Posted by: transpromomore | February 1, 2010

Getting the Promo in TransPromo

Recently, Kodak coined the term TransPromo by combining the words Transactional and Promotional together and defining marketing based invoices and statements as a new breed of marketing document.  While we could look at this as a self serving term for the hardware manufacturers trying to move more gear, this new term and the new technology that is arriving or has most recently arrived has some strong merits that we should seriously consider.  But what really is the “Promo” in TransPromo and why do marketers need to know how to drive the “Promo” into their invoices and statements?

Daily, we receive statements and invoices that outline and confirm transactions for services, investments, credit cards bills, loyalty points, phone bills etc.. We’re also continually bombarded with hundreds of with messages and offers. We’ve all received statements and invoices stuffed with buck slips, brochures and offers that we generally sort out and discard over the recycle bin and we’ve all receive direct mail that we never open and immediately discard.  The compelling reason for adding “Promo” is the stickiness of a must read transactional.  Recipients spend time reading their transactional documents and commonly review it more than once.  By adding relevant messages, to the document, these items get attention. By combining other marketing mailings, savings can be achieved by on a one-to-one basis.  Knowing individuals open, spend time reading and reviewing statements and invoices the “Promo” in TransPromo becomes compelling not to mention, saves cost and is green.

In the past, the invoice or statement was generally a compliance or an informational document.  Savvy marketers utilized these documents using static and dynamic messages and perhaps some graphics in black print on preprinted templates.  Recent technology has now become available such as enterprise messaging/content and campaign management software, economical and available production color for print, composition tools to create the TransPromo document and the integration of on-web addressing through PURLs and CURLs have added new marketing touch points including the ability to enhance ebills when delivered electronically.

We can define the “Promo” in TransPromo as a number of things.  Promo can be marketing content, informational content and educational content.  Promo, depending on the type of statement or invoice, could also be TransInformational or TransEducational.

Promo can mean messages with PURLs – Personalized URLs or web addresses, CURLs (Common URLs) , 1:1 messages, offers and onserts. With the addition of social media, specific offers at specific social media sites to generate crowd offers is also part of the “Promo”.  But Promo goes beyond simply offers or multiple touchpoints.  The “Promo” can now be defined as educational content to inform your constituents on services, products, and even how to use something.  The “Promo” goes beyond this to informational to provide compliance information, product information and service information while helping to reduce call center volumes.

With the strength of having billing or transactional data it becomes easier to identify client types, the opportunity to up sell, cross sell products and services by identifying clients with product needs is embedded in your data.  Data flags can be added to billing and statement data streams to drive content.  With the emergence of software from Prinova, HP and GMC, new and emerging Web 2.0 campaign management software integrating with enterprise CRM software, this begins to automate the 1:1 data campaign messaging.

What should I consider as steps to TransPromo?  Baby steps….

i)        Invoice messaging – if generic messages have not been added already, start by focusing on placing informational, educational and general marketing messages.  Consider enhancing messaging that can impact payment turnaround or reduce call center volumes.

ii)       Invoice messaging – begin to flag your data by targeting client groups, language type and add campaigns, offers, marketing messages, educational messages and informational messages directly to the invoice or statement on a one-to-one basis that reflect your clients interests.

iii)     Integrate other direct mail campaigns and complement other media campaigns by reinforcing those marketing messages.  This reduces your mailings and monthly postal costs.

iv)     For more cross media stickiness, add a Common URLs to drive a your web based multi-touch point strategy. Where possible, utilize Personal URLs (PURLs) and harvest opt-in email address or potential converts to electronic bill payment and presentation.

v)      Migrate buck slips to onserts by printing them in-line with the statement keeping them as part of the invoice / statement

vi)     Design your statement or invoice with colour, dynamic content, photos,icons

vii)   As your TransPromo statement comes together, this integrates seamlessly to eBill or electronic bill payment initiatives while allowing for messaging on the web based statement or bill delivery.

viii)  Looking to integrate social media?  Drive your clients to sign up as followers and create dynamic period based events or offers on the statement or invoice monthly with Twitter or Facebook based event links.  These events can be measured immediately while using these social media tools as a means to drive behavior or informational content.

ix)     If possible, automate your message delivery workflow with messaging software that integrates to CRM software to measure your response.

