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XMPie alone won’t save your business

Whattheythink.com 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 […]

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.

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, […]

Personalised QR Codes and other 2D Barcodes in XMPie

There’s a lot of chatter at the moment about 2D barcodes.

I’ve spoken to various creatives, service providers and marketers about this technology over the past few months; admittedly because XMPie now supports the technology directly inside uDirect. Whilst they all seem excited about the prospect of this technology very few that I can see are actually using it creatively or at all. There’s a very useful site at http://2d-code.co.uk which covers alot of the technology, as well as many of the examples of where 2D barcodes have been used.

Now that XMPie supports the use of PDF417, AztecCode, DataMatrix, MaxiCode, MicroPDF and QRCodes directly within the uDirect InDesign CS plugin it is easy to insert personalised data into a 2D barcode and place it on a printed piece. This obviously means that any data (from a datasource) can be used to create a 2D barcode. Want to create a 2D barcode that contains someone’s RURL or personalised URL so you negate the need to have them type it in? What about embedded personalised information about a recipient within a voucher code, presented as a 2D barcode?

It’s not an insignificant?fact that XMPie’s approach to QR Code is easy. XMPie’s ADOR technology means that any data and logic contained within the data can be used repeatable and?consistently within the campaign and QR Codes.

One of the biggest factors holding back the adoption of this technology is the support for barcode readers already installed on the mobile devices – so the initial campaigns need to provide enough of an incentive to get people to spend the time and install one. However with most smart phones and camera-enabled phones capable of supporting QR-Code capture this is rapidly becoming a non-issue.

Hopefully those […]

By |December 17th, 2010|XMPie|8 Comments

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.

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.
 

Cross Media – Moving from What to Why

I’ve had some very interesting conversations with both existing XMPie customers and prospects over the past few weeks and a question has been playing on my mind, “What’s harder, selling Cross Media Campaigns or implementation them?”

Some have spoken about the fact that actually delivering a cross media campaign is the hardest element; whilst others have struggled in actually selling it to to their customers. The vast majority of commercial printers that now have the capability to deliver these types of highly relevant and interactive cross media campaigns; seem to struggle with actually selling the concept into their customers. Some are happy to continually take large quantities of print volume with the relatively small profit margins that they deliver – whilst ignoring the vast amount of additional opportunity that exists in these accounts. Other commercial printers seem to struggle to engage the right people, bring them to the table and move the conversation from ‘product’ to ‘value’. In today’s marketplace it is all about selling the value, linking all the elements together. In comparison talking to some marketing agencies they struggle with actually delivering the concept in a timely and ‘joined up’ fashion.

So here’s my top 5 observations:

You need to engage the right people – cross media campaigns do not sit with the print-buyer. Engaging at a senior marketing or brand level is critical. It’s a high level sell, that potentially involves multiple budgets and multiple people. You need to identify these people and get them all around a table and get the buy-in to move forward.
You need to sell value, not product – a cross media campaign should not be a product sell in the same way print can be. Integrated cross media campaigns […]

Bulk creation of 2D Barcodes (QR Code, DataMatrix) in XMPie

For several versions now the XMPie’s suite of desktop tools for creating highly personalised and relevant documents has been able to support numerous variants of 1 and 2 dimensional barcodes. Code128, Code39, Codabar, EAN8, EAN13, INT2of5, MSI, OneCode, PostNet, UPCA, UPCE, PDF417, AztecCode, DataMatrix, MaxiCode, MicroPDF and QRCode to be precise!

From directly inside InDesign CS3 and CS4 XMPie’s uDirect plugin has the ability of generating and placing a barcode within the design. I blogged about this a while ago. However this is limited to using those barcodes within the printed piece. I was thinking about how you could use them online, or in an email communication, or even creating them on-mass to use in another process.

Most people seem to be content in creating single QRCodes that are then used. But what about if you want a QRCode to contain a personalised URL, or a unique piece of information linked to that the recipient?

Well, here’s one idea to create barcodes on mass by using XMPie:

Fire up InDesign with the XMPie plugin activated. (you can always get the 30-day free trial from www.xmpie.com)
Create a new document of say 50mm by 50mm
Connect to your database of recipients, or simple create a Counter and use that
Create a new image ‘Content Object’, call it QRCode, and set the expression to use the fields of your choosing.
Place the QRCode content object on the page and change the Dynamic Graphic Properties to ‘Fill proportionally and Centered’
Save the document
Select ‘Dynamic Print’ in the XMPie Palette and choose, JPG (or PDF) as the output format.
Select your output destination and records, and hit ‘OK’
Job done. You should have individual JPG/PDF files in the output destination folder named {filename}_r{record number}_p001.jpg

The only real drawback here […]

By |February 5th, 2010|XMPie|12 Comments

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 (www.xmpie.com). Thanks to Tim Perrett for recording the screencast.

Who do you need to make a success of XMPie?

It a question that I get asked time and time again. “Dave, who do I need to employ to make XMPie a success?” Some people believe that data professionals are the key. Some people say design.

However, and in my opinion none of these are as important as a project manager / account director. Essentially, if you are looking to become successful producing cross media campaigns then you will do no wrong in finding someone that can help the client develop the initial idea and to control implementing the campaign.

Without this individual companies are at risk of not putting enough focus on the business, and ultimately not making the most of the software.

Have you fulfilled this role? How you succeeded without someone like this? Let me know.

By |November 25th, 2009|XMPie|1 Comment

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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