December 14th, 2012
By Robert Gilbreath, vice president, Ecommerce, Marketing & Analytics, Calendars.com
I love this time of year. The lights. The music. The parties. The spirit of giving. And if you’re like me, you take pride in finding the perfect gift for everyone on your list.
But it’s not always easy. There are your grandparents who always say they don’t want anything. There’s your mom who’s so easy to shop for that you drive yourself crazy trying to decide on one or two things. There’s your dad who literally already has everything he’s ever wanted. There’s your brother who has very expensive taste, so hardly anything you can afford meets his standards. There’s your wife who tells you exactly what she wants…and you dare not steer in any other direction. There are your kids who have to have the latest gadget, which is always the first thing off the shelf. I could go on and on.
So, it’s time you get creative and choose a gift that’s sure to touch the hearts of all your family and friends. Think tangible. Think personalization.
Right now, it’s easier than ever to add personal text or photos to products to make them unique and memorable. Gone are the days of searching the racks of pre-engraved pens or key chains, only to discover that your daughter’s name is not common enough to make it there. Everywhere you look, companies are offering customization, and with help from Xerox, Calendars.com has recently joined this growing and promising space with Custom Photo Wall Calendars and Personalized Social Photo Books.
Although we already had the largest selection of calendars in the world, making it quite easy to find one that even your persnickety brother would like, we knew that allowing our customers to design calendars and photo books just the way they want them would be valued…and good for business.
Will you be gifting personalized photo products this year? What are your thoughts on the future of the market? Just for reading, please enjoy 15% off of personalized calendars and photo books at Calendars.com with code XEROX15 (expires 1/31/13)!
Robert is a husband, father, suit, geek, e-Commerce Exec @Calendars.com, and tweets about advertising, marketing, and social media via @Adomatica
November 20th, 2012
By Bob Wagner, director, Global Communications, Technology Business
As we become more and more saturated with digital media, some marketers and creatives are taking a fresh look at how print can help them stand out in the crowd. While many are having success by employing digital technologies and data to personalize their printed pieces, others are finding new ways to apply the physical qualities of print to surprise their audiences. Two intriguing pieces that recently caught my eye explore the possibilities of ink and media, respectively, to deliver memorable messages in unexpected ways.
Cover Wrap Turns Orange to the Touch
A black-and-white and mostly gray cover wrap to the Nov. 17 Telegraph magazine graphically demonstrates how donations to the Age UK charity can help people stay warm this winter. Touch the cover photo of Age UK’s celebrity ambassador Lynda Bellingham in a living room, and the spot you touch turns orange. The secret: the wrap is made from thermal paper, which changes color when exposed to heat. Click here for the full story.
Origami-Like Business Card
This distinctive business card serves as a real sales tool by enabling inclusion of second-level information without getting cluttered. The secret: origami-like Xerox FunFlip media, which provides an endless loop of folding that reveals four discrete panels. Wall Printing, one of the companies offering the cards, produced this video to showcase it. For a look at how a fun-flip application is assembled, watch the video here.
How are you using print to surprise your audience and differentiate from the digital mainstream?
You can find Bob tweeting about all things print at @BobW_Xerox. He’s accustomed to tracking digital printing applications from his days in Xerox’s Graphic Communications Industry Business.
November 9th, 2012
By Bob Wagner, director, Global Communications, Xerox Technology Business
The demise of the print version of the venerable Newsweek Magazine is the latest in a string of reminders that print is in decline. Still, examples of print’s vitality—its ongoing relevance in a digitally overwhelmed world—continue to catch my eye. Here are two recent examples I’ve come across that demonstrate marks on pages are still meaningful in many bold and believable ways:
Why Angie’s List Has a Print Magazine
In the digital era, many companies are founded as digital-only entities—and many soon learn that including print in their marketing mix improves their business results. Angie’s List, a Web-based member service that offers reviews of home repair and health service providers, publishes a printed member magazine because it drives incremental business. Read more about Angie’s print marketing initiatives here.
