(From the editor: Enjoy this post from guest author Ekaterina Shischenko who interviewed Jeroen van Druenen, president and chief executive officer of Jubels)
In the world of graphic communications, some useful ideas are connected with printing itself, and some — with extra value which can be delivered in automation and personalized communication across print and digital media. It will help to set your business apart from the majority of other companies. Jubels Print & More, an Amsterdam-based marketing service provider, is an excellent example of such an approach. Initially, this company had been an offset and digital printer. But then it added value to print, transforming its business with digital services including multichannel communications. Jubels Print & More proved that if you want a marketing campaign to be successful, it has to be more than just a simple mailout. Modern solutions allow you to use multiple channels and address each customer individually with a high level of personalization. To discuss the opportunities from such technologies, we talked with Jeroen van Druenen, president and chief executive officer of Jubels Print & More.
Please tell us about your company. Which services do you deliver? What is the main idea of your business?
At Jubels, we provide customers with a wide range of services from high-quality digital and offset print to effective database-driven multichannel campaigns. In particular, we create wide-format inkjet pieces, packaging, photo books, cross media services, Web-to-Print portals, and photo frames.
We don’t want to produce mass offset printing. Instead, our goal and the main aim of our business is making communications work for our customers and for their customers and for the end customers. The communication campaigns need to stand out. They need to be profitable for everybody. We make graphic and interactive communication with impact, that’s what we’re aiming for.
Speaking of business, where did you start and where are you now?
Jubels is a family-run printing company which was founded in 1902, so we’ve been around 116 years right now! We are one of the oldest printers in the Netherlands. We started with letterpress in those days, then offset, then printing on Xerox equipment in the late 70s — early 80s. Starting with iGen in 2001, later we used iGen3, iGen4, iGen 150, iGen5. And most recently, we have undergone the transformation from print services provider to a successful omnichannel marketing business.
How can you describe your customers?
Our customers are the companies that are ready to change and adjust to the modern communications trends. Embracing omnichannel methods, they can transform their businesses.
Please share some secrets of a successful multichannel campaign.
For us, it is marketing automation. We automate our communication production and delivery using every piece of software from XMPie and FreeFlow Core. And it works quite well. Digital and mobile devices are driving changes in the way consumers communicate, and marketing must change, too. The companies must deliver what consumers want: a consistent experience whether they are on a mobile device or a tablet or a laptop. Everything must flow seamlessly from one platform to the next.
How and why did you decide to choose XMPie?
XMPie software helps us to engage audiences with personalized, relevant and consistent omnichannel communications across both print and digital media. XMPie has revolutionized my business, and that’s no exaggeration. What I love about XMPie is that it values print as a critical touchpoint in the marketing process. It unites the creative content, data, and logic in real-time and automatically generates all the touchpoints in the campaign. It’s also easy for our designers to use; it never hinders our designers’ creative abilities and imaginations.
What channels do you use in communication campaigns?
We use many different channels in a single campaign, for example, to attract people we use good old-fashioned SMS, emails, websites, and also images which are personalized to each recipient. Sometimes, we also use social media for campaign awareness. All in all, everything depends on the project and the customers you would like to attract in the campaign. By carefully harnessing dedicated channels we can generate more interest and more visibility.
Please give us some examples of interesting projects you’ve carried out.
One example is for Knijff and Onel, who are trademark attorneys. We created an ‘automated marketing machine’ to help them find new ways to communicate with their customers and to raise awareness of all their services. We developed a personalized campaign which has seven touchpoints running over the course of several weeks and starts with an envelope printed in offset along with a personalized letter printed on the iGen. This mailshot is the first touchpoint. After that, there are two more emails and one more direct mail piece. Then, we ask each customer to order his own free personalized brand-protection guide which is a personalized book. And after that, we do two other mailshots. Also, the campaign includes a personalized website and phone calls, most triggered automatically based partly upon recipient responses.
It’s a large two-year campaign that starts every two weeks with 40–60 new customers, and they receive a mailshot every two weeks. The customer is delighted with this campaign because you usually only get information from a trademark attorney once a year, yet we are providing seven unique mailshots. XMPie Circle (2018 InterTech Technology Award Winner) not only simplified the development and programming of the campaign, but we could demonstrate the campaign as well via Circle’s web-based interface for easily visualizing the program’s multiple process steps and contingencies.
There was another campaign that we developed for Mooze, a design and online printing firm. They sought our help to attract more professional design customers for its online printing services. Part of the challenge: new European data protection laws (GDPR) prohibit email solicitations to prospects unless the brand already has an established relationship with them.
So we developed a direct mail campaign targeting 7,500 designers and driving them to a personal landing page with an offer of 100 free business cards made from the recipients’ designs. Three different mailers were tested, including a three-dimensional popup cube, and the top performer was used to generate a strong conversion rate of ten percent. The campaign has been so successful that Mooze has now run it three times with equally stellar results. Two factors account for that success. Of course, one is the free packet of business cards: It’s always nice to get a present. But also, people love that entering their unique code on the landing page populates the form with their personal information, so they don’t have to enter their details again. It’s a very smooth experience, and it’s automated easily with XMPie software.
Do you print everything by yourself or do you work with third-party printing houses?
We use our own broad-ranging equipment including offset and digital, large format inkjet, digital contour cutters, after-press, and specialty bindery.
Merging online and offline communications — how do they work together? How do you combine them in the campaigns?
Today, merging online and offline communications is an essential strategy in marketing communications. That’s why we use XMPie one-to-one omnichannel software. It helps us to integrate all the necessary channels into one campaign. It all starts with the database. After that we choose the channels and build the “customer journey” if needed, you can change any touchpoint at any moment based on the reaction of the target audience. For example, if a customer requests information, you can reply by sending them a personalized brochure either as a PDF or as a print piece. Everything is possible — that’s why we use XMPie omnichannel software.
What are the prospects of marketing campaigns’ personalization?
Your offer should be tailored to the needs of your customers. I don’t just mean referring to each customer by his or her name, but also about knowing what he or she wants. For example, if someone needs a new TV, you should send him or her a relevant message describing various TV models. Of course, to do so, you need a database and a data expert who can retrieve such information from the system. You also need a marketing expert who can design a holistic customer experience from that first message all the way through to purchase and post-sale communications. If you can help larger companies to develop these sort of communications, then you are on the winning side.
How do you plan to grow your business?
We stopped offset printing many years ago, and I don’t believe in mass communications anymore. I think that communications need to be tailored to each end customer or to an identified target audience to have better results. And that’s where I believe omnichannel communications and marketing automation definitely have a place in the market.
We used to be a Print Service Provider, but we knew we could help our customers in new and different ways. So, we decided to change and become a Marketing Service Provider. And we have been successful in transforming from a printer to what we have become now.
The Netherlands is a tiny country with a population of 17 million people. In 2000, there were more than 3,000 printing companies here. Today, there are only 700 left. But we are still making money, even though the market is very competitive. I would guess that in 2020 there will only be around 300–350 printers in our country. And based on what I see now, Jubels is definitely going to be among them.
Some companies are trying to attract customers with lower prices, but it will lead to nothing because it’s a game you can’t win. There is always somebody who is cheaper. We don’t want to act like this. We want to provide higher value services for our customers that get results – and to be paid appropriately, so that we can invest in our future. That’s the main reason for what we are doing.
I like the future; I love the way we are growing our business. We change a lot. Like I said before, we modernized our hardware from letterpress to offset and then to digital. We never know what the future will bring, but it is going to be bright for Jubels.