Tag Archives: Multichannel

The best of 2015. From interactive print to multichannel

My final blog post to round up 2015. Death_to_stock_photography_weekend_work (9 of 10)

Like you, I’m sure you are sitting at your desk wondering how this year came and went. Sure scares the heck out of me.

Although the world has been troubled and unstable, marketing, social media and print are holding their own.

I think 2015 has really been about making content and marketing work better through cross media marketing and personalisation.

Connect Connection Networking Communication Concept

Companies are waking up to the knowledge that it isn’t good enough emailing or sending a generic marketing piece whether it is print or electronic.

It is about understanding your audience and knowing how to ensure that they get the information they need.

This is easier said than done.

I read a lot about ‘big data’ how organisations need to monopolise data capture and customer data to get the sales pitch right.

No one really knows what big data is and what impact it is having.

In reality big data is a load of data that has been captured either digitally or via traditional methods, like direct mail, web, social media interactions and then entered into a CRM type system.

Then comes the pondering moment, what the heck do we do with all this data?

multichannel servicesMy posts this year focussed on the importance of using print with digital methods of communication, ensuring the customer has the choice how they choose to receive information.

Augmented Reality is still in its infancy optimised by magazines, newspapers and larger organisations.

I expect to see this develop as we all see the benefits of reading something in the physical world before being transported into the digital world.

In March I introduced you to multichannel services – what is it and what are the benefits.

Multichannel marketing is the ability to interact with customers on a number of different platforms giving the customer the choice.

multichannel servicesMultichannel service works similarly allowing customers to simultaneously access their transactional information like invoices, statements and payslips online or being given the choice of receiving a physical printed document.

What makes multichannel so appealing is the fact that any of the above information can be accessed via a smartphone and I wrote about the benefits of it here.

In July, I reported on the Royal Mail’s findings following a survey they conducted into email and print marketing.Stacked Mail

There is a genuine misconception that print is on the decline but the report found when used in conjunction with email marketing it is an effective marketing tool.

The point I’ve tried to convey during this year is that we don’t need to be solely in the digital world.

Customers want to be able to access information on a variety of devices when they want to and not be forced into making a choice.

Print and digital work well together, print is now the first touchpoint before the consumer is taken into the digital world via QR codes or AR (Augmented Reality).

qr code on smartphone screenPrint use to be the end of a marketing campaign now it is the start of a journey for the consumer to make a purchase.

One of the services we provide at Digital Print Management is our Print-2-Mail service.

It is a great way for companies to mail out residual statements and invoices, for those customers that won’t or can’t accept electronic equivalents.

One of the reasons hybrid mail is so useful is the ability to upload documents from your desktop, we take care of the rest and it is cheaper than doing it in house.

In November I attended a really interesting seminar on the transformation of print in an ever changing world.

Unsurprisingly speakers from big organisations including Sky were adamant that print plays a crucial role in their marketing initiatives.

Far from being dead, print is not better than digital it is simply another way of consuming information and is demographic dependent.

Producing content means that we really do need to think about where our audience is, are they mobile, internet based?

Marketing departments have to produce content that is digestible on all platforms from print to web, online and social media.

I end where I started, in my penultimate blog ‘the future of interactive print’.

I emphasise the importance of using print as well as electronic means of communication by optimising new technologies such as interactive print (AR).

Making content come alive on the page and jump out at you is a fun way to really engage with an audience that is continually bombarded with mass information.

Wherever you consume information and whatever your thoughts on print and digital the argument will continue.

Our world is so fast paced and we are forever being bombarded with information.

Sometimes winding down with a good book or magazine without the distractions of pop up ads and links takes us away from reality and into a place of calm and slowness.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my posts this year and I appreciate the time you have taken to read and share my content.

I hope that they have been useful.

From all of us at Digital Print Management…

Happy New Year Hanging Baubles Blue Bokeh Beautiful 3D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

process automation

How to make multichannel work and add value to your business?

