Tag Archives: Transactional Printing

Who IS your target audience?

Having attended a very informative seminar on finding your audience on Facebook I asked myself do we really know where our target audience is? iStock_000015939922Small

Have we got it right?

You many think this is strange given that I’ve been in transactional printing and mailing or ‘transpromo’ for 20+ years but my point is sometimes you need to stand back and take a good look at the market place.

Is it the same as it was five years ago?

iStock_000017041643SmallFacebook and I have a frustrating relationship.

Many of us manage personal and business profiles but what to post, when to post and how to keep the snippets of information coming are time consuming.

As a social media platform it doesn’t seem natural to me as twitter or Linkedin. I guess we all have our favourites!

Having said that most of yours and my target audience is likely to be on this platform but not necessarily in their work guise.

For example our target audience is HR, Payroll, Credit/Collection Managers and so forth, Linkedin is seemingly where you’ll find this very experienced and professional tribe.

But I also know that many are likely to be on Facebook keeping a personal page and updating it with status updates, but they will not necessarily have their job status or title and where they work advertised on their personal Facebook page.

The key to generating leads is knowing and understanding where your audience are and that’s why I thought I’d share with you how Digital Print Management is re-thinking it’s market and making sure we go back to basics.

Sound easy?

Definitely not. Delivering your services to a big audience without knowing who they are and what they look like is like finding a needle in a haystack.

  • Who are our audience?
  • Where do we seek them out so our message gets heard?
  • Why should they even consider our services?
  • How will they benefit even if they do find us?
  • And what can we do to make it easier to find us?

iStock_000037124348SmallAlthough this has been done before I’ve put my spin on it but more importantly it really got us thinking, checking and making sure we know where to find our audience.

My first thought was how do our customers benefit from our services and what problems did we solve for them?

Thinking about the range of services we deliver to our customers from Digital Print Management’s point of view I looked at our largest and smallest customers and came up with the following:-

  • What have they bought from us?
  • Why did they choose to work with us in the first place?
  • Why do they continue to work with us?
  • What problems did we solve for them which means they sleep easier at night?

This helped us then drill down and understand the type of customer that is attracted to our services.

iStock_000023869795SmallThat completed, where do we find these prospective customers and how do we get our message out there?

How did the customers that we currently serve, find us or hear about us?

This gave me the opportunity to sketch out an outline of a typical prospective customer that ‘feels the same pain’ our current customers experience prior to outsourcing their ‘problem’.

Which then led me to the type of customer that will gain from the value in our service offerings.

AngerWhat problems are these Payroll/HR and Credit Managers having to deal with?

Do they perceive them as troublesome? Are they even aware they have problems?

What would the reputational damage be if the cost of not sorting out the problem is greater than the cost of leaving it?

Being niche certainly helps as we provide a very distinct service in the payroll and accounts area this makes it easier to identify our audience.

Aiming to be a big fish in a small pond means that we can be heard above the rest of noise and hopefully stand out from the crowd rather than the other way round.

By understanding our areas of expertise, the knowledge we’ve amassed over time and how we’ve helped our customers means we can understand our prospective customers  better.iStock_000018668499Small

Also, knowing what areas we have been successful in and why helps us to maximise this further for more success in the future.

And finally, I asked these questions, why are we uniquely placed to solve our customer’s problem, and what makes us stand out from the crowd?

We are still working on re-defining our marketing and social media objectives but focussing on the above has really helped make us re-think and re-visit what we’ve been doing?

I hope you find it a useful exercise too!

How have you found your audience?

How do you get your message heard?

How successful has it been?

Share your views!

 

 

transpromo

The changing face of transpromo

I’ve been in the transactional print and mailing industry for (shoosh) 25 years and there have been many changes in that time. transpromo

When I first started, all transactional programming was done using cobol, (a computer programming language) large mainframes existed in datacentres and data was sent either via mag tapes, dial up and eventually ISDN.

Customer data was sent as raw data files or print files which meant that the code had to be stripped out. Using composition software, the form was designed, the variable data was coded onto the form before anything that remotely resembled a bill or payslip could be printed.

It was cutting edge stuff at the time.

Jump forward 20+ years and data can be sent in pretty much any format you can think of and document composition is done using sophisticated composition platforms which merges data and design layout whilst adding variable personalised data in one pass.

iStock_000014348375SmallTraditional transactional print was produced by litho printing the base stock – invoice, statement, payslips and then the variable/personalised information was laser printed in black. It was more cost effective for the large corporate generators of bills and statements predominantly mobile, utility and service providers.

Fast forward to the late 1990’s and the industry saw the rapid digital colour printdevelopment of colour laser digital printing technology this revolutionised transactional documents. Adding colour to the document by highlighting specific lines of text, colour reports highlighting an amount owed in red on an overdue reminder added value to the form.

Initially the use of colour laser personalisation was slow to be taken up by customers because of the cost per unit but as demand for colour increased so did the cost of colour laser printing reduce.

“Transpromo” as it became known had two main advantages – adding variable highlight colour to your documents meant you could dispense with the need for pre-printed stationery and produce your document in one pass. No capital tied up in stock.

The other advantage was the option to print highly personalised, bespoke documents in small volumes from 1 to many and within each pack you could have as many variable letters with different designs and logos as you wanted such was the versatility of digital colour laser printing.

Timeline concept: pixeled word Past Now Future on digital screenThe transactional document is perceived as an added cost factor to the business – every organisation needs to process and send invoices, statements, reminders whether it is in paper or electronic format and that represents a cost to the business.

Transpromo has evolved to being an opportunity to add value to client relationships and increase revenue through selective targeting of products and services and can be just as effective as direct mail.

Transpromo can be used as a communication opportunity to develop and add value that is not solely the domain of marketing.

Letters, bills and statements are integral to the customer experience, transpromo is still undervalued when it comes to targeting customers with specific messages.

Often the consideration to go paperless seems easier than the continued use of paper but organisations don’t do this objectively and ask WHY are we doing this and, WHO will benefit – the customer or us?

Transpromo integrates with online platforms – print, mobile and online content linked together – multi-channel online statement and billing delivery enables you to deliver your client documents differently but with a marketing edge.

Transpromo is part of a multichannel approach for customer communication in our multimedia and cross media driven world it is also a missed opportunity for getting closer to the customer.