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drupa 2016 highlight Multichannel ENG

By Andreas Weber | Click to access german version

The topic of “multichannel” appears to be extremely complex. For many, it is also complicated. Whatever, by the end of this year at the latest, there will be no way around it – you will have to come to terms with it. And here are three reasons why:

  1. Unsolved problem: “How do I effectively and permanently reach my customers and others who are interested?” 
  2. Shift to customer orientation: “It is no longer ‘it’s the brand that counts’, but the market that counts.”
  3. The new trendsetters IoT & Industry 4.0: “In an interlinked and automated digital world, dialogue is the deciding factor!”

“Nothing stays the same!” said Christian Kopocz, entrepreneur and Executive Director of the international XMPie User Group. “The change driven by technology and consumers increasingly forces information and personal exchange across many other channels — in addition to print, web and e-mail, video content, social media and mobile services have all become relevant. Individual solutions are in demand.”

If you look and listen carefully, the turning away from decades of successful mass communications may not be taking place abruptly, but it is unstoppable and irreversible. Publishing houses are experiencing that, just as are TV stations. And, of course, the printing industry, particularly the sector of commercial printing. Digitalisation is changing everything — every type of business including marketing and communications processes. The Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0 are fast-forwarding automation on all possible levels.

It is worth listening to the experts who have been involved with the development of suitable solutions. “The digital age is the age of the customer. Why? The audience you serve is always interconnected and online,” explained Dr. Jacob Aizikowitz, President of XMPie. He went on to add, “You need to become part of the resulting continual conversation and interlinking. Old-school marketing methods no longer fit in this new scenario. Achieving wide reach and attention through mass media is no longer as successful as it was in the past. Brands are setting the example of how to be involved in a relationship with your customers and others who are interested, and for carrying out an on-going sustained dialogue.”

Holistic View

Source: XMPie, A Xerox Company

 

Everything is changing: Multichannel newly defined!

Up to now, there has been a confusion of terms: Cross-media is the same as multichannel which is the same as omnichannel. What is mostly advocated is that the aim of content marketing is to make content public on as many channels as possible, all at the same time. But that is not at all what it is about, since this scares off the receiver. Jacob Aizikowitz is clear about just what it is that makes multichannel: “It is all down to making it possible for personal, relevant and interactive communication to take place in a creative way, offering touch points at the right time in a mix of digital and print media.” 

Smart service providers are already exploiting this way of thinking, by having successfully transformed their traditional business models. Printers have become media production service providers who, through multichannel services, have evolved into marketing service providers. The side effect: From the skilful interplay with digital printing, diverse opportunities for success arise that first, go beyond booming online printing and second, open up new areas of business and profitable growth.

Renato Vögeli of Vögeli AG in Switzerland explained this as follows: “We understand multichannel communications to be the individual addressing of the target group across various channels in order to reach the individual wherever he or she may be. With that, we can take the target group along on a journey in a mix of online and offline that offers various points of contact.”

His German colleague Patrick Donner, TraffiC Online Print Solutions GmbH, added, “We at TraffiC define multichannel communications quite specifically and very pragmatically: bringing communications from different media together with focus on print, e-mail, web and social media. The aim is to bring about emotional experiences that effectively deliver a haptic sensation via print as well as the speed and round-the-clock availability of digital communication.” For Patrick Donner, individuality in the interlinking of print and online is the key to attracting the interest of the communications partner. “To our way of thinking, multichannel communication creates effective personal experiences as opposed to the ‘one-for-all actions’ that are otherwise customary.”

Christian Kopocz rounds out the reassessment of multichannel communications by summing up what it is really all about: “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!” 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.” According to Kopocz, the result was 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!”

