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Xplor Now Accepting Nominations for Annual Awards

Recognitions to include Application, Technology, as well as Lifetime Achievement Awards

Lutz, FL — November 28, 2017: Xplor International, The Electronic Document Systems Association®, today issued a call for nominations for their annual awards, to be presented at their 2018 Annual Conference, Xploration® 18, April 17-19 at the Rosen Plaza in Orlando, Florida. The deadline for nominations is January 15, 2018. For more information on the annual Xplor awards, or to nominate a company or individual, please visit www.cvent.com/d/1tq1dl.

Tweet this: @Xplor_Int Issues Annual Call for Award Nominations. Nominate an individual/company in one of 4 categories bit.ly/2nd8R6b #XPLOR18

Application of the Year Award
The Application of the Year Award is presented to an individual, a company or an organization to recognize outstanding achievement in the imaginative application of current technology and/or unique implementation of existing document and communication systems. This award is open to members and non-members.

Technology of the Year Award
The Technology of the Year Award honors an individual, company or organization that has conceived and developed an original concept leading to a significant advancement in the industry.   This can be a new program, product or technology that notably enhances the capabilities of document and communication systems. This award is open to members and non-members.

The Brian Platte Lifetime Achievement Award
Established in 2007, this award is given to an individual whose efforts and contributions have significantly changed the course and development of the digital document and customer communications industry. This award is open to members and non-members.

Xplorer of the Year
For over 20 years, Xplor International has honored an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the association. The Xplorer of the Year honors significant service to the association, dedication to the Xplor mission, and notable achievement promoting the interest of the electronic document systems industry.  Only current members of Xplor International, who are not on the Association Board of Directors, are eligible.

If you have any questions on the award nominations, please contact Xplor Headquarters at +1-813-949-6171 or via email at register@xplor.org. For more information in regards to Xploration® 18, please visit www.xplor.org/xplor18. Vendors interested in being a sponsor or exhibitor can contact Xplor’s Director of Sales, Deborah Green, at +1-770-444-3845 or via email at deborahgreen@xplor.org.


About Xplor International
Xplor International is a not-for-profit association that provides thought leadership to the customer communications industry. As a community Xplor provides advocacy, education, training, mentoring and networking opportunities.

Our members are decision makers and recommenders who are involved in the conception, design, implementation production and delivery of multi-channel client, member and customer communications.

Xplor’s mission is to enhance organizational success and advance the careers of our members by providing research, publications, industry certification, professional development, web-based events, and conference programming. Xplor International has its worldwide headquarters in Lutz, Florida, with affiliated offices around the world. Further information is available at www.xplor.org.

Facebook: facebook.com/XplorInternational
Twitter: twitter.com/Xplor_Int or @Xplor_Int

Xplor International Media Contact:
Chad Henk
Director of Marketing
+1-813-949-6171
Chad@xplor.org

Xplor Announces 2016 Technology and Application Award Recipients

Lutz, FL — March 22, 2016 – Xplor International, the worldwide electronic document systems association, today announced the recipients of its 2016 Technology and Application of the Year Awards. The awards will be presented at a ceremony Tuesday, April 5, 2016, during the Xploration® 16 event at the Caribe Royale Orlando in Orlando, Florida.

Tweet this: #Xplor16 Tech & App Award Winners: @Apex_Rev_Tech @mutualofomaha @gmc_net @CrawfordTechInc  http://bit.ly/1pvKOvf 

Application of the Year Award:
The Application of the Year Award is presented to an individual, a company or an organization to recognize outstanding achievement in the imaginative application of current technology and/or unique implementation of existing document and communication systems. This award is open to members and non-members.

Xplor will award two honorable mentions in addition to the 2016 winner.

