Posts tagged: direct mail

Around the World in 50 Billion Customer Communications

Will Morgan
 Jun 26, 2017

Some might call it overkill. We just call it being thorough.

When we set out to interview 50 key stakeholders in the customer communications space, most of our peers thought we were being too ambitious. Well, 60 interviews (and 250+ pages of notes) later, we had managed to gather insight from customer communications service providers and other stakeholders who represented over 50 billion printed, electronic, and mobile communications delivered in 2016.

Highlighted in a press release today to announce its publication, the resulting report, entitled Enterprise Customer Communications—Trends and Strategies from Around the Globe, includes perspective from some of the largest players in the customer communications market, as well as important smaller providers with deep vertical and regional insights.

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This 43-page analysis examines in detail the top ten trends driving enterprise expectations and aspirations for customer communications. Here is some insight into three of them:

Read more »

Color Plus Personalization: Selling the Value of Inkjet

Barb Pellow
 Aug 1, 2016

In today’s market, making a good first impression is everything. With information overload at every turn, people will now only glance at a website, mailpiece, or video before deciding whether it’s worth their time. Marketers are seeking strategies to create better pieces with strong visual appeal that prompt the consumer to read further or take action. For many marketers, this means turning to color and personalization.

An Infographic from Kissmetrics on how color can affect conversions highlighted the psychological impact of color on the human brain. Key statistics are as follows:

  • 93% of people say that the visual dimension is the #1 influencing sense that affects their purchasing decision (over taste, smell, etc.).
  • Studies suggest that people make a subconscious judgment about a product within 90 seconds of initially viewing it. Up to 90% of this assessment is based on color alone.
  • Magazine readers recognize full-color ads 26% more often than black & white ads.

It is no wonder that today’s marketers are focused on adding more and more color to communications. According to InfoTrends’ 2016 State of the Market Study on Customer Engagement Technologies, over 80% of enterprises stated that full-color printing for promotional and transactional communications is important.

Figure 1: How important do you think it is to switch printed communications from black & white to full color?

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According to InfoTrends’ study entitled Direct Marketing Production Printing & Value-Added Services: A Strategy for Growth, the intelligent use of color in direct mail often generates improved response rates. Full-color images can capture a consumer’s attention with realistic depictions of advertised products. Color can also be used to personalize messages by matching pictures or text to items that the customer has purchased in the past. Furthermore, nearly 49% of consumers reported that seeing color on an envelope had a moderate or major effect on their likelihood of opening it.

The use of color in customer communications is not a new phenomenon. Historically, direct mailers and transactional communication service bureaus have digitally printed in black & white and relied on offset-printed shells to provide color design elements such as logos, highlighted text, and tints. Today, however, digital technologies can deliver near-offset quality and high speeds, all while meeting today’s marketing requirements for 100% variable content and envelope messaging.

For marketers, the inkjet value proposition transcends far beyond cost per print. It offers the ability to deliver color that gets noticed with a completely new approach to communications. Service providers must educate customers about how inkjet technology blends full color with individualized messaging to drive business growth. Print/marketing service providers must articulate how they can support enterprises in delivering communications efficiently and effectively.

The investment in inkjet is about delivering new levels of value to your customer base. Today’s print engines, finishing technologies, and workflow solutions have the flexibility to deliver on the age-old promise of one-to-one personalized messaging in full color. Marketing executives are seeking techniques to improve customer loyalty and grow their businesses with more engaging and dynamic communications. It’s time for service providers to have the right conversations with customers and help them get noticed!


For more information on InfoTrends’ 2016 State of the Market Study on Customer Engagement Technologies or InfoTrends’ Direct Marketing Production Printing & Value-Added Services study, please contact Keith LaVangie at (781)616-2132 or keith.lavangie@infotrends.com.

Millennials Won’t Respond to Printed Catalogs and Direct Mail, Right? WRONG!

Eve Padula
 Jun 7, 2016

In a world where consumers are inundated by online requests and e-mail messages, printed communications really cut through the clutter and attract attention. Although some might think that tried-and-true marketing methods like direct mail and catalogs primarily appeal to Baby Boomers, InfoTrends’ research shows that even Millennials are responsive to these communications.

In late 2015, InfoTrends conducted a benchmark study entitled Direct Marketing Production Printing & Value-Added Services: A Strategy for Growth. This effort included an in-depth survey to uncover what the future holds for marketers, consumers, and direct mail printers. The findings from this survey were broken down by age demographic, and respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 are considered Millennials for the purposes of this study. Read more »

Year 4 of the Inkjet Summit: A Market on the Move

Barb Pellow
 May 4, 2016

Now in its fourth year, nGage/NAPCO’s 2016 Inkjet Summit attracted 117 attendees and 46 sponsor companies. The concept of the event is relatively simple—locate prospective buyers of high-speed inkjet equipment, pay their way to a resort location, sit them down for case study presentations and one-on-one meetings with sponsors, and foster highly informative panel discussions with industry peers. This model is designed to bring decision-makers and suppliers together. In most instances, the participants have done their research ahead of time and will already have a pretty good idea of what they need. At this year’s event, about 80% of the attendees were just starting their inkjet journey. The remaining 20% were existing users who attended to share their experiences and educate the market.

