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Be more huma by Reebok

Photo: Reebok Shoes | Freak Show Be More Human.

By Andreas Weber

Appreciate. Again you hit the point, dear Morten B. Reitoft, when you tell us: ”Marketing People Sucks – Get NEW ones NOW!“

Given the fact that digital transformation is dramatically changing the way companies are run, there is no doubt that this will have an impact on marketing.

Another important aspect is that the print business mainly consists of marketing services. So if you don’t understand marketing, you don’t understand your customers and their business.

The blogger and marketing thought leader Mark Schaefer from the USA, author of the must-read book MARKETING REBELLION, recently noticed that hardly any marketing professionals are being sought. He sees the development of marketing automation driven by algorithms rolling inexorably on us.

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I myself asked a few years ago: Throw out the so-called marketing professionals! Especially those who still have old school thinking and see marketing as a permanent sales pitch. I rarely got so much encouragement, especially from print shop entrepreneurs. But also from their suppliers.

 


From my point of view, what has changed is that a new briefing has clearly arisen: the focus is no longer on brand experience, but on customer experience and benefits.


 

My advice then as now is: Use Smart Communication as a driver of corporate success. Let people with the best understanding of communication move to the front row.

Because the Brand Experience Principle no longer applies. Customer sensitivities and expectations can best be met with an individually-tailored Smart Communication architecture, which should be designed with a customer experience focus.

 


If the Smart Communication strategy, which is so successful for i. e. for Apple, is structured in a systemic way, adapted to your company, and precisely understood in detail, the essence of Smart Communication, you will be able to respond extremely quickly to individual customer needs. There is no other choice! ‘Communication first’ thus goes hand in hand with ‘Customer benefits first.’


At least

Think different! Put your current branding and customer experience strategies to the test and discuss your findings with others.

Rethink and critically assess the values of your company’s current communication approach and processes.

 


 

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#Think!Paper Edition 3, Vol. 8

Interview by Andreas Weber, Head of Value

 


There are experiences that are unforgettable. Fraser Church lastingly impressed around 200 top experts who came to the 3rd DigitaldruckForum Congress in Gutenberg’s hometown Mainz, Germany, on November 11, 2004. He described as a profound marketing expert in the opening lecture “Creativity Creates Innovation” how to use print products individually, highly automated, targeted and highly effective. What he was talking about at that time is still valid today!“ — Benchmark!


 

What is the beauty of print in the digital age?

Fraser Church: The growth of the internet, digital and social media has changed our lives and how we act as people. Everyone expects instant access to information, and for many the technology has changed people’s behaviours as they want instant “likes” gratification. The speed at which information can be generated and delivered, means that some of the communication sent by both individuals and businesses is not always considered. It also generates content that is often ignored, or at best instantly deleted by the swipe of a finger or the click of a mouse. A phone’s secondary function is now a phone, with the usage enormously skewed towards messaging and listening/watching media.

For may they have lost the anticipation of receiving and opening a personal letter, or the more personal contact from a phone call, rather than an often-misunderstood electronic message.

Whilst many anticipated the demise of print, it is having a resurgence. Why? Well for starters, it is a tactile media that provides a sensory experience. The growth of eBooks has slowed, and by my reckoning based on watching others on my daily commute is declining as we see the resurgence of the printed book. Reading a physical book is a pleasurable experience, not only whilst commuting but also curled up on the sofa or in bed at bedtime. There is something good about folding over a page as you turn the bedside light off – the chapter for that day has finished.

Print also has longevity. Whether browsing for a fitted kitchen or catching up on the week with the Sunday papers, the medium is easily picked up, put down, revisited and shared. It is also a trusted medium – perhaps there is a belief that if someone has gone to the bother of printing something, then it must have been considered.

This is not print versus digital, but the right medium at the right time, with print definitely not dead in the digital age.

 


 

Everything in the mobile age is so fast. Why is the adoption of digital printing technology innovations so slow?

Fraser Church: In the lifespan of print, digital print is only in its infancy. It is only in recent years that we have seen the quality and speed of continuous inkjet be comparable to some of the more traditional off-set technologies.

Printing companies tend to be established businesses, with overheads, work-force and commitments to owners and shareholders. They have grown steadily with appropriate supporting infrastructures. They are not to be compared to digital start-ups who often are run out of serviced offices with minimal employees, and sometimes investment made on a speculative high risk/reward basis. Print Service Providers are real businesses with real people and established clients.

Investing in digital print technology therefore needs to be considered. The costs of investment are high (we are not talking about disposable desk-top printers), and any properly managed business would look for positive and sustainable ROI before making such investments. Therefore, until the commercials of speed, quality and cost stack-up, printers have rightly sometimes been shy of betting on the future. This is not about having the shiniest new toy, but all about providing a better product at a better cost for each customer.

With some of the recent advancements, I now believe the scales are increasingly tipping towards digital as it can deliver for not only shorter runs on specialist papers, but also long run across a wider range of stocks. Investing in this technology is now a much easier decision.

 


 

What are the key drivers for a powerful and successful print services business today and what will it be in the future?

Fraser Church: Understanding that print is not the only channel and that it can work well when working with other channels is vital. Each media has its own strength: Digital in instant news share, mobile for reminding, Apps for interactivity and print when you need something considered or need to promote trust and value.

