Monthly Archives: April 2009

Making the right choice with Personalisation Software

Today saw the annual release of PrintWeek’s Product Portfolio for Personalisation Software. What’s interesting from the editorial is the belief that cross media communication is simply about adding personalised URLs (PURLs) to a printed campaign to continue a conversation with a customer.

With a raft of companies now claiming to offer ‘cross media capabilities’ – it is important I believe for those looking to invest in a cross media solution that they do their homework first – and make sure that you are looking at the right software and vendors for the right reasons.
The two types of customer
In my experience I believe that there are two types of customer that I meet – the ‘Me too’ and the ‘Forward Thinker’.

Mr. Me-To is the sort of cost conscious person that knows that his organisation needs ‘cross media’ but only wants the spend the minimum in order to get it. With these people they tend to look at several products, some of which will do various elements in order to achieve a goal. For example they might look at PrintShopMail as a cheap VDP tool and then throw it into the mix PURLs by using MindFire. Whilst this approach will deliver on the simple ‘Cross Media’ dream it will not deliver on the long term value proposition; which is driving the market.

On the other hand Mr. Forward-Thinker has a different approach. They invariable know that to be successful they have to differentiate themselves in the market and they need to be fast, responsive and creative. Services-lead not product-focussed. For these people scalability & Integration are the primary goals – they need a solution that will deliver on all fronts, and provide a level comfort regardless what application or […]

By |April 24th, 2009|Personalised Communications, XMPie|1 Comment

Just how much junk from The Labour party can one person take?

OK – anyone that caught the basics of Labour 2009 Budget yesterday would’ve not woken up in a particularly good mood this morning. That was me – but then to rub salt into the wounds I also received a deluged of direct mail from them as well this morning (nothing in years – this morning lots!) 6 separate pieces in total, all digitally printed and personalised landed on my doorsteps – comprising of 3 separate campaigns (3 pieces to my wife and 3 pieces to myself). I do not know whether to applaud or scream. On one hand I should scream at the Labour party for wasting so much money on duplicating material – I mean I received a piece from my local MP, Mark Todd; a piece from my local County Councillor and a final piece from a MP for a borough council that I am not even in! So yes, screaming is good – total waste of money, effort and resource in a time when the Labour party want to impose so many cut-backs in local government – and borrowing is at a record high! Oh; but then applauding also has some merit. I would applaud whoever it was working in Tangent Direct, the digital printer for obviously selling the concept of personalisation to the Labour Party so well and getting them to do it so inefficiently that it generated vast quantities of money for Tangent in a time when digital printers are struggling to survives! On reflection my best response is to be a good citizen and throw these into my recycling bin – or shred them and use it for bedding for the hamster cage. Damn, I […]

By |April 23rd, 2009|Personalised Communications|0 Comments

Social Media Marketing Industry Report: How Marketers are using Social Media.

Maybe slightly a bit late into this one; but I came across this fantastic Whitepaper from Michael Stelzner today entitled, “Social Media Marketing Industry Report: How Marketers Are Using Social Media to Grow Their Businesses.”. Some of the stuff that you will find in this report are: The top social media marketing questions marketers want answered How much time marketers are investing in social media The benefits of social media How time invested impacts results The top social media tools And much more! What surprised me was just how many marketers were seeing a benefit from Social media and probably more interesting was the amount of time that seasoned marketers were spending using social media sites and tools. Giving this away can almost be considered a crime! There is some gold nuggets of information in there, so if your interested in how to make use of Social Media within your marketing strategy  this is a must read!

By |April 17th, 2009|Social Media|1 Comment

Free BBQ for all!

In these economic hard times something ‘free’ is never to be sniffed at – so why not grab yourself a free BBQ from any well known shopping market! Just stay away from the plastic ones as they don’t fair as well!

By |April 17th, 2009|Play|0 Comments

NetworkManager in Ubuntu sucks!

I recently switched by ubuntu 8.10 server/desktop to using the NetworkManger applet that comes as part of ubuntu. By default it was sat that; but wouldn’t let me change or adjust any of my network settings. I discovered that in order to make it work I needed to modify the /etc/NetworkManager/nm-system-settings.conf. david@george:~$ sudo nano /etc/NetworkManager/nm-system-settings.conf Then change the managed=false line to managed=true plugins=ifupdown,keyfile managed=false However, once I did this every time that I booted the machine it always come up using DHCP, and not using the static IP address that I had originally set. I discovered that I could always manually change the interface using the NetworkManager to use the static IP opposed to dynamic; but that was a manual task and not great for a machine that is supposed to be acting as a server. I also noticed that the NFS Server failed to load at boot as well whilst I was using the NetworkManager. So – today I decided to go back to manual network configuration as it seemed more stable than using the GUI! But that was not as straight forward as I hoped. Firstly, I reverted back the line in /etc/NetworkManager/nm-system-settings.conf to say false. Secondly I quickly sorted out my /etc/networks/interfaces file so that it was correct. auto lo iface lo inet loopback auto eth0 iface eth0 inet static         address         […]

By |April 15th, 2009|Blogging|6 Comments

Is good design at the heart of a successful campaign?

