In-plants are taking the leap of faith into cross-media—and finding more reward than regret on the other side.May 2012 By Dawn Greenlaw-Scully
By developing and offering cross-media services, an in-plant can bolster its reputation, revenues, and long-term relevance.
Recent IPG articles “Cross-Media and the In-plant” (December 2011) and “Developing Cross-Media and Marketing Services” (March 2012) offer excellent explanations of what cross-media is and why shops should develop these services.
Getting into cross-media often isn’t expensive or difficult. For example, Quick Response (QR) codes can be created easily, even using free software. And by enhancing capabilities, an in-plant sells itself to its customers.
Several years ago, University of Missouri Printing Services found the perfect test-case customer for its cross-media services: the in-plant itself.
“We proved to ourselves what we could do, while showing our customers what we could do for them,” relates Joanne Rotert, who handles the in-plant’s customer service and marketing.
Printing Services promoted its involvement in a procurement vendor fair via a mass e-mail blast to faculty and staff, 350 of whom are the in-plant’s primary customers. “We included a link to a specific landing page with a printable coupon that could be brought to the event for a free poster,” Rotert explains.
The shop tracked 96 hits to the Web site. “35 people brought in the coupon and many others requested a coupon at the fair,” Rotert recalls.
Those who redeemed a coupon could then enter a drawing for a desk clock. “I entered their drawing information into an Excel file and we created a thank-you postcard with variable-data printing, including a pURL that led to a personalized landing page using Flash animation,” she recounts.
Customers who answered the postcard’s questions—intended to ascertain their knowledge of Printing Services and reveal their printing and promotional needs—were rewarded with personalized note cards. The in-plant is now using QR codes on its calendar and its DigiPrint price sheet.