Personalised Communications

XMPie alone won’t save your business carried an article last week interviewing?Jeroen van Druenen, Director at Jubels and Vice President of the XMPie Users Group which was really powerful. Unlike other videos of customers talking about their software partners Jeroen states (50 seconds in),
If it wasn’t for XMPie I think we wouldn’t be here any more!
This is certainly a bold statement, and a great one at that. Jeroen continues on to say that the economics in Amsterdam are tough, and that XMPie has given him that edge in the marketplace which in turn brings in the high value business.
Did XMPie really save his business?
It’s important, I think to position that XMPie did not save Jeroen’s company – and it’s unlikely to save any company if viewed as a solitary white horse riding into the battle. XMPie have spent years developing a robust set of tools that both enable and stream line the whole process of multi-channel communications. These tools are used by manly, in many different ways, but at the end of the day the technology is only as good as the organisation using it.

I love the concept, and what is possible with personalised video for example, and I could go out and buy uDirect Video from XMPie and use if with Adobe AfterEffects tomorrow, but it’s not going to make me rich. Why? Because it’s a tool that needs services and skills wrapped around it, and more importantly it needs to be sold into client’s mind before they part with their money. Do I have those skills as well?

XMPie is not going to save any business on it’s own. XMPie combined with a focused set of skills, resources and attitude will give you the best fighting chance that you […]

By |April 19th, 2013|Personalised Communications, XMPie|1 Comment

Why Blippar could be excellent for the cross media communications market

I’ve not been a huge fan of augmented reality over the past couple of years. I’ve struggled to see real world marketing applications, as all the solutions seem to be time-consuming and very niche. However things are changing, as I recently came across a UK company making some significant inroads into major brands with their augmented reality solution, Blippar. With campaigns for Heinz, Marmite, Tesco and Cadburys under their belts it forces you to sit up and take a closer look.

The consumer heart of Blippar is their mobile app for Android and iOS devices, which essentially provides you a window to interact with brands. I downloaded the app, grabbed a bottle of Heinz Ketchup out of the cupboard, held it to my iPad and was greeted with an interactive interface which linked me to various recipe videos, their Facebook presence and a chance to win a prize. It’s was slick, quick and fluid. Very nice – but significant room for untapped opportunity.

What I REALLY like about this is that they can initiate campaigns and allow consumers to interact with brands WITHOUT having to change the original entry point. My Heinz bottle didn’t have a ‘scan this’ message one it, there was no sign of a code – it was a regular bottle of Ketchup. The technology work on image recognition. This is very powerful in my eyes. Brands can create interactive campaigns and allow consumers to interact with those campaigns by interacting with objects they have already. The mind races:

What if I ‘Blippar’ my Sky box and receive a interface allowing me to see the latest box office films?
What if I ‘Blippar’ my Oyster card for the London Underground? Because Blippar ‘knows’ where I am it […]

By |January 12th, 2012|Personalised Communications|0 Comments

#117 – A QR Code Marketing Campaign in a few hours

As a small personal project, and based on a discussion that I was having with a colleague I’ve spent a few hours pulling together a Quick Response Code (QR Code) campaign today. This little project took me only a few hours, but consists of a complete marketing campaign where my fictitious company ‘greenorange’ are able to create branded marketing material for events. They can hand out the postcards carrying an offer for a money-off coupon, along with a dynamic QR Code. The QR Code, when scanned brings a recipient to a Group URL (GURL) which references the event that the recipient attended, and asks them for their details. The recipient can enter their details, at which point they are taken to a personalised URL (PURL) from where they can click to dynamically create and download their own personalised money-off coupon!

All this is being tracked, so greenorange can see who is scanning what, and who has entered their details and downloaded their money-off coupon!

A complete marketing campaign, based on the intelligent use of QR Codes (rather than just placing static QR Codes on a company’s literature) in under half a working day! Oh, and one that is being tracked in real-time, so the marketing team can see what’s happening, minute by minute.

You know what – this cross media marketing stuff is not that scary, or hard to do when you have an idea and the right tools.

Full disclosure: At the time of writing this article the author was employed by XMPie, a Xerox Company.




By |October 13th, 2011|Personalised Communications, Project 365|2 Comments

Do QRCodes still have a future?

I read with interest Google’s recent discontinuation of QRCode within Google’s Places. It would seem that Google has ruled its verdict on QR codes: a failure. Does this mean that QRCodes have no future? After all QRCode has been around now for almost 10 years! This is not a new technology, but people are still struggling to find the right use for it.

I am a firm believer that QRCodes present a great opportunity for marketing purposes, it’s just that the desire to use and interact with a QRCode, on a mass scale has not been identified. Sure, there have been a lot of successes with QRCodes over the years, but within niche and relatively small groups.

As a consumer there needs to be a real desire to interact with a QRCode. Without that desire why would I purposely download an app in order to use them. The vast majority of QRCode still seem to encode a static URL, and that creates very little value in my opinion. It would take me less time to simply type into my browser and visit the company’s website, opposed to downloading an app, scanning the app and then being taken to the company’s website.

Personally, I think that the opportunity with advertising is stronger. Imagine me receiving my monthly tech magazine (which I subscribe to) and then within the pages are QRCodes alongside articles and advertisements. If I were then to scan a QRCode against the latest DELL laptop, lets say, I would be taken to a personalized microsite which welcomes me; knowing that I have visited that site only because of me scanning my personalized QRCode. It then either present more information about the product in question, or stores that as a ‘favorite’ and allows me to […]

By |March 31st, 2011|Personalised Communications, Social Media|1 Comment

Leveraging social media for more effective cross-media campaigns

Yesterday I had the pleasure of participating in an online conference with over 230 people from all over the world. I was there presenting about how leveraging social media with a cross-media campaign can really be very effective.