Giving your employees and your customers choice to access documents online or view them in a physical format ensures they have choice. Multichannel How it works

When organisations deliver multichannel communications they are moving into a complex and bewildering world of ‘communications’ with the customer?

How do organisations decide what to send by email, print and mail?

How do you understand what your customers preferences are?

And, how do you integrate paper and digital so they work effectively?

How do you make sure that the document flow is secure and document storage available so the employee and the customer has a record of the document in both the paper and  a digital format?

Business documents need to be accurate, timely and easy to digest, get it wrong and the invoice isn’t paid or the document is not responded to.

Get this wrong and you have an unhappy customer and a miserable workforce.

Communications is about making the working environment positive for its employees and this is then reflected forward to the customer.

Customers and employees want to be able to engage on the channels they prefer – SMS, mobile/smartphone, call centres, post, email and web.

Keeping this audience informed and happy is a tough ask for any business.

Factor in different work locations, UK and abroad and the language barrier, suddenly communication is a real business challenge.

Switching off offline communications and putting in place solely online is a surefire way of alienating much of your workforce and your customer base.

With employees and consumers often more comfortable on mobile devices it is important to be able to deliver both a paper and digital version of the same document.

65% of customers who prefer paper bills and statements would consider defecting to a competitor or would leave straightaway if a company removes that choice. 29% of customers who prefer to receive information electronically would consider moving if the option to receive paper statements was removed.

If data can be supplied for printing, that very same data can be also used to generate the digital version of the exact same document.

MultiChannel

How does multichannel add value to your business?

New technology allows companies to deliver transactional documents both on and offline to meet different customer preferences – all from one data file.

  • Greater flexibility in page formats accommodates the needs of the audience – quick and easy to read or detailed and long depending on whether it is a financial portfolio or a statement
  • High quality colour printing means shorter runs can be personalised, targeted and relevant for the audience and in combination with online communications makes it cost effective and easier to manage
  • Transpromo messages can be embedded into online and offline communications promoting offers, discounts, services and reminders for customers

In a digital world your employees and customers want to access information, marketing messages, promotions, employee communications anytime, anywhere and on multiple devices.

MultiChannel delivers choice for your employees and customers allowing them to choose whether they want to be communicated to via paper or online making it critical to online business success

See how it works in the video below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRX2_CBPsgI

 

 

Print or digital? Do we really need to choose?

Print or digital? Do we really need to make a choice?

Whilst holidaying in Spain I couldn’t help but notice what seemed to Print or digital? Do we really need to choose? be a resurgence in books and newspapers.

There were tablets and kindles in use but inwardly I thought umm not all bad news for print.

The world today is defined by how we receive and digest information from news, opinions, interviews, advertising in print or digital format.

multichannelPrint media, television, online mobile and social media are all part of our everyday lives that help us gain access to the information we need or want.

Digital Print Management has also seen a resurgence in print specifically hybrid mail or our branded Print-2-Mail.

The recession forced many companies to re-think how and what they printed and how to save money doing it.

The cost of printing and mailing inhouse is an obvious area to outsource step in Print-2-Mail a mailing desktop solution that delivers the same service but 60% less than the cost of doing it in house.

Much of the information we now receive is sent through email or made available online and consumers are demanding how they want to receive their information.

Multichannel servicesAutomating the process of print and mailing documents and providing an online version for those customers that only wish to receive it in an electronic format is all made possible through multichannel distribution of documents.

Customers are wanting to access personal and confidential information on different devices as well as having the choice of receiving a paper version as well.

multichannelFrom a single data file sent by the customer, documents can be printed and mailed to those recipients that want a paper document and made available online to those who only want to view it online;  if they want both they can have both.

Print works best when used with other media from magazines, direct mail, social media, television, newspapers and print can also bridge the gap between paper and digital using QR codes, Augmented Reality and NFC (Near Field Communication)

Print and digital innovations only increase the effectiveness of print media as well as improving the customer experience so next time you are thinking print or digital ditch the idea and make sure you use both.