 

Note: drupa 2016 will show the latest multichannel solutions and applications. That makes it worth paying a visit to Dusseldorf!

drupa blog — Multichannel (English only)

 

drupa 2016 newsroom Multichannel

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drupa 2016 highlight Multichannel D

Von Andreas Weber

Das Thema „Multichannel“ scheint äußerst komplex zu sein. Für viele auch kompliziert. Wie auch immer, spätestens in diesem Jahr kommt man nicht mehr daran vorbei, sich damit umfassend auseinanderzusetzen. Und zwar aus drei Gründen:

  1. Ungelöstes Problem: „Wie erreiche ich wirkungsvoll und nachhaltig meine Kunden und Interessenten?“ 
  2. Wandel zur Kundenorientierung: „Nicht mehr ‚die Marke macht’s‘, sondern der Markt macht’s“.
  3. Die neuen Schrittmacher IoT & Industrie 4.0: „In einer vernetzten und automatisierten digitalen Welt entscheidet die Dialogfähigkeit!“

„Nichts bleibt wie es ist!“, sagt Christian Kopocz, Unternehmer und Executive Director der weltweit aktiven XMPie User Group. „Der von Technik und Konsumenten getriebene Wandel erzwingt mehr und mehr die Information und den persönlichen Austausch über viele weitere Kanäle — neben Print, Web, E-Mail wurden Video-Inhalte, Social Media und Mobile Services relevant. Individuelle Lösungen sind gefragt.“

Schaut und hört man genau hin, die Abkehr von der jahrzehntelang erfolgreichen Massenkommunikation vollzieht sich zwar nicht abrupt, aber unaufhaltsam und nicht umkehrbar. Verlage spüren dies ebenso wie TV-Sender. Und natürlich auch die Druckindustrie, vor allem im Sektor „Commercial Printing“. Die Digitalisierung verändert alles — jede Art von Geschäft inklusive den Marketing- und Kommunikationsprozesse. Das Internet-of-Things (IoT) und Industrie 4.0 treiben rasch die Automatisierung auf allen möglichen Ebenen voran.

Es lohnt sich daher, auf Experten zu hören, die sich mit der Entwicklung adäquater Lösungen beschäftigen. „Das Digitalzeitalter ist das Zeitalter des Kunden. Warum? Das Publikum, das man bedient, ist immer vernetzt und Online“, erklärt Dr. Jacob Aizikowitz, XMPie President. Und fährt fort: „Man muss Teil der sich daraus ergebenden immer währenden Konversation und Vernetzungen werden. Die Marketing-Methoden der alten Schule passen für diese neuen Szenarien nicht mehr. Per Massenmedien große Reichweiten und Aufmerksamkeit zu erzielen bringt nicht mehr die Erfolge wie ehedem. Markenunternehmen machen es vor, wie man sich mit Kunden und Interessenten in Beziehung setzt und durchgängige, nachhaltige Dialoge führt.“

Holistic View

Quelle: XMPie, A Xerox Company.

Alles im Wandel: Multichannel neu definiert!

Bis dato herrscht ein Begriffswirrwarr: Crossmedia ist gleich Multichannel ist gleich Omnichannel — zumeist wird propagiert, dass per Content Marketing das Ziel sein muss, einen Inhalt auf möglichst vielen Ausgabekanälen gleichzeitig publik zu machen. Darum geht es aber keinesfalls, da dies wiederum die Empfänger abschreckt. Jacob Aizikowitz stellt darum klar, was Multichannel ausmacht: „Es geht im Kern darum zu ermöglichen, dass auf kreative Art und Weise individuelle, relevante und interaktive Kommunikation stattfinden kann, die zur richtigen Zeit Berührungspunkte im Mix von digitalen und gedruckten Medien bietet.“ 

Diese Sichtweise nützt smarten Dienstleistern bereits, indem sie überaus erfolgreich ihre klassischen Geschäftsmodelle transformiert haben. Aus Druckereien wurden Medienproduktions-Dienstleister, die sich per Multichannel Services zu Marketing Service Providern weiterentwickelt haben.  Nebeneffekt: Aus dem gekonnten Zusammenspiel mit Digitaldruck ergeben sich vielfältige Erfolgsaussichten, die erstens über das boomende Online-Printing hinausführen und zweitens neue Geschäftsfelder und profitables Wachstum eröffnen.

