Harris continued, “We have taken advantage of the most pervasive Internet technology, HTML5. This new standard allows a user to interact with their statement and supports both embedded as well as hosted content -- really the best of both worlds.” Extra content also can be embedded so that, even in an offline mode, transpromo content can automatically tailor itself to the place and manner that the statement is being viewed. “For example, when someone clicks for details on a grocery transaction, a related offer can appear in the messaging area,” he explained, “and when they click on an airline ticket purchase, a related travel offer can display.
“Just offering ‘print on paper,’ even if it is in color, on time, and priced right, is not enough to hold onto accounts. Inspire Dynamic Statement can be a “point of difference” that can give a printer a powerful advantage over their competition,” Harris added.
Should You Offer Transpromo Services?
Should traditional print service providers (PSPs) offer transpromo? If so, how can they sell it? IWCO Direct QuadDirect and RR Donnelley Business Communications Services (BCS) are three large printing companies who play in this space, but none was willing to share their trade secrets with MPR readers. From three production sites, Donnelley BCS reportedly outputs some 30 million pages annually for one of its financial customers. “We’ll pass on offering guidance to others in our industry about what they might sell and how to do it,” was communications EVP Doug Fitzgerald’s email response to an interview request.
But Jamie Harris, VP of diversified services in North America for GMC Software Technology, offered some advice from the vendor perspective. “Targeted messaging services [transpromo] are another piece in the printer’s portfolio that can position them beyond the price/delivery trap. In order for their buyers to pay money for the service, however, it needs to be packaged correctly,” Harris suggested. He agreed with HP’s Pat McGrew and Xerox’s ShelleySweeney that the strategy needs to include coordination across paper and electronic delivery channels.
“Metrics and analytics are a given for electronic delivery. For print, trackable web links in the print piece, use of barcodes such as QR where appropriate and when they link to something of value to the reader, along with consolidation of all fulfillment data are something that enterprises value,” Harris noted. “Allowing a client’s business users to control their own message areas via a browser interface brings together an offering that goes beyond [the] ‘dots on paper’ that anybody can provide.”
Harris did not even mention the old standby of selling white space because, he warned, “this is incredibly difficult to be successful at, due to the fact that neither the typical enterprise client nor the typical printer have the expertise or resources available at hand to market what is actually advertising. To date, successful transpromo has been much more of an ‘inside-out’ rather than ‘outside-in’ sell. The offers tend to originate from within, say a phone company, than from without such as from Samsung or Apple promoting new devices on the phone bill. That being said, our clients who have done it well have been rewarded very profitably both themselves as well as for their clients.”