Is it true that when people are creating personalised content they put too much empathise on the data, and not on content and design? Maybe they look at a campaign by the sum of it’s elements; not at what it’s suppose to achieve? One of the first objections that I receive when talking to companies about XMPie and personalised; cross media communications is about the ‘Data’ – they either don’t have it; wouldn’t know where to start looking for it or have no idea what to do with it even when they have vast quantities of it! This is nonsense though. Whilst accurate and relevant data is indeed key to a successful campaign – it is not where a campaign should start or finish. In my opinion traditional direct mail campaigns are going the same way as the newspaper industry – down the pan and quickly. I worry about the companies that keep employing the same tactics when creating direct mail – hoping that by sending the same message to a million customers; even with the recipient’s name on it will have some form of success! Newspapers are the same – day after day filling the same medium with different content; blissfully unaware it seems that we … don’t like paying to read the news, we can get the same news; free and quickly online and on demand, and what something that is local and based on my interests! I watched a very uplifting presentation by Jacek Utko on how design could save the newspaper. The full article is here, however I have also embedded it […]

By |April 15th, 2009|Personalised Communications, XMPie|0 Comments

Domino's dishes out 11,000 free pizzas by mistake |

Domino’s dishes out 11,000 free pizzas by mistake | .

Nice one Dominos. And who says that virall marketing does not work! I’m just a tad miffed that I only found out about this after the event and after I paid full price for mine the other night. Oh, Well!

By |April 6th, 2009|General, Play|0 Comments

Just discovered moBlog for the Windows Mobile blogger.

I just discovered a great Windows Mobile which makes blogging on the go a breeze!
moBlog, from sampath seems to be a veritable jem of a tool which should unleash me from the keyboard a bit more. The only problem now is improving my touch typing on my PDA!

By |April 5th, 2009|General|0 Comments

April Fools: Petrol tax rise comes into force …. Damn … No … That's True!

Whilst April Fools is in full swing across the globe you wouldn’t be called stupid for thinking that this snippet of news was also from the vaults of the witty and silly. Petrol tax rise comes into force Motorists are now paying an extra 2.12p per litre of petrol as a government fuel tax increase comes into force… But alas no – this one is indeed true. Petrol taxes are rising again; from today which means that the cost of fuel will rise by over 2p! I have to ask to the question, “Was this a timely planned release of bad news by the Government?”. Was it some Government minister that decided that they could do some damage limitation by releasing this on a day in which people will believe that everything is untrue. A day when the average man will say, “Ha! Petrol going up! How silly is that? During a recession! As if! That must be an April Fools, the Government wouldn’t do that! Would they?” Only when they pull into the forecourt will the realisation hit them (in the wallet) that this little snippet is indeed true!  BBC NEWS | UK | Petrol tax rise comes into force.

By |April 1st, 2009|General, Play|0 Comments

My ‘Recent Nomination to Presidential Who's Who’ leaves me feeling like a VIP!

I received the following email in my inbox this morning..
David Baldaro,
It is my pleasure to inform you that on February 17, 2009 your information was reviewed and accepted for inclusion in the 2009 edition of our Registry.

Presidential Who’s Who, each year, recognizes and selects key executives, professionals and organizations in all disciplines and industries for outstanding business and professional achievements.

This recognition is shared by those who have reached a distinguished level of success in their chosen profession.

Please take a moment to complete the invitation by clicking on the link below. We ask that you complete it carefully, as it will be reviewed by our editorial department.

As a reminder, Presidential Who’s Who is pleased to inform you that there are no fees or dues to be included in the publication.

On behalf of the CEO and our esteemed staff, we wish you continued success.


MarkAnthony McGuiness
Chief Operations Officer

Presidential Who’s Who
134 Rockaway Avenue FL2
Valley Stream, NY 11580
Please complete the online link by March 31st
Nice – what an honour; an invitation to join an exclusive listing which will know doubt cost me something in the future and which will more than likely result in a torrent of further junk emails coming through to my in-box.

What’s really stupid about this email? Well 2 things. Firstly as great and as talented as I might be; I am not a US citizen so why would would I be even alittle  interestedin this? And secondly, I need to complete the link by the 31st of March – which would’ve been like yesterday then. So I am that good that I can bend time in order to complete the online survey which asks for stacks of personal information? I doubt it!

Please marketers; don’t do […]

By |April 1st, 2009|Personalised Communications|95 Comments