  • Apex Logo 030816An Honorable Mention is being awarded to Apex Revenue Technologies for their implementation of Apex Connect which allows healthcare organizations to engage patients with communications that are tailored to their specific financial needs and delivered via their preferred channels.
  • Mutual of Omaha 031416An additional Honorable Mention is being awarded to Mutual of Omaha for their implementation of EMC xPression, which has significantly enhanced efficiency by reducing the number of custom return envelopes and consolidating print and insert jobs while providing customers on demand access correspondence, all of which positively impact customer satisfaction and operational savings.

Incepture Print Solutions 031016The winner of the 2016 Xplor Application of the Year is Incepture Print Solutions White Paper Factory. The implementation of the white paper factory represents up to 55% savings by eliminating excessive equipment costs, 59% savings on supply costs and 17% savings on postage expense. The white paper factory also benefitted from full color printing, including the mailing envelope and the ability to offer customizable marketing space, available in full color on each mailing envelope.

Technology of the Year Award:
The Technology of the Year Award honors an individual, company or organization that has conceived and developed an original concept leading to a significant advancement in the industry.  This can be a new program, product, or technology that notably enhances the capabilities of document and communication systems.

Like the Application of the Year award, Xplor will present two honorable mentions, in addition to the winner of the award, due to the large number of submissions.

  • xplor-crawford-2An Honorable Mention for Technology of the Year is being awarded to Crawford Technologies for their PRO Inkjet Express, which allows organizations to implement an automated end-to-end production workflow and fully leverage the capabilities of their inkjet presses quickly, efficiently and cost effectively.
  • GMC Logo 062215The second Honorable Mention for the Xplor Technology of the Year award is being presented to GMC Software , GMC Inspire Customer Journey Mapping. This application ushers in a new era in customer experience by reducing the friction between operations and experience professionals, allowing each group to use tools that help them do their jobs more effectively.

Crawford_logoThe winner of the 2016 Xplor Technology of the Year is being awarded to Crawford Technologies for their Voiceye for Operations Express, which makes print documents fully accessible, ensuring compliance with current accessibility regulations. Clients who require an accessible format can receive their communications at the same time as sighted individuals, without the need to make a special request, be subject to a delay, or disclose their handicap.

“I want to thank everyone who submitted an award nomination. Once again we received a large number of submissions in each category, making it difficult for the Awards Committee.” said Skip Henk, EDP, President and CEO of Xplor International. “My congratulations to all of the award recipients!”

Xplor International will also be announcing the recipients of the Xplorer of the Year and Brian Platte Lifetime Achievement awards at Xploration® 16 on Tuesday, April 5, 2016.


About Xploration® 16
The two-and-a-half day event is the perfect blend of educational sessions, panel discussions, general sessions, and networking events in a relaxed Florida environment. The event features 55+ Educational Sessions/Panels, THREE Keynote Sessions, 35+ Industry Partners in the Vendor Forum, Two Evening Networking Events and Two Networking Luncheons. For more information, visit the conference website: www.cvent.com/d/drqy2z #xplor16

About Xplor International
Xplor International is a worldwide, not-for-profit professional association that consists of thousands of users and suppliers of the products and services that create, modify, and deliver customized information using a wide variety of document technologies. The association provides educational products and programs for its members and the industry at large through conferences, meetings and annual events. Xplor International has its worldwide headquarters in Lutz, Florida with affiliated offices around the world. Further information is available at www.xplor.org.

Facebook: facebook.com/XplorInternational
Twitter: twitter.com/Xplor_Int

Xplor International Media Contact:
Chad Henk

Marketing Manager
+1-813-949-6171
Chad@xplor.org

Xplor Issues Annual Call for Award Nominations

Recognitions to include Application, Technology as well as Lifetime Achievement Awards

Lutz, FL — January 20, 2016: Xplor International, The Electronic Document Systems Association®, today issued a call for nominations for their annual awards, to be presented at their 2016 Annual Conference, Xploration® 16, April 5-7 at the Caribe Royale Orlando in Orlando, Florida. The deadline for nominations is February 12, 2016. For more information on the annual Xplor awards, or to nominate a company or individual, please visit www.cvent.com/d/pfqmq3 .

