Category: Customer Engagement Strategies

Konica Minolta’s GenARate Attracts New Audience in Marketing/Advertising

Colin McMahon
Mar 25, 2020

Konica Minolta’s flagship augmented reality (AR) software platform, genARate, launched back in November 2018, but the company has been supporting, developing, and expanding its usage ever since. For those who may not be familiar, genARate is best described as a content creation tool for the AR space. Like many solutions, it has a mobile component – which currently includes an app that users can download (as well as a web solution…more on that later), and it also has a backend content creation studio that helps clients create intriguing and engaging AR experiences.

Ashley McConnell, Konica Minolta’s International Business Development Manager, recently sat down for a podcast interview with us at Keypoint Intelligence to discuss all the ways he and his company have been working to support genARate, as well as new improvements to the product. One of the big takeaways: While genARate was created with print service providers in mind, the product is seeing success in a new field – marketing and advertising.

Konica Minolta Augmented Reality Print

Image Source: Konica Minolta

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How Virtual Reality Can Keep Workplace Collaboration on Track during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Colin McMahon
Mar 19, 2020

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Every day brings more troubling news of the coronavirus. What at first seemed like a distant problem has quickly turned into a global event affecting nearly every aspect of business and personal life. As many adjust to a new routine of social distancing, many executives and decision makers are left wondering what they can do to ensure productivity while simultaneously keeping employees in good spirits.

Enter virtual reality—a relatively new tool that has experienced enormous breakthroughs over the last several years. While VR has yet to catch on commercially, it has found success in multiple business verticals. The coronavirus has given businesses a new perspective on VR and its capabilities, which is in turn helping businesses to shift into the digital economy and allow employees to work from home more efficiently.

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Gamification Takes Center Stage at (Relatively) Quiet PAX East 2020

Colin McMahon
Mar 17, 2020

Despite fears of the coronavirus, tens of thousands of attendees flocked to PAX East at the Boston Convention Center from February 27th to March 1st. The event, which managed to be held before numerous tradeshows and industry events were either postponed or cancelled, marked the continued celebration of video game technologies and the gaming culture. Compared to years past, however, this PAX felt quieter than usual.

PAX East 2020 logo

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Are You Touched by CCPA?

Pat McGrew
Jan 2, 2020

You might be surprised at how much data is flowing through your company. Accounting data, bank accounts, EDI accounts, names and addresses are all data. In the eyes of the State of California that data is now subject to the California Consumer Privacy Act  (CCPA) and it poses some challenges companies doing business in California, but also companies who do business with constituents in California.

Let’s start with the baseline. CCPA only applies to companies that earn more than $25 million in gross revenue. The other hurdle is that it applies to companies who have data on more than 50,000 people or who earn more than 50 percent of their revenue from selling (or bartering or exchanging for advertising) consumer data. For every company that meets these criteria there are myriad paths to compliance. In fact, because the law is so new, there is some disagreement on who has to comply and how.

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Pitney Bowes Slices Off More Software – SyncSort is the Beneficiary

Marc Mascara
Sep 5, 2019

As Pitney Bowes adds to the Syncsort arsenal of software solutions with the recent acquisitions of SQData and Pitney Bowes Software solutions, the company looks to focus on its core business in the mail and shipping space. Just a few weeks after announcing a cash dividend of $0.05 per share, Pitney embarked on a move that would help the company pay down its near-term debt as it comes to maturity.

On August 26th Pitney announced its intention to shed the bulk of its Software Solutions business for nearly $700M in cash to Syncsort. Pitney looks to maintain their hold in their current markets they serve by refocusing on the client experience for companies that mail and ship by taking out process complexities. By shedding its software business Pitney is continuing its initiative to streamline operations and reduce its overall spend. Performance of Pitney’s software business has been lagging, pointing to a reduction in YOY renewals and an overall reduction in new clients. Pitney notes that one of their key strategies for growth is to increase shareholder value. Over the past few years, Pitney has divested many technologies, including its (DMT) Document Messaging Technologies (now BlueCrest) and their European SMB business.

