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Home » News » November 2011: A Printer’s Journey from Manufacturer to Cross-Media Solutions Provider

November 2011: A Printer’s Journey from Manufacturer to Cross-Media Solutions Provider

QR IQ by Paravista

America does not need to regain its position as the world’s leading manufacturer in order to get our economic engine in gear. But we do have to regain our position as the world’s leading source of innovation in order to insure future economic success. And no other industry provides greater proof of that fact than the printing industry.

Not long ago, printers were quite similar to other manufacturers. Their core function was to put ink on paper, fold and bind to exact specifications, and then ship the goods out to the world. That was before we became an on-the-go mobile society, more so than most of us could have ever imagined ten years ago.

Today, printers don’t just fill orders in a single supportive role in the marketing and communication process. That was the way it was when businesses used separate suppliers for each and every task. In today’s world, the most successful businesses recognize the value of consolidating the supply chain. Today’s most successful printers are printers in name only. They have evolved from manufacturing supplier to integrated marketing solutions provider, from tactician to strategic ally. They serve as the communications nucleus for their clients, processing data and supplying information, as well as printed material on an as needed, highly individualized basis.

What do we mean by a Cross-Media Solution?

A Cross-Media Solution is a web-based communications hub that allows for the deployment of brand-uniform content in an integrated manner across multiple media formats: direct mail, email, presentations, displays, literature, promotional items, websites, apps, etc. Each can be customized for specific audience consumption and interaction. This is achieved by utilizing variable, customizable data that is managed through the centralized hub. The level of engagement afforded by a cross-media solution is more recipient-specific, and therefore more relevant and powerful. Paravista partners with clients, their agencies, and marketing teams to develop customized cross-media platforms that deliver targeted communications in multiple formats to specific audiences.

Paravista didn’t wake up to this revelation one morning. We became a part of it by addressing the changing needs of our clients over the last several years. As their communication options expanded, they needed to somehow, in some way, consolidate them in order to make them more manageable. They required a means of efficiently channeling information from one stakeholder to another. They needed a communications solution that allowed for feedback, message refinement, more feedback, further refinement and so on, until the highest levels of communication efficiency could be achieved.

Many in our industry adapted existing off-the-shelf software and order processing technology in order to get a jump on their competition. We took a more deliberate approach. No single ready-made solution could meet the needs of all of our clients, and none of pre-packaged software solutions met our standards of performance.

We began the process of developing our own proprietary software one step at a time, in the same way that we build communication hubs for our clients today. Only after perfecting each function did we add new capabilities. The result is a scalable means of coordinating multiple communications functions through a single hub.

In working with our clients through this development process, we discovered what they value most in advanced technology…simplicity. Upper management in particular appreciated our ability to harness data, and using it to provide a more focused, more efficient communications and marketing effort.

Here are a few examples of how we now function on behalf of our clients:

An information hub and global ordering system

Imagine giving your field personnel the ability to access a website of available sales tools, promotional products, or literature; and the wherewithal to instantly customize any given piece to a specific audience, in a specific language, on-the-fly and on demand. That’s what we developed for one of our clients, and we can do it for just about anyone. And every one of our electronic ordering systems will make data instantly available for analysis, process refinement, and greater marketing efficiency.

Crafting data-supported programs that deliver budget-sensitive performance

Another client turned to us to develop an integrated system allowing a nationwide sales force to order customized marketing materials; then apply the costs to the company’s national marketing budget. Because of the transparent nature of the solution, sales managers can access real-time data to determine how certain sales tools are being utilized: nationwide, by region, state, and even down to the individual representative. Upon analyzing the data, a sales manager may notice a region or individual that is routinely accessing certain sales tools, and having success. They may identify another region where the reps are either not accessing the tools – or accessing different sales tools – and having less favorable results. The manager can now use data as the basis for redirecting behavior to improve sales performance.

Combining social media, sales force support and customized print

On another front, we’re helping a client integrate social media functionality and customized applications that enable its people to share successes and address issues in the field, in real time. We created a central hub of communication, enabling sales reps to communicate with each other through the pages of designated web sites. They can download mobile apps to educate end users, create presentations, order demonstration materials, and download and present the information right from their tablets or iPads. We created mechanisms for communications interaction across all media and all touch-points. And every action is dynamically documented to not only track activity, but to streamline it along the way.

We can show you how

If you would like a demonstration of what a traditional printer can become after five-plus years of technological transformation, call us. We can show you the “how” of managing an entire media operation through a single portal, and how to cost-effectively engage target audiences through rich multi-form media deployment. You’ll see that instead of having disparate elements of a communications program to manage, you’ll have a central hub to manage.

And we keep it simple for you right from the start. We hone in on the HOW and WHY of what needs doing by getting right to the heart of what you are trying to accomplish.

Meanwhile, we continue to evolve as multi-faceted enablers of media on multiple fronts. We’ll continue to partner with our clients to help them get more value out of the multi-touch brand experiences they offer their customers. And we’ll continue to keep it green. In fact, every tool in our box of customized solutions is designed to reduce paper and energy waste. All toward one very simple objective: to help every one of our clients to achieve prosperity and success.

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