”Multichannel demands quite a bit new from our members as marketing service providers: Focus is on business transformation and expanded expert knowledge on the impact of digitalisation.“ —Christian Kopocz
Christian Kopocz struck out in a new direction from being a businessman with marketing experience. Some 10 years ago, he became a multichannel communications entrepreneur and has been involved in his own small companies ever since. At home and abroad, he campaigns for the dynamic development of multichannel services. In his many years as a member of the Board of Directors and since January 2016 as the Executive Director of the XMPie Users Group (XUG), he took a firm stance: Market and customer orientation are the measure of all things, coupled with consideration of cultural peculiarities. In summer 2015, he initiated the 1st European XUG Conference on the topic of multichannel innovation in Berlin, doing so in a very short time using multichannel communication. More than 130 participants came from 17 countries! The response was overwhelming. Bingo!
Interview: Andreas Weber | Click to access the german text version
You have an excellent overview through XUG of highly topical issues surrounding multichannel communications. What is of greatest concern at the moment?
Christian Kopocz: We have been successfully supporting our members for years through the XUG in the use and marketing of campaigns and solutions created with XMPie. Technical implementation, tips, tricks and closeness to the XMPie developer team are always in great demand. Since last year particularly, we have noted increased interest in case studies, practice-oriented approaches and marketing support.
What new challenges do you derive from that?
Christian Kopocz: Multichannel demands quite a bit new from our members as marketing service providers: Focus is on business transformation and expanded expert knowledge on the impact of digitalisation. Another thing is that access to the customer is no longer what it used to be: In place of or in addition to the purchasing managers, marketing managers as well as decision-makers for CRM, social media, web, e-mail marketing, etc. need to be in on the talks to be able to act powerfully. In addition to time and patience, all that requires the corresponding knowledge, which we will be focusing on with XUG this year in particular. Especially with regard to drupa 2016, the world’s leading trade fair for graphic communications, where multichannel is positioned as one of the six themes highlighted.
How do you personally define the term multichannel?
Christian Kopocz: The customer decides how, when and where he would like to be addressed. For me, multichannel is the communication of relevant content to the preferred channels of the customer!
Where do we stand today as to how the whole topic of multichannel communications will change with regard to the IoT/Industry 4.0?
Christian Kopocz: Fridges that order lactose-free milk from Amazon… A horror for some, a blessing for others. The concept of the IoT can indeed make our lives easier and more comfortable. As long as everyone knows how to deal with it, that is. If in the end, it is not even noticed how and where IoT simplifies our lives, then it has fit in. This requires intuition in the development phase, and particularly when it comes to market positioning. To know what the customer needs and from that develop an application, that is what the requirement should be — not “do or die!” These changes in customer demand caused by digitalisation and automation are clearly on the table!
What are the consequences for service providers?
Christian Kopocz: Both today and tomorrow, service providers are and will be constantly required to think ahead and become pro-active. I see that as a real mammoth task since up to now, even with multichannel innovations, everything was undertaken in a very linear manner: Investment was made in a new business model that was brought to market and then practically, like a loan repayment, was worked off monthly. Less thought was given to continuous, 100% customer-oriented, sustained development and none at all to it as an investment in the future. The result was then often in the form of bad figures. It doesn’t have to be that way at all: Stay curious and don’t let the contact with your customer flag – that will always take you to your goal!
Thanks for the inspiring talk. Happy to keep in touch and to see you at drupa 2016 in Düsseldorf.
Read as well great insights shared by XUG members:
ValueDialog — Renato Vögeli, Vögeli AG, Switzerland:
Multichannel turns communication into a personal experience!
ValueDialog — Patrick Donner, TraffIC Print Online Solutions GmbH, Germany:
New take on multichannel communications: “There is no either/or!”