I recall having sat through several presentations in the space of several weeks; all talking about the print industry and how both personalisation and cross-media were important. However within each presentation the presenter had also gone on to say that Twitter was also important; but only as a communication channel.

To a room full of commercial printers, market and service providers I could see them struggling to understand just how Twitter was important to them in delivering better communication services for their customers. I have to say, I was struggling as well. However I had a rare ‘moment’ in which I could see a way of using both technologies together to achieve an effective goal.

Twitter as we all know and love is great for micro-blogging and real-time social communication. Twitter exists for people/companies to act as content providers and for others to decide if they want to listen to them. They do this by ‘following’ those accounts that they have an interest in. Cross-media campaigns on the other hand exist to allow marketers to develop a conversation with a customer about a service, product, event or process. However in traditional campaigns marketers are normally forced to select customers that they would like to target the campaign at. Sometimes at random and sometimes selectively.

So, what if Twitter could be used to drive ‘interested’ people into a cross-media campaign about a product, service, event or process that they are actually interested about?

To test this principle we used the UK event, MediaPro Expo 09 as the topic of a campaign.

The process goes something like this:

A Twitter.com user openly decides to follow @xmpiemediapro09 as the account set up to promote XMPie’s activities at the show
A bespoke application written using XMPie’s APIs then recognises that a new […]