Tweet this: @Xplor_Int Issues Annual Call for Award Nominations. Nominate an individual/company in one of 4 categories http://ow.ly/Xk7jJ #XPLOR16

Application of the Year Award
The Application of the Year Award is presented to an individual, a company or an organization to recognize outstanding achievement in the imaginative application of current technology and/or unique implementation of existing document and communication systems. This award is open to members and non-members.

Technology of the Year Award
The Technology of the Year Award honors an individual, company or organization that has conceived and developed an original concept leading to a significant advancement in the industry.   This can be a new program, product or technology that notably enhances the capabilities of document and communication systems. This award is open to members and non-members.

Xplorer of the Year
For over 20 years, Xplor International has honored an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the association. The Xplorer of the Year is Xplor International’s most prestigious award; it honors significant service to the association, dedication to the Xplor mission, and notable achievement promoting the interest of the electronic document systems industry.  Only current members of Xplor International, who are not on the Association Board of Directors, are eligible.

The Brian Platte Lifetime Achievement Award
Established in 2007, this award is given to an individual whose efforts and contributions have significantly changed the course and development of the digital document and customer communications industry. This award is open to members and non-members.

If you have any questions on the award nominations, please contact Xplor Headquarters at +1-813-949-6171 or via email at Lynn@xplor.org. For more information in regards to Xploration® 15, please visit www.cvent.com/d/drqy2z. Vendors interested in being a sponsor or exhibitor can contact Xplor’s Director of Sales, Deborah Green, at +1-770-444-3845 or via email at deborahgreen@xplor.org.


About Xplor International
Xplor International is a worldwide, not-for-profit professional association that consists of thousands of users and suppliers of the products and services that create, modify, and deliver customized information using a wide variety of document technologies. The association provides educational products and programs for its members and the industry at large through conferences, meetings and annual events. Xplor International has its worldwide headquarters in Lutz, Florida with affiliated offices around the world. Further information is available at www.xplor.org.

Facebook: facebook.com/XplorInternational
Twitter: twitter.com/Xplor_Int

Xplor International Media Contact:
Chad Henk
Marketing Coordinator
+1-813-949-6171
Chad@xplor.org

Why is the EDBOK important to our industry? By Roberta McKee-Jackson

Note: At Xploration®14 Xplor International began a roll out of the first Electronic Document Body of Knowledge by providing conference attendees a limited edition of the document with the official First Edition released at the 2014 Graph Expo event.

Due to the significance of the publication and the impact on the industry as a whole Xplor has decided to provide a series of articles outlining what the EDBOK is, the impact it can have within your company as well as on one’s career.


Publication of A Guide to the Electronic Document Body of Knowledge (EDBOK), First Edition, represents a significant achievement for the electronic document systems industry. The industry as we know it today has changed dramatically from the one we understood 35 years ago. Innovations in technology, hardware, software, and people skills have resulted in the complexity of digital documents and data-driven communications that we utilize today.

The EDBOK represents the first compilation of the knowledge and expertise required to create and develop digital communications in today’s world – bills, statements, insurance policies, regulatory documentation, financial documents, and marketing communications. Never before has the collective knowledge of our industry been compiled into a single resource document, from the history of technology and processes to the current state of the industry.

The EDBOK serves as a brilliant resource for staff at every level within a company. For those new to the industry, it is a roadmap of the technologies and processes required to create digital communications. For more experienced staff, it is a reference source for continued development and education.

Topics covered in the EDBOK explain the technologies and processes using a standard vocabulary to describe the day-to-day production workflow and the long-term document systems development lifecycle. All forms of digital communication are created using these production job steps, from data to doorstep. The development processes covering the entire life of a document include business requirements, business/technical analysis, architecture, design, development, testing, production, and maintenance.

For those who want to pursue designation under the EDP (Electronic Document Professional®) program, EDBOK represents the body of knowledge categories required for peer review and assessment. Perusing the varied topics will help candidates determine how their expertise and knowledge map against the criteria for certification. Staff who have two years of industry experience may apply for the EDA (Electronic Document Associate) designation while those with five or more years experience may apply for EDP certification.

