Author Archives: Tony Hodgson

What is "Campaigns on Demand"?

“People don’t want a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!”.

Sales and marketing people will have heard that quote before. It’s what the late Theodore Levitt used to say to his students at Harvard Business School in the ‘60s. Back then, he also wrote a hugely influential article, Marketing Myopia, in which he asked the question, “What business are you really in?”.

The recent release of XMPie’s much anticipated Campaigns-on-Demand feature reminded me of Theodore Levitt’s question.

(If you haven’t seen what this ground-breaking XMPie technology does, then check out Greg Cholmondeley’s excellent PODi product briefing).

Campaigns-on-Demand certainly isn’t just a hole, or even a drill to make one with – it’s more like an entire DIY bookshelf-design-and build-system. Almost your own all-purpose handy house robot!

Are you selling drills? Or holes?

Think of it this way: Once upon a time, printers used to just sell the ‘hole’ – the specific business card or flyer with the static name or message on it.  (Nothing wrong with that!). Then XMPie, and other web-to-print software vendors, enabled printers to sell the ‘drill’. Customers could add any name to the online business card template or put any message on the flyer dynamically. Just like using a drill – make as many different holes as you want, wherever and whenever you want them.

But Campaigns-on-Demand goes a big step further. It enables a customer to select an online template for a whole multi-touch, multi-channel marketing campaign and then create, customise, launch and manage their own bespoke version based on the original template.

It’s like those DIY or furniture stores that offer an online design-your-own-kitchen tool. But with a crucial difference – when you press the submit button, the kitchen will actually go ahead and build itself!

What is a ‘Campaigns on Demand’ business?

I think the technology is truly exciting and very powerful, but it also begs the Theodore Levitt question: if you were to offer marketing campaigns as a service, online and on-demand, then what business would you be in? What would the clients need to be like? Who would their customers be? Why would anybody want off-the-shelf, complex marketing campaigns which they still have to customise themselves? Isn’t this what agencies do for you? Even experienced marketing professionals might hesitate to use such a DIY service in case they screwed up!

I’m not sure if the business template for such a service exists – yet. But there wasn’t one twenty years ago either, when a few adventurous (or crazy) printers started doing a completely new thing – that we all now call ‘web-to-print’. And which most customers for print now totally expect!

Some future iteration of XMPie’s Campaigns-on-Demand technology will likely be driven by Artificial Intelligence. By then it will be the mainstream, and the successful early adopters will be in a whole new business. One that today we can barely imagine – although it will probably still involve print somewhere in the mix.

Find out more from XMPie about Campaigns-on-Demand.

Explore What Digital Transformation Really Means

A two-day event for print and marketing services providers is taking place in Düsseldorf on 18/19 May. It will look at the opportunities, trends and potential for “digital transformation” in marketing and media production. The event workshops and the conference, Tage der Medienproduktion, the PRINT digital! convention and the “Düsseldorfer Print Cocktail” exhibition. It is being… Continue Reading

Get Ideas and Inspiration at Smart Directions

Smart Directions is an annual conference in the UK supported by Digital Printer magazine. This year it is being held in London on Thursday 25 May. The aim of Smart Directions is to seek out ideas and inspiration that can help print businesses to prosper and grow. For this one-day conference some excellent industry speakers… Continue Reading

Meeting Clients' Needs with Geomarketing

locr GmbH, a PODi member in Braunschweig, Germany, have announced that InfoTrends, a division of KeyPoint Intelligence, has published a new white paper titled “Meeting Clients’ Needs with Geomarketing.” This research provides specific, actionable advice on how print and marketing service providers can extend their product offering and improve customer satisfaction using location-based targeting. The… Continue Reading

Get Your Case Study Written for Free

Use our free service to get a professionally written digital printing case study. If you’re not a PODi member and have an interesting case study that you would like to have written up, free of charge, then tell us about it. For PODi members we will write up two case studies a year free of… Continue Reading

Use Your Coconut!

Many PODi members have promoted themselves with multi-channel marketing campaigns that have featured “dimensional” mailers. The printed elements of the campaign are usually the first touch point that the recipient has and so they are designed to grab attention, invoke a response and encourage a visit to a personalised landing page or microsite. Dimensional mailers… Continue Reading

PODi Launch Pad at TFM 2016

Technology for Marketing has been the top UK marketing event for over 15 years, attracting around 8000 marketers each year. It has been completely reinvented for 2016 and will now run alongside another market leading event, eCommerce Expo and is expecting over 15,000 visitors in total. It takes place over two days in September at Olympia in… Continue Reading

Spotlight on Drupa: locr

Where does drupa take place? In Düsseldorf in Germany, of course – every four or five years since 1951. At its peak in 1990, there were 444,000 visitors. It is still the world’s largest printing equipment exhibition and expects to have about 300,000 visitors this year. So why in Germany? Of course, again we know the answer.… Continue Reading

Spotlight on Drupa: Infigo

The heart of any web-to-print technology is the power of customisable artwork templates. An end-user with little or no graphics know-how can modify text, images and even the design features of a template and still be sure of producing a professional quality result. Whether it’s consumers creating a personalised greeting card or business executives customising a marketing… Continue Reading