The integration of print and digital is a marriage made in media heaven.

Keep Me Posted – why multichannel works best

Making print and electronic work together offers a powerful way to deliver communications in the digital and physical world. multichannel

I’ve always believed that the customer should have the choice in whether they receive a paper or digital copy, of any type of information.

Offering the end user a multichannel service gives your customers the choice between taking up the offer of a digital or paper copy.

Imagine my surprise at a recent networking event when someone asked me if I’d heard of the Keep Me Posted campaign.

‘The what I said?’

multichannelWith twenty five years in the transactional print and mailing business I had to admit embarrassingly that I wasn’t aware of it.

The Keep Me Posted campaign is committed to changing the attitudes of UK businesses and service providers about giving the consumer the choice between choosing a paper or digital bill or statement.

You can read more about it here.

It ties in very nicely with what I regularly write about and that is giving customers the option to choose paper or digital without penalising them.

Multichannel presentation of documents does just that by giving the customer the option to receive either a digital or physical copy.

Here’s a video to show how multichannel works:

What I particularly like about the Keep Me Posted campaign is that multichannelthey are not advocating one media over the other but rather allowing the customer to choose what best suits their needs.

Happy customer = long term happy customer.

Keep Me Posted is a partnership of representatives from charities, interest groups and business who have united to stand up for the consumer’s right to choose how they are contacted by banks, financial institutions, utility companies, media companies and service providers.

Fewer and fewer businesses are providing no choice how the customer receives their bills and statements with many forcing customers to accept an electronic document.

I recently bought a 4G MIFI so I can access the internet anytime anywhere.

My first bill was in paper format and the accompanying letter told how to register online to access my bill.

The process was not an easy one and as I am very familiar with the providers website it is not easy to navigate even for someone like me who spends eight +  hours in front of a PC.

Imagine an elderly person or someone not too familiar with online registration, navigating the same site because they too have a monthly contract and need to download their monthly bill?

The statistics make for interesting reading:-

16 million consumers aged over fifteen don’t have basic online skills [Source: Go On UK]

40% of UK adults say that the removal of paper statements could seriously affect their finances [Source: Opinium]

5.2 million households in the UK do not have internet access [Source: Office for National Statistics]

You might think how can you possibly forget to pay a visa card bill?

If there is no choice how you receive your statement or bill, viewing an electronic statement irrespective of the email reminder you receive, it is easy to overlook paying that bill.

We are inundated with emails and receiving a paper statement is a sure fire way of reminding us to take action with that bit of paper.

My guess is even if you do receive the electronic version you end up printing off the document as a reminder to action it.

81% of UK adults want to choose how they receive their information.[Source: Opinium]

4 out of 5 people are more likely to read statements available both online and by post.

81% of UK adults do not like it when companies take away their right to choose how they are communicated with. [Source: Office for National Statistics]

Only last week we learned that the paper driving license that we are so familiar with is to be withdrawn and the information will be stored electronically. The DVLA claim that not only will it reduce the red tape it will be cheaper for motorists.

Given that the DVLA reissued 445,000 lost paper licences in 2014 at a charge of £20.00, that’s almost a £1,000,000, I would of thought that there is a very good incentive to keep paper licences.

I await with bated breath when my road tax is due for renewal.

I am unconvinced, there are some things that should just be ‘paper’.

Online information is better, yes I said it.

BUT, there is a caveat, paper based communications are better understood and we the consumer are more likely to recall what is on that piece of paper than what we read online.

The organisations Digital Print Management work with tend to have a better understanding of the importance of giving their customers choice because we educate the benefits of paper and digital.

It shouldn’t be about PAPER VS DIGITAL it should be PAPER AND/OR DIGITAL, a subtle difference but one that will ensure your customers are kept happy receiving information from you in a format that they’ve agreed to and not one that has been forced upon them.

[Statistics courtesy of Keep Me Posted]

What do you think?