Take Me Out to the Ball Game—With Personalized Season Tickets
Many sporting event tickets are personalized to show a seat number in what’s otherwise a static, boxy design. Season ticket holders of the minor league Winston-Salem Dash baseball team get fully variable tickets that include game-specific photos, advertising that provides new revenue streams for the team, bar codes to track ticket usage, and account numbers, enabling ballpark staff to identify ticket holders for more personal service. And the ticket booklets include loyalty awards: coupons for ballpark giveaways. The tickets look better and deliver new value—a big home run for the Dash, the club’s fans and the printer, Keiger Graphic Communications.
Yes, we’re losing print vehicles at a faster rate. But we’re also gaining novel and innovative print pieces that deliver new value, cementing print’s critical role in the digital era’s marketing mix. Do you have some nice examples to share?
Bob is the head of global communications for the Xerox Technology Business and an RIT grad. He’s accustomed to tracking digital printing applications from his days in Xerox’s graphic communications industry business.
October 8th, 2012
By Bob Wagner, Director, Global Communications, Xerox Technology Business
At Graph Expo in Chicago this week, we’re reminding the graphic communications industry: “In a world full of color, black and white still brings in the green.”
We’re doing this to support the expansion of the Xerox Nuvera® Production System—the new Xerox Nuvera® 157EA Production System and the Xerox Nuvera® 314EA Production Perfecting System. We know monochrome printing still has a lot of life left as an economical complement to color. For example, digital production black-and-white cut-sheet volumes for short-run and on-demand books will grow at a nearly 10 percent rate through 2016, according InfoTrends.
Trade shows have a lot of life left, too, despite predictions that they’ll be replaced by vendor or virtual shows. And at Graph Expo, we’re seeing a variety of co-located events that take advantage of the large crowds and social media posts that amplify what’s out on, and around, the show floor.
These complementary events, supported via social media channels, help make Graph into an even better place to network, learn and build strong industry connections—a place where the entire graphic communications industry comes together, often with the support of Xerox.
- We sponsored the show’s Executive Outlook Conference, where Gina Testa, vice president of the Graphic Communications Industry Business, led a panel discussion.
- For quick and small printers, we sponsored the keynote at the National Association of Quick Printers Owners Conference.
- For data center service bureaus, we sponsored the Imaging Network Group Workshop.
- For in-plant printers, we’re sponsoring a lunch ‘n learn session and we’ll lead a panel for print buyers.
- For future industry professionals, we’re a table sponsor at the Electronic Document Scholarship Foundation’s Scholarship dinner.
And, I just have to brag a bit, if you don’t mind. Gina earned this year’s Naomi Berber Memorial Award recognizing outstanding women in the industry and John Conley, vice president of commercial print and publishing, was inducted into the NAPL Soderstrom Society, recognizing his industry contributions.
Being here for my 14th consecutive show, seeing the industry’s leaders in action, checking my Graph-dominated Twitter feed, and chatting with old friends and new acquaintances about our industry’s challenges and opportunities . . . it almost feels like home.
Bob Wagner has attended every Graph Expo trade show—as well as its more globally focused version, the quadrennial Print show—every year since 1999. You can follow Bob on Twitter @BobW_Xerox
October 5th, 2012
by, Jeff Jacobson, President, Global Graphic Communications, Xerox Corporation
The graphic communications industry continues its transformation at the intersection of print and electronic media.
This is not an intersection that can be navigated with a simple traffic signal. Yet, it’s an extremely vital place where graphic communications providers find new and creative ways to contribute to multi-media marketing campaigns.
Charting new courses can be daunting – that’s why Xerox formed its first-ever global organization dedicated to the graphic communications industry. And, since I am all about bringing value to the customer, we’ve been working hard to realign U.S. and European sales and support teams to ensure our operations are strong, responsive and effective.