Renato Vögeli von der Schweizer Vögeli AG erläutert dies wie folgt:Wir verstehen unter Multichannel die individuelle Ansprache des Zielpublikums über verschiedene Kanäle, um den Einzelnen dort anzusprechen, wo er sich aufhält. Wir können damit das Zielpublikum im Mix von Online und Offline auf eine Reise mitnehmen, die verschiedenste Berührungspunkte bietet.“

Sein deutscher Kollege Patrick Donner, TraffiC Online Print Solutions GmbH, ergänzt: „Multichannel definieren wir bei TraffiC sehr konkret und ganz pragmatisch: Kommunikation aus differenzierten Medien zusammenführen. Mit Fokus auf Print, Email, Web und Social Media. Das Ziel lautet, emotionale Erlebnisse herbeiführen, die sowohl die haptischen Erlebnisse via Print als auch die Schnelligkeit und Rund-um-die-Uhr-Verfügbarkeit digitaler Kommunikation zur Wirkung bringen.“ Dabei bildet für Patrick Donner die Individualität in der Vernetzung von Print und Online den Schlüssel für das Interesse beim Kommunikationspartner. „Multichannel in unserem Sinne schafft effektive persönliche Erlebnisse im Gegensatz zu sonst üblichen ‚Gießkannen-Aktivitäten’.“

Christian Kopocz rundet die Neubewertung von Multichannel ab, in dem er auf den Punkt bringt, worum es tatsächlich geht: „Der Kunde bestimmt wann, wo und wie er angesprochen werden möchte. Multichannel ist für mich die Kommunikation mit relevanten Inhalten auf vom Kunden bevorzugten Kanälen!“ Dienstleister seien heute und morgen gefordert, stetig weiter zu denken und sich zu pro-aktiv zu entwickeln. „Das sehe ich als echte Mammut-Aufgabe, da bisher auch bei Multichannel-Innovationen sehr linear vorgegangen wurde: Per Investition wurde ein neues Geschäftsmodell auf den Markt gebracht und dann quasi wie bei einer Kredittilgung monatlich abgearbeitet. An eine stetige, hundertprozentige Kundenorientierung und permanente Weiterentwicklung wurde wenig gedacht, und schon gar nicht als Invest in die Zukunft eingestuft.“ Das Ergebnis kam laut Kopocz dann oftmals in Form schlechter Zahlen. Das müsse aber gar nicht sein. Denn: „Neugierig bleiben und den Kontakt zum Kunden nicht erlahmen lassen, das führt immer ins Ziel!“

 

Hinweis: Die drupa 2016 wird die neuesten Lösungen und Anwendungen für den Bereich Multichannel zeigen. Ein Besuch in Düsseldorf lohnt sich daher!

drupa blog — Multichannel (english only)

drupa 2016 newsroom Multichannel

XMPie Jacob Key Visual.001

Interview by Andreas Weber | Click to access german version

It is always a great honor and pleasure to carry on a conversation with Jacob Aizikowitz, President XMPie, a Xerox Company. He was a pioneer in one-to-one communication solutions driven by technology innovations when he started XMPie to enable Cross Media, VDP and Web-to-Print applications. His expertise is unique because he is able to bridge his profound technical knowledge with market needs that anticipate customers’ demand. No wonder that XMPie today is one of the most advanced multichannel solution providers around the globe. Nevertheless there are a lot of news to talk about. —Note: right at the beginning of 2016 Jacob and his team sharpened what they do. They created a new Web platform to share their state-of-the-art multichannel knowledge, headed by the claim: MANY CHANNELS. ONE CONVERSATION.

At a glance:

  1. Discover: Multichannel gives the smart collaboration of print and online a new dimension.
  2. Participate: XMPie’s Cross Media 2.0 opened the door to everybody doing digital media to contribute / participate in multichannel with print using XMPie personalization technology.
  3. Crucial: to understand the business and to understand the technology.
  4. The biggest challenge: automation of the conversation.
  5. The Target: to achieve ’One Conversation’, practically with no constraints on what and how one does in the digital media.
  6. Outlook: embrace digital innovation to transform applications. Best example: packaging. Via multichannel, packages will become the starting point of a conversation between the brand and its consumers.
  7. drupa 2016: a great place to experience the power of multichannel!

 

Jacob’s key message:
”It is all about to enable creating individually relevant and timely interactive customer communications that span time and a mix of digital and print media touch points”.