The EDBOK embodies the collation of knowledge of the digital communications industry at a point in time and will prove to be an extremely valuable resource for anyone in this industry. As a living document, updates to reflect further innovations in technology and processes will be added to provide the most up-to-date industry guide.

For more information on the Electronic Document Body of Knowledge please visit: www.edbok.org or call Xplor International at +1 813-949-6170.

Do You Wanna BOK?

Submitted by Skip Henk, EDP, President/CEO of Xplor International
March 17, 2015

When you read the title, what was the first thought that came to your mind? I am hoping some of you were asking yourselves “What is he talking about? What is a BOK?” That was my dilemma.

Although I have been active and involved in the industry for many years, I did not know what a BOK was or why it was important to our members and the industry in general.

According to our friends at Wikipedia:

a body of knowledge (BOK) is the complete set of concepts, terms and activities that make up a professional domain, as defined by the relevant learned society or professional association.

EDBOKMaking It Relevant
I must admit I was a bit slow to come around to the whole idea of having a BOK for the association. The idea that a document could or would contain the “complete set of concepts, terms and activities” for our industry was difficult to conceive. Looking at the “complete document lifecycle” and all of the inherent components, the different technologies, methodologies and disciplines that put end to end defines our industry would be a monumental task.

Climbing The Mountain
At Xploration® 13, a group of Xplor EDP members got together and determined that it was time our industry had a Body of Knowledge for the Electronic Document Industry. The “Limited Edition” was presented at Xploration® 14 with the first edition being published and released last year at Graph Expo. In all, almost forty people contributed in one way or another to the creation and delivery of our industry BOK. The scope of the book is impressive and includes:

  • Document Development Lifecycle, requirements gathering, business analysis, technical analysis, stakeholder agreement, architecture, information design, project design, development, critical communications recovery(disaster recovery), test and QA, production launch, maintenance
  • Document Production Workflow, data, data objects, composition, print streams, transformations, print management, electronic presentation, web and mobile delivery, archiving, print technology, inserting technology, delivery process.

The end product has become the basis for our industries knowledge and the platform that now drives Xplor’s educational mission.

Who Cares? You Should.
Anyone in our industry, no matter what role you play, will benefit from reading it. If you are in a technical or operations role, this book pulls it all together, filling in the blanks and expanding your overall understanding of the electronic document industry. If you are in sales or marketing, it will give you an end to end view of the industry, the various components and the knowledge will certainly differentiate you from your peers.

Special thanks to all those responsible for bringing this ground breaking document to fruition.

The project team: Matt Riley edp, Project Chair, Neil Merchant m-edp, Project Manager, Pat McGrew m-edp, Editor, Scott Baker, Roberta McKee-Jackson edp, Chad Henk eda

The technology contributors: Paul Abdool edp, William Broddy m-edp , Franklin Campbell edp, Tim Ciceran, Brett Dashwood edp, Christine Durfee, Carol Fiore, Franklin Friedmann edp, Neal Gottsacker , Chris Halicki edp, Cheryl Kay, Kevin Lantaff edp, Robert Linsky, Wendy MacMillan m-edp, William McCalpin m-edp, Linda McDaniel edp, Roberta McKee-Jackson edp, Neil Merchant m-edp, Denise Miano edp, Tim Nelms, Stephen Poe edp, Rebecca Rodgers m-edp, Kevin Tondreau edp

So, Do You Wanna BOK?
For more information on the Electronic Document Body of Knowledge (EDBOK) visit the EDBOK information page under Career Development.


 

skip_Henk_Photo_2011
Skip Henk, EDP
President/CEO
Xplor International

Madison Advisors Returns to Xplor Conference to Share CCM Insights

Half-Day Pre-Conference Event Helps Kick Off Xploration® 15

Lutz, FL —February 24, 2015—Xplor International, the worldwide electronic document systems association, today announced that the Madison Advisor’s Pre-Conference Intensive will once again be part of Xplor’s Annual Conference, Xploration® 15, April 14-16, at the Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive in Orlando, Florida. The pre-conference program will take place April 13, 2015, from 1:00 to 5:00 PM. Attendees can register at www.cvent.com/d/l4qklv.

