Romax Marketing Adds Apps to Printing Services
Lots of companies are looking for new applications, new revenue streams, and new ways to differentiate themselves. Romax Marketing out of London, believes that it is on to one — creating apps for its clients which combine content from PDF files they’re already printing with multimedia audio and video files into apps which are playable on mobile and tablet devices. I recently interviewed Wes Dowding, operations and technology director, about where Romax stands, and where it is going.
If you think that the company is onto something, like I do, PODi is hosting a webinar with Wes titled "Capitalizing on the Next Big Win: Print and Mobile" on Tuesday, June 22 at 2:00 p.m. EST. Here are some excerpts from a preparatory interview with him.
GC: Give me a little background about Romax Marketing today.
WD: Romax offers a full range of direct marketing services including design, data services, online marketing, print, Web applications, e-publishing, mail fulfillment and other related services. Our large modern warehouse, office and production units covering 15,000 square feet are located in Greenwich, London, close to the 02.
GC: How did you get here?
WD: We began back in 1997 as a direct mailer back primarily serving the arts with clients like the National Theatre and the Southbank Centre but have really evolved to being a true solutions provider. That evolution changed our perspectives, approach and pushed us into extending our services and media channels.
GC: That can be a tough transition. What was involved in "extending your services and media channels?"
WD: Well, yes it was quite a challenge. To really become a solutions provider, we needed to add email, SMS and Web services along with printing and mailing. We had to learn things like how to program HTML and how email clients work. And we had to change our clients’ opinions of what we offered. It was a sizeable investment in terms of staff, training and technology to get here.
GC: And, now you’re adding yet another service to create apps for your clients.
WD: Yes, but this is quite different. We’ve used the FreeFlow Digital Publisher from Xerox to build something we’ve branded Publicus to help our clients deliver their content via apps for mobile and tablet devices. Most of the technical work is done by the platform so there wasn’t a huge training cost and the technology investment was so low that it was a no brainer.
GC: And this takes the same PDF files they send you for printing and makes them accessible on mobile devices, right?
WD: Yes, but it does a lot more than that. People don’t want to read PDF files on their phones. They want apps that scroll and flow and rotate. They want to be able to click video links to see performance clips, or to hear interviews. This isn’t just putting files online.
GC: And did you start out with a client asking for this or is this all driven from your end?
WD: No, this wasn’t built to solve an existing customer problem. We saw the technology, recognized the potential, and felt that the investment risk was minimal. Of course, now we do have a client, the London Broncos rugby team. They’re very excited about where we can take them with this and I’ll show you where we are with this project on our webinar.
GC: That sounds like a cue to wrap up this interview. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
WB: You’re right, we do have a lot to do. We’re really excited about the direction this could take our company and so are our clients. It is a slow-burn type of process because these are marketing activities which are new ideas for our clients, as well and don’t yet have funding ... but they will! Everyone is impressed when we demonstrate what we can now do.
Wes and I will be presenting his story along with possibly an in-plant doing the same type of work at the PODi Institute webinar titled "Capitalizing on the Next Big Win: Print and Mobile" on Wednesday, June 22 at 2:00 p.m. EST. This webinar is free, but space is limited. Register today to reserve a seat.
Greg Cholmondeley is president of Cholmonco Inc. Cholmonco is a technology marketing consulting company that researches, analyzes and documents best practices and innovative solutions. Cholmondeley is especially interested in how industry leaders efficiently get work through digital printing and marketing services operations. He has also written two fictional novels. The first is titled “Nakiwulo and the Circle of Shiva” and the second is called “Princess.” You can learn more about his consulting practice and read more of his blogs at www.cholmonco.com. You can discover his books at http://books.cholmonco.com.