 

 

Bildschirmfoto 2016-02-05 um 16.47.25

 

PART 1

Focus on multichannel innovation

Before we start our conversation: What is your definition of ”multichannel“?

Jacob Aizikowitz: Interacting with your audience — customers, partners, prospects — with individually relevant and timely communications across time and along touch points that span the media spectrum from print to digital. — One should say: “One Conversation”. — Without that, the communications might be technically multichannel but not appear to the audience as a continuous interactive and relevant individualized dialogue. Achieving “One Conversation” is the tough part (especially when multichannel includes print). This is exactly where technology comes in to make it possible without endless and impractical team coordination that sometimes spans different organizations (e.g., the brand, its print agency / provider, its digital agency …).

Back to the future: You started more than 15 years ago as a pioneer with a 121 approach to innovate print production and marketing services processes. Nowadays it is all about multichannel in a digital world. How does that matter?

Jacob Aizikowitz: Good question. First of all, in a digital world it is so important not to forget that Print is still important. For all of us. It would be great if more enterprises and brand owners point that out. Secondly, in founding XMPie we observed that for the marketing professionals personalization equated with Internet. And we knew that personalization is also possible in digital printing. This triggered our vision to bridge print and digital for personalization. Such a vision enabled the marketing professional to practice personalization as a strategy and not as a media choice. Such a vision enabled the evolution of Multichannel. 

Cross-media communication

What kind of changes in mindset or improvements did you made?

Jacob Aizikowitz: Now, through the years, we evolved our direction, adding Web2Print, adding analytics, and adding campaign planning and automation (Circle). We realized that these business applications became relevant to the marketing professionals and to service providers who want to upgrade the type of services they provide. Most recently — end of 2015 — we changed dramatically our approach to cross media, introducing Open XM and Cross Media 2.0 (all with our 8.0 software release for PersonalEffect).

Read as well:
”Ten Steps to Hitting the Sweet Spot with Your Multichannel Campaign“

 

What is the benefit?

Jacob Aizikowitz: With Cross Media 2.0 we opened our solution to enable our customer to use any choice of web design / development tools, not constraining them to one specific tool that comes with the solution. This made our solution an open platform, enabling state-of-the-art digital while still using the XMPie personalization so that print and digital — while being each state-of-the-art — will be synergistic, consistent, and effective. The heart of Cross Media 2.0 is the Open XM Technology stack. It allows one to use, say, WebStorm, WordPress, just plain HTML, and also, our Dreamweaver plug-in, all interchangeably, while developing communications for digital. It also allows to develop mobile apps and responsive designs. In a way it allows the digital designer / developer to continue using their tools and their workflows while developing individualized communications that are automatically consistent and synchronized and synergistic with the individualized communications that are developed for the print media.

Creative Tools.png

… so your focus was always on technology innovation?

Jacob Aizikowitz: Yes and no. Most important was that we learned through the years what the customers of our customers wanted. Those are business people and they need business tools to manage marketing and communication campaigns properly. So we integrated responses via Web/PURLs and we established business analytics available via dash boards. Finally we learned and promoted: multichannel includes multitouch functionalities!

Sounds that you made a very interesting journey…

Jacob Aizikowitz: …indeed. But what we never changed is our original design. Our fundamental view was right and still is! From the very beginning we give a lot of value to our customers helping them find the right balance of technology and client needs. It is always important for us to understand the business as well as to understand the technology.

Date Print VDP

In summary, what is the secret of all those technical inventions you made via XMPie? 

Jacob Aizikowitz: There are three main aspects: 1. Understanding the market and where its going. 2. Understanding how to apply technology in an innovative and elegant way in order to enable the market trends and address its emerging needs. 3. A holistic view at solutions, which was also reflected in our tag line: One to One in One.

In my understanding XMPie’s success is a result of a perfect team work. What are the top criteria to characterize that?

Jacob Aizikowitz: I agree. Team work is a must. Our top criteria are: Smart people who bring new dimensions and flavours of technologies. — Alignment which is focused on the customer. — An open culture to exchange opinions frankly and in a very creative way.