Our commitment will be especially evident at the largest graphic communications trade show in North America—Graph Expo—opening Sunday in Chicago. We’ll showcase 10 print engines, along with solutions that make work simpler and tools that open up new revenue opportunities.
If you’re attending Graph Expo, stop by our booth so we can talk about how you are navigating the intersection of print and electronic media. If you’re not attending, feel free to post a comment.
Either way, this is one intersection you don’t want to avoid.
Graphic communications is Jeff Jacobson’s passion. An industry veteran with more than 25 years experience, Jeff’s mantra at Xerox is simple, real and relevant: develop all-encompassing relationships with current and future customers.
June 12th, 2012
John Conley, vice president publishing, Xerox
Books aren’t going away anytime soon, evident by the Associated Press article on how the Espresso Book Machine makes it possible for self publishers to actually print the book of their dreams while providing independent book stores a new revenue stream.
The Espresso Book Machine, or EBM, for short, debuted in 2006 – and can now be found in book stores around the world. Check out this video that shows how easily a book can be produced – in a matter of minutes.
So, even in this electronic-centric world it is refreshing to know that the compelling nature of books – and people’s desire to be published – still prevails.
That’s pretty clear in this quote from Debbi Wraga at Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, Vt.: “Besides the novelty of (the EBM), to have customers come and strike up a conversation, it’s a way for us to really engage our public and move forward and find a creative way to still sell the books. It’s a wonderful feeling when you take it off the press and hand it to the author. You can smell the glue and the book is still warm. It’s almost like handing a newborn baby to a mom.”
For independent book stores, the EBM represents a breath of fresh air. Chief Technology Officer Thor Sigvaldason with On Demand Books was quoted in the AP article saying: “It can, potentially, give them a huge virtual inventory so they can have as many books as Amazon, all in a little bookstore. It turns independent bookstores into places to get books published. It’s a new thing for the bookstore to do: not just sell books, but actually create books.”
Full non-disclosure: I am a book man through and through. So, it’s a good day when mainstream media covers the topic of books and how the EBM is keeping this important industry alive and relevant.
That’s a story worth reading.
A lover of the printed word, John uses all forms of book media from e-books on his iPad to Audio books on his iPhone, to mass market paperbacks at the airport to hard cover books for the night stand.
May 11th, 2012
by, Christine Winter, XMPie
Christine is the PR/marketing programs manager for XMPie, A Xerox Company, Karaoke Queen, and Bride-to-Be.
There’s a joke going around the Xerox stand at drupa 2012 that says the trade fair is like Groundhog Day (the movie). Every day, like clockwork, the stand staff arrives at the Messe sometime between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m., attends the Sunrise Meeting at 9:15 a.m., gives the first of several demos/presentations around 10:30 a.m., catches a glimpse of Cirque du Soleil at 10:45 a.m., then 1:45 p.m., then 4:45 p.m., followed by Happy Hour and a 20-minute ride back to the hotel.
And while this scenario is not quite what the attendees experience, I’m willing to bet that there’s one aspect that is the same for all of us. After about 30 minutes to one hour of catching up on emails, calling home, and freshening up at the hotel, we are all hungry and wondering where to go for dinner. And since many of us don’t call Düsseldorf home, this becomes a drawn-out dilemma – keeping us from that nice, warm bath or extra hour of sleep.
So, to save you time and deliberation so you can focus on whatever you came to the show for, XMPie has partnered up with Düsseldorf Inside and dataNovo to bring you the Dusseldorf 1:1 Dining Guide. With cuisine choices ranging from Asian to Italian to Fine German and Swiss, the personalized guide will provide you with dining recommendations in the area based on your preferred cuisines, as well as a QR code with a map leading you wherever you choose to go.
We hope you’ll stop by the XMPie area of the Xerox stand in Hall 8b anytime to create your personalized guide and see the power of 1:1 cross-media!