Tweet this: @Madison_Advisor Pre-Conference Intensive again returns to Xploration® 15 in Orlando, Florida #Xplor15 www.cvent.com/d/l4qklv

Madison Advisors provides thought leadership, strategic consulting, and market research to clients in the customer communications management (CCM), electronic delivery, and print industries. Their industry-neutral expertise enables end-user organizations, service providers, and vendors to achieve their strategic objectives around transactional customer communications and publishing services.

This year’s pre-conference program will feature three sessions that include:
• Archives: Not Just for Documents Anymore
• Measuring What Matters: Dashboards and KPIs
• Minding Your Print & Queues: Job Scheduling, Tracking & Optimization

For detailed information about the Madison Advisors program, please visit ow.ly/JADeo.

Pricing
Attendance to the Madison Advisors pre-conference program is not included with the conference’s Platinum Passport. However, attendees can purchase this pre-conference program during the registration process for Xploration® 15. For Xplor Members, the cost is $200 USD and non-members, $225 USD.

About Xploration® 15
Xploration® 15 is being held at the Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive from April 14-16, 2015. Pre-Conference Programs will take place on April 13, 2015.

For questions about Xploration® 15, please contact Xplor Headquarters at +1-813-949-6710 or by email at register@xplor.org. To register, or for more information, please visit the conference website: www.cvent.com/d/l4qklv.

Registration to the three-day event includes access to all of Xploration® 15’s 60+ educational sessions, panels, keynotes, general sessions, evening networking events, networking lunches and a breakfast on Thursday.

A limited number of exhibit spaces are still available. Vendors interested in becoming an exhibitor or event sponsor should contact Xplor’s Director of Sales, Deborah Green, at +1-770-444-3845 or via email at deborahgreen1@earthlink.net.

About Xplor International
Xplor International is a worldwide, not-for-profit professional association that consists of thousands of users and suppliers of the products and services that create, modify, and deliver customized information using a wide variety of document technologies. The association provides educational products and programs for its members and the industry at large through conferences, meetings and annual events. Xplor International has its worldwide headquarters in Lutz, Florida with affiliated offices around the world. Further information is available at www.xplor.org.

Facebook: facebook.com/XplorInternational
Twitter: @Xplor_Int

Xplor International Media Contact:
Chad Henk, EDA
Marketing Coordinator
+1-813-949-6171
Chad@xplor.org

About Madison Advisors


Madison Advisors, an advisory firm, exists to advance the print and electronic communications objectives of Fortune 1000 companies. The company’s analysts provide advisory services for a range of content delivery strategies, particularly those addressing enterprise output technologies and customer communications. Through short-term, high-impact engagements (measurable in days or weeks, not months), Madison Advisors offers expertise and advisory services that directly help clients achieve hard and specific return on investment (ROI) related to their enterprise output goals and objectives. The company’s analyst team has an extensive background in the enterprise output industry, enabling Madison Advisors to offer its clients unique, objective perspectives and unparalleled guidance for their print and electronic communications initiatives. For more information about Madison Advisors, visit the company’s web site at www.madison-advisors.com or call (817) 684-7545.

What Was “Old, Stale, and so 1990s” Is New Again!

Submitted by Skip Henk, EDP, President/CEO of Xplor International
February 24, 2015

The roar from our members had finally reached a crescendo that it was time to do something. I find Inaction under the guise of “not enough time” could no longer be an excuse.

And so it goes for www.xplor.org

The “Ah-hah” Moment

Over the last two years I have received comments about our website. Comments such as: “The site looks old”, “you need to be mobile friendly”, “stale”, “so 1990’s” to name just a few. BUT we were busy, did not have enough time and really could not deal with it at the time. (A bit short sighted)

The “ah-hah” moment came when one of our members called me and flat out told me she was frustrated with the site and would not recommend any of her colleagues or friends to visit the site.