For 2016, nGage and NAPCO created a series of tracks focused on critical trends and new applications in direct mail, book publishing, commercial printing, and transactional printing. There were also a number of sessions that focused on inkjet trends and technologies, substrates, and what to expect at drupa (May 31 – June 10, 2016 in Düsseldorf, Germany). Read more »

Xeikon with Trillium on the way to drupa 2016

Ralf Schlozer
 Mar 21, 2016

At drupa 2012 Xeikon made a splash by showcasing a new liquid toner technology under the Trillium brand name. Although it was quite apparent that Xeikon was banking the future of its digital imaging business on Trillium, it has not said much about the technology recently, and then the anticipated delivery to French direct mail printer TagG Informatique in 2015 was missed.

On March 17th 2016 Xeikon finally gave a detailed update on Trillium. The first product will be commercialised under the Trillium One name, as originally announced with a 60 meter per minute (200 fpm) speed, 1,200 dpi imaging resolution and 50 cm (20”) web width. Imaging speed is laid out for 120 m/min, so a future speed upgrade should be possible.

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Activity in the Zone of Disruption: Pitney Bowes’ AcceleJet

Jim Hamilton
 Sep 9, 2015

Pitney Bowes has just announced a new product called the AcceleJet printing and finishing system. AcceleJet is a narrow-web, continuous-feed to cut-sheet, inkjet printing system capable of speeds up to 246 feet per minute (75 meters per minute) and throughput exceeding 500 letter-sized images per minute. Intended for a monthly volume range of four to ten million letter/A4 images per month, Pitney Bowes is targeting the AcceleJet at market segments such as service bureaus, direct mailers, and in-house operations in non-profits, financial services, insurance, healthcare, utilities, and government. Pitney Bowes estimates that an AcceleJet system including the controller, print engine, and finishing capable of dynamic perforation, sheeting, and stacking will have an average system selling price of $850,000.

AcceleJet fits well in the gap between existing cut-sheet electrophotographic and continuous feed inkjet color products. This gap, known as “the Zone of Disruption,” is an area where Read more »

A Transformative Separation: R.R. Donnelley to Split into Three Parts

Jim Hamilton
 Aug 6, 2015

As part of its investor presentation earlier this week, R.R. Donnelley announced plans to split into three publicly traded companies, each with a different focus. These companies will be Customized Multi-Channel Communications (CMCo), Financial Communications Services (FinancialCo), and Publishing & Retail-Centric Print (PRSCo). Describing the move as a “transformative separation,” R.R. Donnelley positions this as the next stage in the company’s evolution from a print & ship model to a multi-channel communication services model that leverages data analytics, content optimization, and multi-channel marketing. The transaction will take the form of a tax-free spin-off of the financial and publishing/retail components and is expected to be completed by the end of 2016. The customized multi-channel media communications component will retain R.R. Donnelley’s outstanding notes/debt and will receive cash proceeds from the sales of the two other components. Existing R.R. Donnelley shareholders will end up owning shares in all three companies. No specifics were provided in regard to the management teams for each component. That will come later.

Source: R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company Investor Presentation, August 4, 2015

R.R. Donnelley has net sales of about eleven and a half billion dollars. The three planned companies break out as follows: Read more »

Growth and New Markets: The 2014 Inkjet Summit

Jim Hamilton
 Apr 11, 2014

nGage’s Inkjet Summit is in its second year and it has grown to around 90 end-user attendees and 39 sponsor companies. The concept is relatively simple: find prospective buyers of high-speed inkjet equipment, pay their way to a resort location, and sit them down in front of the sponsors for case study presentations and one-on-one meetings. This assures that the level of knowledge and experience of the average attendee is very impressive. They have done their research and have a good idea of what they need. Not all of the attendees, though, are first-time buyers. Those looking to purchase a second (or third, or fourth) device were also in attendance. They make up a significant portion of the audience and have hands-on familiarity with inkjet technology.

Similar to the first-time buyer/experienced user split, another split was particularly noticeable Read more »

Happy Valentine’s Day, Mr. Hamilton

Jim Hamilton
 Feb 13, 2014

While it’s nice to see my name written in rose petals (or in clouds or candies or footprints in the sand), by itself this form of personalization, though eye-catching, is not enough. Using variable data requires more than just a person’s name.

With a very small amount of information (for example, name, address, and account status) it is possible to create a much more effective document. Read more »

2013: A Turning Point for Inkjet in Production

Jim Hamilton
 Dec 10, 2013
Though inkjet has been a hot topic since 2008 (remember the ‘inkjet’ drupa?), it is hard to underestimate the continuing impact inkjet is having across all areas of the graphic arts. I think 2013 marks an interesting turning point. Inkjet is everywhere from document printing to labels & packaging to decorative to functional and 3D printing.

Gartner Hype Cycle

3D printing had to be one of the most talked about topics of 2013 and jetting technologies are the key behind many 3D printing implementations (though in this case they are jetting materials rather than inks). That being said, in my opinion 3D printing has reached what Gartner likes to call the ‘Peak of Inflated Expectations’ and others have described as ‘Irrational Exuberance.’ The way some people talk about 3D printing you’d think that before long you’ll be 3D printing your beer complete with the bottle (with a label on the outside and a cap on top).

Read more »

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