Printers also need to understand data. Our industry is not now about producing multiple copies of the same item, but instead delivering unique, relevant experiences for every individual. With the advancement of technology, there is no reason that every catalogue a retailer sends out cannot be unique to the individual, with promoted items selected based on customer profile and shopping habits. But to do this print service providers need to understand how to work with their customers to use the data they hold to optimise the communication, with print often only being one part of an integrated communication plan.

It is also important to recognise that the modern marketer has been brought up in a digital world. Do not expect them to understand either print, or more importantly, what opportunities are possible with modern, dynamic and interactive digital print. People in our industry need to be evangelists.

Business who will succeeded are those that can take their customers on this journey and let them see the art of the possible. Print Service Providers, must now see themselves as Marketing Service Providers, often expanding their range of services to offer integrated campaigns. The future will be bright for those who do not just keep their heads down looking at ways to cut costs, but for those who recognise that we are in perhaps the most dynamic age of communication…and embrace it

 


 

DDF Congress Mainz 2004Fraser Church was already 15 years ago a great supporter and contributor sharing his vision and misson. See as well our “Update: DigitaldruckForum | Digital Printing Forum”


About

Fraser Church


Fraser Church is General Manager of CPX Group (www.cpx.group), a co-operative of eleven of the world’s largest and most innovative print and digital communication companies. He loves nothing better than evangelising about how print can deliver real value and return on investment for brands engaging with their customers.

Fraser is one of the founding members of the #Think!Paper initiave sharing his great insights and observations. 

 


 

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#Think!Paper — the key facts at a glance

What we do

We evaluate and profile print and its proponents as an effective driving force for transformation – across all industries!

Our mission

We show, first and foremost, that print is by no means driftwood in an ocean of transformation (with Titanic-style effects) but rather a solid anchor for the ‘tsunamis in our heads’!

Our USP

  • We are bringing together the brightest minds to form interdisciplinary #Think!Teams with a global outlook.
  • We are building up the finest pool of expertise with a clear focus on interaction, discourse, customer experience and sustainable conversations.
  • We are reinforcing the bedrock of any successful ‘digital’ transformation – proficient, dynamic and meaningful communication.

Benefits for our partners

We help our partners make new and market-relevant discoveries that inspire them and inject new energy into their development.


 

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Focus: New ways of transferring knowledge for profitable growth with print in the digital age

As of now, a blog focusing on interaction and knowledge transfer around the topic ‘Subscription’ is online:

https://hotspot-subscription.blog/

In German and English, a new platform will be made available that bundles factual information, expert opinions, interviews, practical experience and the latest scientific findings, makes them transparent and invites them to participate.

“Subscription is a new, exciting and multi-faceted topic that will keep us busy for a long time – with the potential to enable the graphics industry to continue its successful path to the digital future with print,” explains Andreas Weber, founder and CEO of Value Communication GmbH in Frankfurt am Main. As an experienced journalist and blogger, he moderates and designs the content of the blog. In a team with a top-class expert advisory board, relevant insights, trends and perspectives from daily work are recorded, discussed and made publicly accessible.

“The blog, as an interactive platform, aims to provide real added value to everyone who is interested in the emerging Subscription Economy in the industrial environment. Anyone who wants to contribute new and important things in this context or has specific questions can get involved”, adds Weber.

#hotspot-subscription.blog can now be subscribed free of charge for all available devices and is predestined for use by smartphone.

 


 

Experten-Blog #hotspot-subscription gestartet

Fokus: Neue Wege der Wissensvermittlung für profitables Wachstum mit Print im Digitalzeitalter

Ab sofort ist ein auf Interaktion und Wissenstransfer ausgerichteter Blog rund um das Thema ‚Subscription‘ online: 

https://hotspot-subscription.blog/

In deutscher und englischer Sprache wird damit eine neue Plattform zugänglich, die Sachinformationen, Experten-Meinungen, Interviews, Praxiserfahrungen und neueste wissenschaftliche Erkenntnisse bündelt, transparent macht und zum Mitmachen einlädt. 

„Subscription ist ein neues, spannendes und vielschichtiges Thema, das uns lange beschäftigen wird — mit dem Potenzial, der grafischen Branche einen anhaltend erfolgreichen Weg in die digitale Zukunft mit Print zu ermöglichen“, erläutert Andreas Weber, Gründer und Chef der Value Communication GmbH in Frankfurt am Main. Als erfahrener Journalist und Blogger moderiert und gestaltet er den Blog inhaltlich. Im Team mit einem hochkarätig besetzten Expertenbeirat werden relevante Erkenntnisse, Trends und Perspektiven aus der täglichen Arbeit erfasst, diskutiert und öffentlich zugänglich gemacht. 

„Der Blog als interaktive Plattform will über die Branchengrenzen hinaus allen, die sich im Industrieumfeld für die entstehende ‚Subscription Economy‘ interessieren einen echten Mehrwert bieten. Denn wer in diesem Kontext neues und wichtiges beitragen möchte oder spezifische Fragen hat, kann sich einbringen“, ergänzt Andreas Weber. 

#hotspot-subscription.blog kann ab sofort kostenfrei subskribiert werden für alle verfügbaren Endgeräte und ist für die Nutzung per Smartphone prädestiniert.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!” 

 

 

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