Valtim: Building the Right Communications Infrastructure
Because omni-channel marketing is a relatively new and emerging service, there's still time for print providers to get involved. In an earlier blog, I defined the omni-channel experience. In this blog, and subsequent blogs, I will share stories about print service providers that are starting to deliver omni-channel services. In June, I had the opportunity to moderate a panel of print providers offering omni-channel services at Ricoh’s INTERACT Conference. Andrew Glover, Valtim Marketing Solutions' VP of Business Development and Marketing Strategy, participated in the discussion relative to how to build the right communications infrastructure.
Valtim Marketing Solutions is a multi-generational, privately held company that started as a data management company more than 30 years ago in a small 2,500-sq.-ft. office space in Lynchburg, Va. This was prior to personal computers and connected servers, so Valtim has been doing “Big Data” since before big data was even considered by most enterprises. Today, Valtim operates out of a 150,000-sq.-ft. production facility where it processes, on average, 5 million data records monthly.
According to Glover, “Valtim is a fully-integrated backend marketing services provider. Principally, we operate in the digital print and direct mail industry, but we also support a full cloud-based contact center, premium fulfillment program, third-party logistics division, creative services division, and a marketing automation program. While our roots are in data, our expertise is in print and mail. Every day our staff works with customer campaigns that include almost every marketing channel out there — print, direct mail, call, SMS, email, social, email, and digital.”
While there are a number of options for offering omni-channel solutions, service providers are learning that you don’t need to do every facet of the campaign. In some instances, the client has an agency they are working with or internal marketing skills they want to manage a portion of the campaign.
Glover highlighted that while Valtim has skills that enable them to perform an entire omni-channel campaign, they work with the client to fit into their desired communications infrastructure. “What I think differentiates us from a traditional marketing agency is that we operate on the backend of marketing programs. While we have input into the program operation, we don’t try and take control away from our clients. We see ourselves as partners that enable our clients to better communicate with their audience. We term this partnership relationship as Valtim is a backend integrated marketing logistics provider.”
Glover provided multiple examples of how this relationship works. In one instance Valtim was supporting a political campaign. Valtim provided a highly targeted prospecting list and a high-value box as well as a lower-value letter personalized mailing packages with personalized URLs. They also provided the postal tracking to trigger emails while the client managed the email component of the campaign.
The good news for print service providers is that printed materials play a key role in an omni-channel world. An important lesson from Valtim’s experience is that despite its expertise in all facets of the omni-channel world, the company recognized they need to fit its capabilities into the customer’s marketing infrastructure. It is an important lesson for anyone embarking on an omni-channel journey.
A digital printing and publishing pioneer and marketing expert, Barbara Pellow helps companies develop multi-media strategies that ride the information wave whether it is developing a strategy to launch a new product, building a strategic marketing plan or educating your sales force on how to deliver an effective value proposition. She brings the knowledge and skills to help companies expand and grow business opportunity. Barb has had a number of high-profile marketing and sales positions including Chief Marketing Officer for the Kodak Graphic Communications Group, Corporate Vice President of Marketing for IKON Office Solutions, and Vice President and General Manager for the Xerox Document Production Systems Group. She also served as the Gannett chair in integrated publishing sciences in Rochester Institute of Technology's (RIT) School of Printing Management and Sciences (SPMS). Most recently, Barb was the Group Director for Business Development at InfoTrends. She is currently the Manager of Pellow and Partners, LLC.
Barb can be reached via email at email@example.com (Mobile, 585-734-2228)