That simple phone call hit home. When your own member would not recommend your site your credibility is called into play and the logical assumption is you are not acting in the best interest of your members, whether intentional or not.

“For every customer who bothers to complain, 26 other customers remain silent.” Source: White House Office of Consumer Affairs”

Your Website Is the Face of Your Company

A company website is many times the “first impression” one will have of your company. Since many people opt first to go to a company website to get information your website design needs to meet their needs. (Not yours) If the design of your website is unappealing, information is not readily available or hard to find, you most likely will lose a potential customer (or member).

• According to business2business community: (46%) of people say a website’s design is their number one criterion for determining the credibility of a company.

• “94% of people cited web design as the reason they mistrusted or rejected a website.” – ironpaper.com

Getting it Done

Like any project you have to commit, come up with a plan, allocate resources and execute. An organization must also realize its limitations and sometimes look outside for a solution.

That is what we did. We committed and incorporated outside resources into the plan. Turning things over is a difficult thing for most organizations but looking back me getting out of the way was the best thing that could have happened.

Our Marketing Coordinator was tasked with getting it done. He worked with Deborah Corn of Print Media Center, who coordinated the project with our web designer, Elementary Digital.

A Statement of Work was created, reviewed and agreed to. Work began and as much as I would like to take you through the process, I received occasional updates and assurances things were going well, and continued to stay off to the side.

The site was launched last week, they still are doing a bit of tweaking, but I feel Xplor has arrived and our “face” to the industry is new, fresh, intuitive and serves our membership.

Things to Think About

• Listen to your customers, they know what they want (and what they don’t)
• No excuses, short-term savings equals long term loss. Commit.
• Get people involved that do it for a living, you don’t have to do it all
• Spend time on the Statement of Work. What the end product will be.
• Do your homework, there are a lot of web designers. They are not all created equal.
• Do it … and enjoy the results

Your plan needs to be forward thinking and include not only viewing on a PC but tablets and mobile devices.

“Only 22% of marketers say they’re ahead of the curve when it comes to responsive design. 29% say they have “average” experience level, 23% say they’re behind the times, and 4% say they’re hopeless. (Source: eMarketer)”

Special Thanks to Deborah Corn at PrintMediaCentr, Andy Holland of Elementary Digital, and Chad Henk of Xplor for making what was old, new again.

And a big thank you to you for stopping by! We would love to hear your comments on the new site! Sound away!

Describing The World B.G. (Before Google) Can Seem Unbelievable!

The other day my son and I were having a discussion about the similarities between dolphin and mahi mahi. It came to a point in the conversation where he asked me a question and I quickly had to admit I did not know the answer, a real downer for a father. Immediately he took out his cell phone and “Googled” it getting an almost instantaneous answer to his question.
Looking at me quizzically he asked “what did people do before google?” I smiled and said “you went to the library or if you were fortunate enough looked it up in your home encyclopedias. “ (His eyes began to cross)

He was 16 when “the last entry for Encyclopedia Britannica in book form” was announced. However I was excited to share my knowledge of life before Google as I went into my story about how after high school I sold the Encyclopedia Britannica’s. How expensive they were and that you received a beautiful wood bookcase when you bought them. And, every year you could purchase the update volume to keep your information current. I also laughed at how short my career was with one sale, to my parents. (I still have the books in my attic)

At this point he was in full “are you kidding” mode, eyes crossed and asking questions like; What if it was not in the encyclopedia? (You go to the library) What if it is something trivial that you don’t want to spend the time to look up? (Then you didn’t.)

Our discussion shifted to the “value” of Google. Being antagonistic I took the diametrically opposite opinion of my son. He claimed Google gave people instant access to information allowing people instant knowledge, very good points. I however argued Google can be inaccurate in many cases unlike an encyclopedia. It is contributing to the demise of face to face social interaction. It over complicates our lives introducing minutia in an already complicated world. Case in point, did learning about the difference between dolphin and mahi mahi change your life?