As you integrate these elements, design becomes an important consideration but we all must remember that the statement or invoice is still just that.  Over design to a marketing based document has proven to be a negative.  It is important to strike a balance such that the invoice / statement remains a transactional document.

The recent CMO Council survey has “Only 25% of senior marketers knowing about TransPromo as an opportunity”[1].  This means, as a new channel to drive marketing, the future is bright to drive a fresh and cost efficient method or reaching new clients.

[1] “A View From the Office of the CMO”, presentation by Liz Miller, VP, Programs & Operations, CMO Council

Posted by: transpromomore | January 4, 2010

If I want to use color…

Color in TransPromo statements are finally economically and technically feasible.  Tools for messaging, composing and managing content are ready to go with complete workflows to manage messages and graphics and even campaign dates.  A number of companies have integrated complete web 2.0 workflows allowing marketing message content creators to easily manage offers, informational messages, educational messages and printserts.  On-line proofing and preflight can be done all on-line thru these Saas based apps.

With high speed continuous, economical business quality color, 2010 is sure to be the break out year where color statements begin to eat away typical monochrome printed on shell documents.  The reduction of inserts to speed up production and increase stickyness thru the use of in-line printed brochures or printserts will be a growth area in the years to come.  With the higher color print speeds, economical costs for print and the higher perceived value of color all indicate that the evolution of the invoice will continue.

Posted by: transpromomore | December 22, 2009

Do I need color to be TransPromo?

A lot of people ask if you need to add color to make a statement into a TransPromo statement.  Firstly, TransPromo was a recently coined term by Kodak.  Before the term, many clients were adding messaging and PrintSerts into invoices and consolidating other mailings already.  Production speed and economical color is only a recent innovation.  Most businesses can get into 1:1 based messaging or content messaging easily without adding color however, the addition of color changes a lot of things.

Think monochrome and being able to have a dialogue with your clients on a 1:1 basis.  Baby steps… perhaps later color will suit you but to gain the most cost savings, add add messaging and content and consolidate those mailings first before taking those next steps.

Posted by: transpromomore | December 22, 2009

Are the economics right for TransPromo?

TransPromo is a term coined by merging Transactional statements/invoices and marketing mailings.  As we look back on 2009 and its turbulent times, we must say, the idea of putting mailing and required mailings together is the perfect formula for doing more with less.

As saavy marketers and billing / client communications department come together, the need to mail multiple offers /direct mail and invoices separately are viewed upon as less efficient.  From an effectiveness perspective, a recent Canada Post study and InfoTrends study showed clients spend more time on reading their statements and invoices.  With merged educational, informational and marketing content (hopefully aimed directly at the client), the content becomes relevant and the chance of reading it is raised significantly.

As we all know, the cost to mail a direct mail and / or invoice are in the cost of the freight – postage.  converged mailings, more sticky content and a need to read statement attitude make the economics right.

Posted by: transpromomore | December 21, 2009

TransPromo Why Now?

It’s interesting to see how technology is finally converging.  Just when blogging, social networking and new media technology takes hold, we’re now seeing older technology equipment catching up.  Take for example, production color bill statements are due to become mainstream with the cost of color finally becoming economical.  Is this writing on the wall that at some point letters, invoices, statements and notices will all go the “e” way or is it time for the printers, and print device manufacturers to get a share of their piece of the pie?

Time will tell whether the convergence means everything coming together on a printed bill or on a ebill invoice or statement.  One thing that is driving the invoice is our desire to keep paper.  Now with full color, paper becomes that educational, informational and marketing vehicle.