Unfortunately we had some issues in the call logistics, which meant that some people were not able to attend – but we also had a number of groups sharing connections to listen. So the final number will be a lot higher I think. Either way, it was a pleasure to present this topic to our customers and business partners.

For those that were not able to attend the call, we will be communicating out the recording so there’s always a chance to watch it.

During the presentation I didn’t focus on what social media is, more on the opportunities that it presents when used creatively within a cross-media campaign. I focussed briefly on why this is such an important topic from the marketer’s perspective, and I referenced in several places an interesting report by Forresters.

The report that I reference was done by Forresters back in April 2010. There is also a very interesting infographic that was produced using the data.

In my mind there are three distinct areas in which social media can be used:

Using social media as a broadcast medium to extend the reach of a cross-media campaign;
Using social media as a way of actually acquiring new customers directly into a cross-media campaign;
and integrating social media and cross-media campaigns together so they both add value.

Each level offers different advantages and opportunities for both the providers and the marketers. Each level demands an increase in the skills that you need to build these campaigns. However the higher the level of integration, the […]

By |March 2nd, 2011|Personalised Communications, Social Media, XMPie|0 Comments

FREE Fake Name Generator for Personalised Samples

It’s always a hassle for me if I ever create some personalised samples using XMPie. You always need sample data to use, so do you try and copy-past and create some samples, or try and find some? Most of the times I end up creating a few records and then copy-and-pasting hundreds of times!

Well, I stumbled across today. With 26 languages and 22 countries, the Fake Name Generator is the most advanced name generator that I have come across – and it’s FREE. It will generate names, addresses, social security numbers, credit card numbers, occupations, UPS tracking numbers for any number of recipients – all in a few minutes. Arriving nicely as a CSV zipped file in your inbox. Marvelous!

If you want to jump straight in and order (for free) in bulk then visit

The days of joe Bloggs turning up in my samples (999 times!) are long gone now.

By |February 23rd, 2011|Personalised Communications|1 Comment

The XMPie Advantage Video

During Ipex 2010, in Birmingham XMPie released a new video walking customers through the XMPie Advantage of integrated cross media communications. Talking about how XMPie can help organisations to effectively maximise on marketing investments the video walks through a cross media campaign showing all the elements of XMPie and how they all integrate together, providing the maximum return on marketing investment.

Full disclosure: At the time of writing this article the author was employed by XMPie, a Xerox Company.

By |May 27th, 2010|Personalised Communications, XMPie|1 Comment

Simplifying personalised university prospectuses just got easier

Callprint Group has announced the formation of a joint venture company, Customation Limited, that specialises in helping organisations develop and deliver automated, customised and personalised, marketing communications. The new company has been created to meet the demand for an integrated outsourced service that can provide a full range of capabilities, from the design of a completely new web based enquiry system with automated print and emedia responses, to the conversion of an existing system to respond on demand with personalised, customised content.

Initially focusing on the public sector, and in particular the education market, where the response to student enquiries to Colleges and Universities offers an ideal application, Customationhas assembled an experienced team with expertise in marketing communication, creative design, content layout, personalisation, web design and development, and print management.

Initially focusing on the public sector, and in particular the education market, where the response to student enquiries to Colleges and Universities offers an ideal application, Customation has assembled an experienced team with expertise in marketing communication, creative design, content layout, personalisation, web design and development, and print management.

Customation uses XMPie to create the customised content.
All organisations continuously search for improvement in the effectiveness of their marketing communications and the Customation approach offers significant benefits over the traditional bulk printing of generic collateral with the associated storage costs and wastage. Building a positive relationship with your prospects and customers while simultaneously reducing your carbon footprint must be an attractive proposition to everyone.
Full disclosure: At the time of writing this article the author was employed by XMPie, a Xerox Company.

By |May 27th, 2010|Personalised Communications, XMPie|1 Comment

XMPie uEdit Demo in 7 minutes

XMPie’s uEdit is an online, flash based template editor for XMPie documents.
uEdit is completely integrated into uStore, XMPie’s solution for rapid deployment of branded, e-commerce enabled,online stores without involving programmers. uEdit extends uStore’s document ordering and customization features by allowing real-time, remote template design editing.
What is also great about uEdit is that is can be used as a standalone tool within a custom developed application. Combined with XMPie’s API and programming tools it becomes easy to create, edit and compose custom-made personalised documents.

This screencast introduces you to a fictional real-estate example. In this example you are able to select a template, upload and manage images that the user wishes to use. Then edit the template by editing the text, images and styles. Once the template is complete yu can upload the recipient data and produce the final PDF for downloading.

For more information take a look at XMPie’s website ( Thanks to Tim Perrett for recording the screencast.
Full disclosure: At the time of writing this article the author was employed by XMPie, a Xerox Company.

By |December 18th, 2009|Demos, Personalised Communications|0 Comments

Social Media meets Cross-Media – The Video

OK – this is the third posting in the “Social Media meets Cross-Media” Trilogy! Check back on the previous postings (here) to read about the campaign, and the results.

Whilst at MediaPro the folks at PrintSpeak did a quick 3 minute interview with me over the topic – as it was creating some ‘buzz’ on the floor’

So I thought that I would share it with you all (and thanks to PrintSpeak for enabled the ability to embed their videos into posts for me!)

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Full disclosure: At the time of writing this article the author was employed by XMPie, a Xerox Company.

By |November 18th, 2009|Personalised Communications, Social Media, XMPie|0 Comments