Digitalisation changes everything — all kind of biz, marketing and communication processes. IoT and Industry 4.0 make big progress to automate what we have to do. Is this a threat or a chance?

Jacob Aizikowitz: Tough question but not that difficult to answer. IoT means everything is connected. So in fact we have more data to deal with. That works well because we are already familiar in handling huge amounts of data. Industry 4.0 is driven by automation. — What I feel is that personalization and the ability to interact across time and media touch points are very much related to IoT and Industry 4.0. So, these are synergistic trends.

What is the biggest challenge?

Jacob Aizikowitz: The big challenge in my view: automation of the conversation. Therefore we made a big progress and are able to offer a special solution, named Circle which leads you from storyboarding to campaign automation.

Campaign Management.png

Note: Circle is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution for managing your multichannel plus multitouch marketing campaigns. Users can track results and find out which messages are working best with which people, in which context and in which media a.s.o.

 

Circle seems to be the next big step based on a new business level for your customers? Right?

Jacob Aizikowitz: Surely. In any case XMPie is an enabler for Industry 4.0 compatible services. Automating the dialogue with the individual, while keeping it engaging, relevant, and effective is the main challenge; this is extremely challenging when the dialogue spans print and digital touch points. Many in ’Marketing Automation’ are after this — DRIP campaigns, Nurturing, etc. — but the XMPie offering is unique as it blends the automation of the individualized dialogues with the powerful media personalization — including print media (even if not printed — like PDF) and interactive capabilities. All under one roof — One to One in One.

Sounds good for your customers. So, if they follow our advice XMPie customers will become the HUB for new services?

Jacob Aizikowitz: We aim to provide our customers with technology that will allow them to stay relevant and attractive to their customers. We need our customers to have the vision and innovation; our role is to bring them technology that lets them pursue their vision. Some were influenced by our technology innovation to take the visionary view and go after their dreams.

Is that the reason why Gartner Group analyzed end of 2015: ”XMPie’s rating as a Challenger in this Magic Quadrant reflects its strong ability to execute on marketing communications.“

Jacob Aizikowitz: We are happy about being a challenger. Gartner addresses a number of other players who make technology integratable with other systems. Their focus is on customer communication management [CCM]. The notion of CCM was invented as an evolution of transpromo coming from transaction document management solutions. But with XMPie we made already a step ahead: our technology is accessible and much more open following the new paradigm of multichannel and multitouch.

 

drupa 2016 highlights ENG

PART 2

Focus on drupa 2016: time for a change!

A milestone this year will be drupa 2016 end of May 2016 in Düsseldorf/Germany. Multichannel is one of the trade show high-lights. The drupa motto: Touch the future. What is your guideline and vision to create further success? Is the Graphic Arts market or the print industry community still the best target group for XMPie? 

Jacob Aizikowitz: As always drupa delivers a good context for XMPie and our customers. I recognize the fact that graphic arts and print service providers (PSP) are solid customer bases. Going after multichannel vision is now very critical for PSPs. This is because the enterprises — the brands — are shifting at light speed rates to individualization, dialogues, nurturing, automation a.s.o. Except that they have no clue how to properly blend it with multichannel that has print media in it. The PSPs must shift their business and capabilities to multichannel and automation in order to provide their customers with services that match their needs as they (the brands) shift to digital and automatic individualized marketing. Our technology is a critical enabler for these transformations that the PSPs must make; and it is our goal to continuously innovate to make sure that we stays relevant, technology-wise, for our customers!

Web2print

You mean at drupa there are still opportunities to transform established print businesses?

Jacob Aizikowitz: Certainly. The opportunities are huge especially when relating to digital printing business models beyond online printing. It is all about bridging concepts and technologies to be still relevant to new customers needs. With our recently released Cross Media 2.0 technology, we make it possibility for PSPs (and their customers) to practice multichannel with print in the mix, while having the freedom to use their tools and workflow of choice for the digital elements in that mix. This opens the door to state of the art digital solutions, to collaboration, and consistency and synergy between the digital and print media touch points in a dialogue.

