-sites, ROI and LTV (lifetime value) need to become part of their ongoing dialogue.

The message is that while the technology is readily available and there is a well-defined marketing need, implementing TransPromo communications is not without challenges. Effective participation requires a clear understanding of color management, data analytics, multichannel services, measurement and metrics, as well as a new selling process.

In a world that is oversaturated with marketing messages, marketers are seeking ways to produce more relevant communications that break through the clutter, move the recipient to action, and create a dialogue that enables marketers to gather new information, so they can fine-tune their messaging and offers for even more relevance.

Finding new and innovative ways to leverage statements, notifications and other transactional documents as a marketing platform is emerging as critical for achieving both of these aims—giving the consumer what he or she is asking for, in a manner that delivers ROI for the marketer. The rewards couldn’t be greater—TransPromo represents an opportunity to increase customer loyalty, customer satisfaction and retention. Offers to cross-sell and up-sell mean improved profits.

TransPromo is an application whose time has come, and the transaction document is a new platform for marketing effectiveness. Marketers, as well as their graphic communications service provider partners, are already beginning to reap the benefits of TransPromo. In just a few short years, TransPromo will evolve from a novelty to a discipline, generating a CAGR of 91 percent.

Don’t let this opportunity escape—leverage the lessons contained in this supplement into your own marketing powerhouse to maximize that marketing return on investment. PI

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