As far as the difference between a dolphin and mahi mahi.

The common English name of dolphin causes much confusion. This fish is not related to the marine mammals also known as dolphins (family Delphinidae). Additionally, two species of dolphinfish exist, the common dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus) and the pompano dolphin (Coryphaena equiselis). Both these species are commonly marketed by their Pacific name, mahi-mahi.

Don’t believe me? Google it!

 

Not a cloud in the sky…

At Xploration™14 in March we had several sessions on the cloud. Fortunately I was able to attend a couple of them and came back with more questions than answers as to how vulnerable Xplor would be if the cloud suddenly disappeared.

My conclusion to my brief sixty second assessment, we would be in deep trouble depending on the length of the outage and the ability of our provider to get us back up. Xplor’s email system is in the cloud as well as our event registration, website and members hub, which is just about all of Xplor.  We backup our database but if the rest goes down it is still a really big  problem.

Wozniak Agrees?

In further researching I read an interesting article the other day by Steve Wozniak regarding the cloud that made me think. In the article he stated “The more we transfer everything onto the web, onto the cloud, the less we’re going to have control over it. With the cloud, you don’t own anything. You already signed it away.”  Read the article.

The term that really caught my attention was You already signed it away.”  Yes, that is what we often do when we check that terms and conditions box in addition to absolving the provider of most if not all liability.

The Need to Ask Questions

What if your cloud provider goes out of business, is a victim of hackers or cyber terrorists. What are their safeguards? How do you get back up and running?  How do you recover? What is their liability?

Xplor as an organization is going to be asking the three vendors that control our “clouds” these questions.

So how does your organization handle the cloud and the people you entrust with your information?

What if there was not a cloud in the sky? I am curious to hear your views.

 

 

Dear Occupant, We Are Raising The Bar!

If you are old enough to remember receiving direct mail addressed to “Dear Occupant,” you will certainly remember the astonishment and wonder when you received your first piece of “personalized mail” – Dear (insert your name here).
Over time the level of text personalization increased to include things like the company you worked for, the city you lived in, etc., and we all felt connected in some way. We were not just an “occupant” but an individual.

That was the late 80‘s, early 90’s if I recall correctly.

Today, receive a piece of personalized mail and you are typically less than impressed. In fact, you probably may even ignore it unless it is something out of the ordinary, like your name spelled in the sand on a beach, or in the clouds against a blue sky. There is still a WOW factor to the innovative use of personalization. However personalization and the WOW factor have to be relevant. A catchy piece, plus a good offer to the right person, equals a winner for the Brand.

In 1999 Harry Quadracci of Quad Graphics wrote, “We are in the Age of Advertising. Baby Boomers, now in their peak spending years, have a lot of buying power, and there’s going to be a lot of advertising to get that dollar. The best way to harness that buying power will be through properly promoting the brand… and the most effective media for brand promotion will continue to be ink on paper. It’s The Brand, Stupid, it’s The Brand!”

Mr.Quadracci was right in 1999 and remains so today, “it is the brand” and the decision makers of the brands who require results. Sending out 100,000 pieces of direct mail to “Dear (insert your name here), hoping 2-3% produce results is no longer what the brands are looking for or need. Sending out 50,000 innovative pieces, to the right people with the right offer drives double digit results. If you are a printer I am not saying you need to be a “marketeer” – but you do need to understand what your customers may ask you to print. (Everyone familiar with augmented reality?)

So as a printer, what is interactive print? (I personally believe it could be the Renaissance of direct mail) What do the brands need? How can you be part of the opportunity?

There is a great deal of opportunity for those who get it. To get it you need to reach out to different places and spheres of influences.

I invite you to add Xplor to your sphere of influences and join us for Xploration 14, March 25-27th in Orlando Florida.

Visit http://xplor.org/upcoming-events/2014-annual-conference