As Pitney looks to reinvigorate its core focus on mail and shipping, we expect the partnership with the USPS to continue and grow. That said, there is a close watch at how the current and ever-changing US trade war with China will impact Pitney’s bottom line due to its growing business handling parcels from China. With the impending sale to Syncsort and the expected trade war impact, Pitney has adjusted its 2019 earnings forecast down from a range of $.90 / $1.05 to $.65 / $.75 respectively with full-year revenues in the 1 to 2 percent range.

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What Print Service Providers Can Learn from Netflix’s Personalization Strategy

Colin McMahon
Jul 23, 2019

At first, print service providers (PSPs)—including mailing companies and direct mailers—might wonder what they have in common with Netflix. Although the service started out as a direct mail offering, it has since become more associated with online digital streamlining. Nevertheless, a recent technology blog from Netflix has shed some additional light on how the company is pushing its personalization practices forward, making them more advanced and better synced to each individual Netflix user. While this level of personalization is quite advanced now, it will likely become increasingly commonplace in the years ahead.

Many firms, including PSPs, can benefit from absorbing and understanding how Netflix continues to personalize its offerings in today’s digital age.

Netflix logo

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Developing the Right Mix of Client Care

Will Morgan
Apr 22, 2019

Consumers’ shifting expectations are increasing the demand for relevant and personalized communications. As a result, it is becoming ever more vital for print service providers to offer their clients the tools and expertise they need to compete on the print and mail battleground as well as the expanding digital landscape. The customer experience is a metric that is just as important for serving consumers as it is serving the enterprises that are working to capture and keep their business. Keypoint Intelligence – InfoTrends (InfoTrends) recently surveyed 24 mid-tier print service providers to learn about the professionals who make up their client care teams, how accounts are assigned to them, the roles they perform, and how much time they spend serving clients today in relation to two years ago. Our results point to a distinct evolution in communication practices and a general agreement about the importance of enterprise client care.

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Good News for Mailers from USPS

Pat McGrew
Apr 9, 2019

US Mailers have been waiting for the USPS to release its findings from a request for feedback initiated last summer, and the answer has now arrived. The USPS will not be making changes to the Marketing Mail category. This is good news for mailers because the USPS was considering changes in the standards for Marketing Mail letters and flat that would limit the definition of Marketing Mail to paper-based, non-merchandise content. By definition, flats processed by the USPS can be no thinner than a quarter of an inch and no thicker than three-quarters of an inch, with dimensions between 6 1/8 and 12 inches in height and 11 ½ and 15 inches in length. Length is parallel to the address.

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Pricing for Digital: Establishing Consistency Across Message and Media

Will Morgan
Dec 7, 2018

As digital delivery proliferates within the customer communications market, service providers with a legacy in print have been challenged to devise pricing models that position their operations for long-term sustainability. As part of its recently published research study entitled, Pricing for Digital: Exploring New Models for Transactional Communications Delivery, Keypoint Intelligence-InfoTrends conducted over a dozen in-depth interviews with print service providers in North America to gain a deeper understanding of the greatest pricing obstacles they face in today’s changing market.

The first segment of this three-part examination of our findings examined the ramifications of procurement’s growing power over transactional customer communications strategy at the expense of business leadership. The second considered some of the difficulties print providers face when working to demonstrate value through services. This final installment explores the challenges that providers face in developing and marketing pricing plans that encompass composition and delivery of transactional and marketing messages to various print and electronic channels.

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Why Phishing is Still a Dangerous Form of Cyberattack

Colin McMahon
Nov 20, 2018

Stories about data breaches leaking personal data and damaging company profitability continue to make headlines. Much of the focus in these pieces includes the sophisticated forms of cyberattacks that are involved. For example, the WannaCry attack of 2017 was accomplished with a ransomware worm while the infamous Equifax breach reportedly came from software exploitation.

Incidents like these highlight just how threatening sophisticated forms of cyberattacks can be in the professional space. At the same time, however, focusing solely on software updates and worm virus protection is not enough to keep a company safe from a data breach. According to cybersecurity firm Wombat Security, 76% of companies have reportedly been victims of phishing attacks within the past year.

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