This new approach for Cross Media, combined with Circle, makes the XMPie technology also directly relevant to the enterprises themselves, and it opens many possible avenues for Enterprise / PSP collaboration and business workflows. In addition for a future multichannel success all kind of brands and enterprises are relevant. We have to continue to involve and to guide them step by step to experience our drupa 2016 presentation.

Holistic View

You serve a range of premium marketing service solution providers around the globe. From your point of view, what make them unique?

Jacob Aizikowitz: Most of our customers are serving their customers in the best way to achieve a sustainable benefit from multichannel communication success. They had in an early phase clear visions to change what they did and are able to transform it into new business opportunities. Very important fact: all of our very successful customers are not afraid of all kinds of digital and/or disruptive technologies. It is all about the readiness to embrace innovation!

Last but not least: In my opinion the main challenge will be ”customer centricity” driven by high-value multichannel capabilities. Do you agree or disagree?

Jacob Aizikowitz: Of course I agree. The digital age is the age of the customer. Why? Your audience is always connected. You have to become part of their conversation and to be connected all the time. The old school marketing methods don’t fit in that scenario anymore. To create reach and awareness by mass media is no longer working in the same way as in the past. Brands are interested in a relationship, a dialogue, on-going, continuous, with their consumers or prospects. 

Overview

This is very clear from the high investments brands make in social media, seeking “likes” and leveraging these likes for marketing. One exciting avenue for such a relationship between the brand and its consumers is something most digital-centric brand marketers have not yet seen — its packaging. The package — a nicely engaging and attractive piece — is the perfect starting touch point for a dialogue with the mobile-holding individual. The ability to offer multichannel in a packaging context is hot and attractive, and we enable this.

So the best and most desirable example comes from the packaging world. Brand owners realized that a package achieved by a consumer is not the end of the story. It is the starting point of a conversation which will be managed by innovative multichannel communication processes. This is a huge opportunity for our customers to develop breathtaking new applications.

 

Ressources

Thanks for the great conversation, Jacob. What is the essence to summarize our talk?

Jacob Aizikowitz: Finally, it is all about strategy and technology. We kept our strategy pretty much consistent through the years. Main changes were adding Web2Print, adding Analytics, adding Campaign Management (Circle), and revising our approach to cross media. This last point is what we call Cross Media 2.0, and it embraces into the XMPie fold the leading methods and workflows of state of the art in digital today. It’s open and ready for collaborations. The reason this last point is important is because a service provider who wants to provide Multichannel services, must recognize that its customers most likely have capability in web design, web sites, etc. The brands most likely have a web team or a digital agency. So, for our customer to offer multichannel they cannot just dismiss the brands web team or web agency. With Cross Media 2.0 it’s now possible to collaborate and share and work together, using the full spectrum of tools and methods available for digital, while still leveraging the XMPie personalization engine — the exact same engine that will feed the print side of the multichannel endeavor.

Services

In summary: It is all about to enable creating individually relevant and timely interactive customer communications that span time and a mix of digital and print media touch points. —Jacob Aizikowitz

—END—

 

Jacob Aizikowitz

About Jacob Aizikowitz, XMPie, Inc. 

Dr. Jacob Aizikowitz is the president of XMPie, which he founded in 2000 with Israel Roth and Reuven Sherwin, as a spin off from Scitex. XMPie has since grown to become the leading brand for integrated cross-media personalization solutions. In 2006, Jacob and the team led XMPie to a successful acquisition by the Xerox Corporation (XRX), where it now operates under the name, “XMPie, A Xerox Company”.

In the early 90’s, while at EFI (EFII), Jacob guided the early stages of the Fiery™ and led the development of EfiColor™ and Cachet™. These technologies, together with work by Adobe and Apple, brought user-friendly, quality-color to desktop publishing. In the late 90’s, during Jacob’s second term at Scitex, he led the early stages of the R&D of the Creo Controller. In parallel, he and his colleagues developed Scitex VPS™ which became a leading, objects-based, page description language for variable data printing.

The success of VPS, indirectly, inspired the founding of XMPie, and promoted the vision of cross media personalization and the democratization of variable data publishing.

Jacob holds a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from Cornell University.

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