In the first episode of our recent Podcast conference, The Future of Print: From Physical to Digital, David Baldaro from XMPie joined Deborah Corn to discuss the power of personalization, customization and timeliness in a customer journey, and how XMPie empowers the meaningful engagements that make print more valuable in the marketplace. This conference was presented as a Podcasts From The Printerverse Conference Series.
The XMPie Platform offers a lucrative opportunity for everyone in the digital printing space. Included are solutions to automate the production process: for creating variable data print and digital files; helping printers win more jobs – especially high-value, profitable, repeatable work; and increasing the profitability of any job by eliminating errors, reducing costs, and saving time.
The capabilities are vast, so before exploring our eCommerce capabilities, omnichannel functionality, or additional growth opportunities, a great place to start is with a core function of the XMPie Platform: Print Personalization.
XMPie InDesign Plug-In
You may not realize it, but if you or your customers are already using Adobe InDesign software for your print design work, you’ve already taken the first step towards adding personalization to your service offering.
Our plug-in adds advanced personalization capabilities to Adobe InDesign so that any designer can create meaningful, highly relevant, highly visual messages within the print design ecosystem. Of course, XMPie solves the digital personalization challenge as well, but in this post, we’ll stick to focusing on the print element.
No conversion is needed between different software; we use a complete end-to-end InDesign workflow. Even if you don’t have an in-house designer, you can work with any freelance designer using InDesign anywhere in the world to create template-based communications to tailor your messaging to different individuals or audiences.
Fully scalable, so whether you’re delivering 1, 10, 100 or a million messages, you can automate the workflow. And because XMPie is compatible with any digital printer on the market, it doesn’t matter which print press is in your shop.
Don’t Drive Blindfolded
Your customer won’t appreciate the scope of what can be achieved with XMPie, so they’ll look to you to advise them to help them maximize the potential of every communication with personalization. You’ll need to understand the full scope of the XMPie platform and how that functionality correlates to an opportunity for your customer. For every print job, ask yourself, ‘How can I help my customer improve the value of the communication and maximize the return on investment?”
Software doesn’t take up the room, and it doesn’t need air conditioning, but it does need the same amount of focus. It’s the lifeline of a profitable and competitive business so take the time and effort to understand its features and capabilities.
Understand Your Customers
Selling the power of personalization is not the same as selling print as a commodity, so don’t think you can use the same strategy.
Start small. Many local businesses can benefit from connecting with their customers and retaining them on a much more personal level.
When I tour print rooms, there are always pallets of paper waiting for the finishing stage. If I ask the business owner about the job, I always get an answer along the lines of “Oh, we do that same job every few months, sending out 50,000 postcards”. When I ask them: “Why? What’s the end goal of the job? What’s the Call to Action? Etc.” Too many times, the answer is, “I don’t know. We just get asked to print it; so, I print it, deliver it, and get the job again in a few months”.
That’s a dangerous place to be because you’re not understanding the customer or their business. You’re not grasping what that customer is trying to achieve, and you’re not in the right frame of mind to advise them on how to do it better.
If you were, you could upgrade your customer relationship and make suggestions to drive a higher response rate.
So, get to know your customers and their industry. If you don’t already, choose an industry to focus on, embed yourself in it, and learn it inside out.
Eat Your Own Dog Food
Customers aren’t going to rock up, knock on your door, and holler, “Hey, I need you to create an XMPie piece.” Remember, your customers might not know what XMPie is or about its wide range of capabilities.
Printers don’t tend to promote their technology investment enough. Yet it’s an excellent way for your customers to understand why personalization, workflow optimization, and speeding up time to market are massive benefits for the customer as well.
A great way to get the message out there is to use XMPie to personalize your self-promotional materials. We’ve seen some beautiful self-promotional pieces over the years, and they’re excellent conversation starters. Personalize your communications to the decision-makers among your customers and prospects. Encourage them to emulate your marketing success with their projects.
Keep it Simple
Relevancy, timing, and simple personalization are often enough to achieve your goal of showing that you respect and value your customers. You might not need to use complex personalization in every communication. For instance, a veterinary practice seeking to invite pet owners to schedule their pets’ annual vaccinations at the right time of the year needs minimal information to be included, such as pet type, breed, pet name, date due, account number etc. An entire medical history in a glossy document is overkill.
So don’t be overwhelmed by the potential. Start small and focus on producing beautiful, timely, relevant communications that hit the mark.
Download the free trial of our InDesign Plug-in to get started (Adobe InDesign is required). Reach out to our sales team to learn more about its production-level functionality.