Targeted Marketing Solutions at Cross Media Live 2012



Hannah Varley

The first Cross Media Live show took place at the Business Design Centre in London this week with exhibitors including Adobe, Canon, DirectSmile, Ricoh, Konica Minolta and Xerox. The two-day event brought together professionals in the print, publishing, design, marketing and creative media industries.

A strong theme evident at the exhibition was the advent of cross-media marketing. Increasingly, marketing is moving away from a single-media – primarily print – approach, instead employing multiple communication channels such as personalised printing, email and web pages, as well as short message service (SMS) messaging and other embedded rich media. Print is still an integral part of marketing but is no longer the sole medium with which to reach your audience.

Cross-media marketing campaigns not only allow companies to deliver relevant communications to their customers in a preferred format, but also enable them to maximise their marketing reach, add a specific call to action and generate high response rates. The ability to track consumer responses is extremely valuable in cross-media campaigns, as it allows marketers to gain greater customer data insights and increase their ROI as a result.

Canon was one of the event sponsors and showcased a new interactive mobile print solution, Documobi, by making magazine cover stars out of visitors to the booth. BLI’s European Technical Solution Specialist, Idris Shogbanmu, tried it out.

Visitors were photographed and were then filmed for a short video. Canon representatives then added magazine headers and footers to the photograph, printed the personalised magazine cover and then invited the visitor to download the Documobi app and see the interactive print working for themselves. When the magazine cover is scanned using the mobile app, the user is then linked to a personalised video.

Sophie Lancaster, Training and Support Manager at Documobi, said, “Print is not dying, it’s just changing. Any print can now be made interactive.” And the functionality available with Documobi certainly seems to back that up. All types of print can be linked to mobile-optimised websites, videos or unique customer offers via the Documobi mobile app. The app allows administrators to quickly and easily make a printed item interactive, including existing print, so there is no need to design and print marketing material specifically for cross-media marketing purposes if appropriate material already exists. This functionality could potentially add more value to campaigns than commonly used QR codes because only one app is used to scan and process the print, whereas QR codes are not always compatible with all the code reader apps available so there’s no guarantee they will work for every customer.

Marketing managers can also use the mobile app to manage their marketing reach and view analytics such as response rates. The app can also be used to push reminders to customers, such as an email or SMS reminder if a voucher provided through the app has not been used.

Other cross-media marketing solutions showcased at the event included Xerox’s XMPie which is a modular solution that works within Adobe Creative Suite. XMPie offers a range of products for variable data publishing, with scalable product configurations designed to suit all types of businesses. The benefit of this solution is its integration with Adobe Creative Suite, which means creative professionals do not need to learn any new software and can work directly in native design programmes to create cross-media marketing materials.

Prior to Cross Media Live 2012, Ricoh announced its investment in PTI Marketing Technologies and intention to launch MarcomCentral in Europe; representatives of both PTI and Ricoh were on hand at the event to demonstrate the solution to visitors. This solution is already available in the US but is still not released for the European market. MarcomCentral is a cloud-based solution that supports multiple output delivery formats for print and other media, including PDF, AFP and HTML email. Ricoh aims to provide “complete, end-to-end production print solutions for customers in a cross media world,” a purpose which has led them to work with PTI.

MarcomCentral runs in a browser, which means smaller businesses, which do not already creative professionals on board trained to use industry-standard software such as Adobe Creative Suite, can still produce effective cross-media direct marketing campaigns. There is no release date for the solution in Europe yet, but BLI will continue to report further updates.

The event also saw free seminars with guest speakers, including a seminar entitled ”Cross Media – Seeing the bigger picture,” led by  Canon Europe’s UK and European Marketing Director Mark Lawn. Lawn discussed the importance of measuring the impact of different communications channels for improved ROI as well as the advantages of cross-media marketing. He also emphasised the need to know your target market, ensuring campaigns are aimed at the right person at the right time. In an examination of the print medium, he noted, “The role of print is changing. It’s still important, but different.” Lawn also showed findings from a recent Canon report which discovered that the use of cross media can increase response rates from 2% for print-only marketing campaigns to 14% for cross-media campaigns.

Cross Media Live 2012 highlighted the emerging trend for direct cross-media marketing solutions and with the pace at which mobile solutions are developing, we are looking forward to seeing what advancements have been made on our visit to Cross Media Live next year.