PODi, Digital Printing Initiative

PODi 2013 Best Practices in Digital Printing Award Winners Announced

PODi, the Digital Printing Initiative, has announced the 2013 winners of the PODi Best Practices Awards for digital printing case studies. These prestigious awards recognize outstanding examples of cross-media and relevant direct marketing campaigns, self-promotion programs and communication applications successfully re-engineered for effectiveness and efficiency, all featuring the power and versatility of digital print. This year, in addition to the three Best Practice Awards and honorary mentions, a special merit award recognizes an outstanding digital print solution. Winners will receive their awards and present an inside look at their winning applications at the annual AppForum digital printing and direct marketing conference, January 28-30 at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.

PODi accepts case studies for the Best Practices Award competition throughout the year, and entries are judged on a combination of criteria, including pre-defined goals and measured results, value proposition, increased effectiveness, improved output and process, relevance, creativity and innovation. The 2013 Panel of distinguished judges:

• Howie Fenton, Senior Consultant, NAPL

• Dr. John Leininger, Professor, Department of Graphic Communications, Clemson University

• Cary Sherburne, journalist, author, marketing consultant

• Jim Olsen, President, Imagination Ink

Best Practices Winner: Direct Marketing Category

Lyon College and CustomXM– “Lyon College Uses Cross-Media to Drive Applications”

Like many small private colleges, Lyon College was challenged with recruiting new students. This cross-media campaign incorporated direct mail, personalized landing pages, email and augmented reality. Within just four months of program launch, total applications received by Lyon exceeded the total number of applications received during their best recruitment year on record.

“College recruitment is always going to be a challenge, especially for the smaller liberal arts colleges like Lyon College. But having the tools in place to launch, manage, integrate and measure a complete recruiting campaign gives us a distinct advantage," says David Heringer, vice president for Administration at Lyon. "Combine that with the fact that we were able to showcase our campus with more personalized and engaged marketing efforts, our overall results today have exceeded our expectations.” CustomXM president, Paul Strack adds, "We knew that Lyon College had a unique story to tell to its prospective students, and we were excited that they took this next step to utilize a complete integrated approach in sharing it. We are proud to share in this success with Lyon College, and we are honored to receive the 2013 PODi Best Practices Award with them in recognition of this achievement.”

Honorable Mention: Colruyt, Symeta – “Retail Superstore Colruyt Makes Customer Promotions More Relevant”

Best Practices Winner: Workflow Automation Category

Manulife Financial Affinity Markets and Distributech Inc. – “Manulife Financial Moves to On-Demand Enrollment Kit Fulfillment”

Manulife Financial mails enrollment kits to prospects who visit their website or respond to a marketing campaign. Traditionally, these were standard format with limited personalization and included about ten pre-printed components, chosen from 2,500 potential SKUs, making fulfillment a complex nightmare. Their new solution has decreased costs by 22% while executing same-day fulfillment on relevant, highly personalized orders and eliminating inventory management issues.

“Transforming the Enrollment Kits to an on-demand workflow has enabled Manulife Financial to deliver a professional and relevant communication to their Affinity Market members in a streamlined process and at a reduced cost. The flexibility of updating various components of the kit versions without any risk of obsolescence has resulted in substantial savings," says Distributech account manager, Robin Taylor. "It was a pleasure working with Manulife Financial on this transformation and Distributech is pleased to have been awarded the 2013 Best Practices Award in the Workflow Automation category for the 'Manulife Financial Moves to On-Demand Enrollment Kit Fulfillment' solution.”

Honorable Mention: Fox Valley Technical College, Fox Valley Printing Services (in-plant) – “Fox Valley College Improves Cycle Time and Services”

Best Practices Winner: Self-Promotion Category

The Standard Group – “The Standard Group Holiday Promotion Creates an Interactive Marketing Experience”

The Standard Group's goodwill holiday promotion included over a dozen personalized elements and drove recipients to a personalized landing page that resized depending on the visitor's viewing device. Visitors could choose a favorite charity, take a fun quiz, order a custom calendar, have a chance to win $100, and share on social media. The Standard Group was rewarded with an almost 20% response rate and numerous inquiries about creating similar campaigns.

“Our primary goal was to simplify charity giving for our customers and to bring awareness to the nine wonderful local charities," says CEO Scott Vaughn. "We were happy that so many people took the time to give back. This pinnacle industry award is a testament to our cross media team's talent in delivering integrated and personalized communication across multiple channels and in driving engagement.” Tom Veitch, president of digital at The Standard Group adds, "We see communication becoming more ubiquitous, variable and trans-promotional. For our self-promotional piece, consisting of direct mail, email, social, mobile and web, to make such an impact on our customers and now our peers is the ultimate recognition and reward.”

Honorable Mention: APi-Marketing – “APi-Marketing Successfully Rebrands Business”

Outstanding Solution Merit Award

Hallmark Digital and MSP – “Hallmark Digital Utilizes Automated Workflow to Deliver On-Demand Personalized Greeting Products”

Hallmark is an iconic brand that makes the world a more caring place by helping people make meaningful connections with others. Since 2008, Mailing Services of Pittsburgh (MSP) has built an impeccable reputation as a valued partner by creating and delivering a proprietary workflow that seamlessly receives, prints, finishes, fulfills and ships/mails thousands of Hallmark products every day direct to consumers. PODi determined that this solution was exceptional and deserved a special merit award.

“When You Care Enough To Send The Very Best” is an ambitious brand promise for a partner to meet,” states Mary Hobbs, Supply Chain Manager, Hallmark Digital. “MSP’s workflow has delivered a documented success rate of 99.9% product quality and on-time delivery, which exceeds our stringent production expectations.” “Our entire organization prides itself on the work we produce for Hallmark," states Chris Wright, Director of Digital Solutions, MSP. “We are very proud to receive the 2013 PODi Outstanding Solution Award and we thank Mary Hobbs and the entire Hallmark Digital team for their guidance and collaboration to make this workflow an unparalleled success."

The first edition of 2013 PODi case studies, including all the award winners, has recently been added to the Case Study Database. These 24 case studies cover ten vertical markets and nine different business applications. The second edition will be published this spring. The PODi Case Study Database is the only collection of its kind for the digital print marketplace. Access to over 500 case studies and reports is free to PODi members at www.podi.org.

PODi’s 2013 AppForum (Jan. 28-30) is a three-day educational digital printing conference, featuring over 50 sessions, keynote presentations by top innovators, a full day of Pre-Conference Intensives, networking opportunities and a Vendor Fair. Tracks include Business Growth Strategies, Cross-Media Solutions, Digital Solutions, Emerging Technologies, and Innovative Packaging.