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The Future of the Prospectus: virtual, variable and definitely digital...

(And the future of marketing, publishing and education...)

Jonathan Stephenson

on 27 March 2013

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Transcript of The Future of the Prospectus: virtual, variable and definitely digital...

{ } What is Variable Data Publication? Variable Data Publication (VDP) is the systematic delivery of alternative versions of a document, or communication, using different combinations of component; which may cover content, illustration, design, format, language, advertising and even the media channel it is delivered by; to achieve a specific, very customer-focused outcome. Such a tailored approach to communication is likely to produce high levels of user-satisfaction and engagement among its audiences, because of the greater relevancy to themselves of what each of the recipients receives. This may be taken to a personal level, where the individual’s profile, or stakeholder relationship with the subject matter, is referenced; or be associated with groups representing market segments, areas of interest, traits, or ‘tribes’. Digital technologies collect masses of data and each piece of data is evidence of something. As information collects from a VDP activity a detailed picture emerges. Analysis of this provides extremely accurate market research, which informs campaign strategy and allows the segmentation of audiences for follow up marketing activity at a level of refinement that offers highly effective customer profiling. Data collection Target audiences are no longer isolated individuals in a crowd representing pieces of a market share. They are now connected by social and professional networks, which filter out the disinterested. They have become groups and long-tail markets with something in common. The proposition has changed The significant factors that underpin traditional marketing thought now have to be refocused on the integrity and relevance of the message:

Product has become Solution
Price has become Value
Place has become Access
Promotion has become Information. + + = +

Give them exactly what they ask for.
Make them feel special. Marketing expertise, strategic thinking and creative skills Together with the latest technology Listen to what the customer tells you Extract useful information from what is observed Reflect the prospect in the presentation.

Show them that you know them.

Keep it relevant to them.

Engage with who they are. Treat your customers as individuals.

Address them personally. Data driven In a print run of say 5,000 flyers it is entirely possible to make each one significantly different, yet none-the-less be part of a practical production batch. Each one would be seamlessly composed as it is printed to specifically attract the attention of its recipient by reflecting them personally and adjusting the content or presentation of the flyer in line with what is already know about their interests. That might even extend to the flyer making a different offer if certain criteria are met. In essence this is engaging with a prospective customer that has shown interest by their presence, though apart from that very little is known about them. The real world equivalent might be somebody walking into a shop or a showroom that the salesperson has never seen before. A process of discovery ensues, in this case performed by the prospect’s actions.

Applications of this approach might include user-generated prospectuses for universities or colleges (or for employee recruitment), catalogues or brochures distilled from a large product range, or product brochures and flyers where there are numerous variables among the specification on offer. Prospect driven Why is it so effective? VDP works because it answers the questions that the customer, or prospect, asks, or communicates information that the recipient can relate to – and doesn’t push only what the marketer wants to say at them (either about something they are not interested in, or using puffed up language they don’t believe). Like remembering their name, remembering what they have told you, signals their importance and shows that they are being taken seriously, which also reflects on the quality of the relationship. Marketing and communication in the digital age Customer-focused marketing and communication As the traditional marketing funnel is rethought in the light of changing media technologies and customer behaviour, there is also a case for saying it has become a critical factor in determining where marketing resources are best put. Customer-focus has always been a key element of good service delivery, as well as effective communications and successful sales closure processes. Somethings don't change, somethings do... Slick advertising no longer creates markets or determines market share: we exist in a global knowledge economy, where the prospective customer can easily obtain, compare and evaluate information about products and services.

Although unsubtle, these 100 year old adverts contain similar marketing concepts to ones often used today (except the one about teeth). Now though the audience recognises them for what they are. No pushing please Customer tolerance of marketing materials and communications that are pushed at them is now low. Relevancy to them has become important and the user-experience of engagement matters. So, the way forward is to keep it specific, keep it relevant, don’t be intrusive, follow their lead and help them visualise. Essentially make it personal. Profile the customer and give them something they actually want or respond with what they have in fact asked you for. This ‘relationship marketing’ taken to its logical conclusion, which is that relationships are most likely to be effective at a personal level.

Taking a ‘marketing orientation’ approach – identifying, anticipating and responding to the ‘needs and wants of customers’, now also extends to how they ‘need and want’ to be communicated with.

Variable Data Publication combined with multi-channel delivery enables Intelligent Data-driven Integrated Marketing. Jonathan Stephenson
m: 0789 4512102
e: jps@magusdigital.com
w: www.magusdigital.com Contact details: Digital technologies offer many different means of communication and enable various types of output, so ‘digital’ represents a multiplicity of channels, not just one. In digital technology terms multi-channel is typically used to represent the ability to deliver a set of different outcomes from a single coordinated source, which roughly corresponds to the marketing and communication profession’s concept of Data-driven Integrated Marketing (DIM). Multi-channel solutions for Data-driven Integrated Marketing If you would like a copy of the accompanying overview document, which explains the concepts of VDP in more detail, please download it from the website, or contact Magus Digital and one will be emailed to you. Or... If you already have information to work with Or have collected data from Prospect Driven activity... What is it used for? Examples of Variable Data Publication use in marketing and communications include:

The tourism and leisure industry, for sales and repeat sales.
Fashion retailing to promote merchandise and seasonal trends; and to increase the value of the transaction through associated sales.
Recruitment and selection materials, both in the education sector and for attracting quality employees.
Corporate communications with stakeholders through personalised newsletters and localised magazines. These could include separate variables for investors or staff.
In car sales, to help close the deal.
Any use of flyers, brochures and catalogues, promoting products, or services, in a targeted manner aimed at a segmented audience. Prospect buy-in and satisfied customers Thank you for watching The ability to accurately measure the outcome of marketing and communication activities and evaluate their progress whilst current has also become an important factor since the advent of digital enabled alternatives. These are able to demonstrate return on investment (ROI) more exactly than traditional approaches and offer routes to the point of customer action that may be mapped accurately and are comparatively direct and flexible. Today’s intelligent customers… …should be marketed to intelligently ... and even more cutting edge stuff + Some clever variables The VDP equation 16% All original content copyright Magus Digital 2013 The quality of the lead generation is better and conversion rates are likely to increase substantially. Each campaign will be different; however, in comparison to the 2 - 3% take up of a less targeted method, a Variable Data Publication approach may yield 16% or more. Input Output Clever stuff in the middle Results Let this be the beginning of a beautiful relationship. The creation of the document, or response to one, becomes the entrance to a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) process with the user volunteering their profile. Advanced implementations of VDP technology have CRM system tools built into them, or may be configured to pass the information across to one that is already in place (a CRM system). The process by which companies create value for customers and build strong customer relationships in order to capture value from customers in return.

Kotler and Armstrong (2010). Marketing is the management process for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.

The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). "Several studies have confirmed that traditional marketing communications are no longer relevant to the "buyer's decision journey". They are checking out product and service information using the Internet and external sources such as word-of-mouth recommendations or customer reviews.

In a devastating 2011 study of 600 decision makers, 73% of them said that their Marketing professionals lacked business credibility and the ability to generate business growth, 72% were tired of being asked for money without how it would generate increased business being explained; and 77% had lost interest in talk about brand that could not be linked to any recognized financial metric.

When you try to extend traditional marketing logic into the world of social media, it simply doesn't work." ACOT2 follows in the tradition of Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow (ACOT), a research and development collaboration among public schools, universities, and research agencies that Apple initiated in 1985 and sustained through 1995 with outstanding results. The Hereward College prospectus speaks for itself… Fully Interactive Online Augmented Reality (AR) The award winning Borders College prospectus attaches the virtual world to print, using overlays of digital media that respond to printed targets and provide users with additional and up to date information via their mobile devices… Get the prospectus, download the app... What is marketing? What is marketing? Believe what you see… AR delivers a real ‘WOW’ factor and brings the printed page to life. The student as customer Successive governments have signalled to the education sector that it should focus more on the objectives and outcomes of its customers. These are its students, their eventual employers and, as stakeholders in the economy, society as a whole.

Now the encircling market forces make the outcomes of this process inevitable. The impact of digital on marketing Virtual universities with global reach… Digitally enabled education and the media enhanced eTextbook Digital publishing Education is the biggest market for publishing. The concept changes of digital technology and new types of product and marketplace that digital has introduced are challenging the traditional publishing sector, which must adapt quickly or will fail.

The biggest players are keen to be a part of what happens next and as they rationalise their businesses have an eye on the main prize. Apple declared its interest in the potential of the enhanced eTextbook at the beginning of 2012. The estimated value of the global textbook market was then around $8 billion. Like most other aspects of how digital technologies are dramatically changing things, the possibilities have been evolving for some time. So, there is no ‘if’ or ‘when’ about what is happening. eTextbooks The eTextbook is able to support an enriched self-directed learning experience, whilst extending the reach of good teaching and providing high quality resources, interactivity and affordability. Implementation of the ePUB 3 specification is opening up the market beyond proprietary devices and closed virtual learning systems. As an example: ‘Marketing Management’ by Kotler and Keller, as an enhanced eTextbook, contains world class content, with interactive notes, diagrams, image galleries and video case studies as learning aids. All of this is of a calibre that few educational institutions could equal and it may be bought by the chapter or in its entirety for a comparatively modest sum. Variable Data Publication allows the customer to select their own content and has the ability to give them a bespoke, personalised response to their enquiry, or requirement. By choosing content they also passively self-profile, which creates the perfect starting point for a Customer Relationship journey and provides cumulative generic data about the target market. Variable Data Publication If variables are skilfully employed what the user gets back is not only tailored to meet their needs, it is ‘all about them’ in an engaging way. This is obviously extremely customer-focused because the process identifies, anticipates and satisfies their requirements and involves an exchange of value between the customer and the marketer.

And because VDP is flexible solution what it delivers could include other features, such as Augmented Reality components. VDP has other applications and its principles are further explained later in this presentation. Some background Some digital technologies Some detail There are both opportunities and dangers in the ability to deliver education digitally at a distance. In the present economic climate there are also questions about value in education and the comparative value of experience.

Degree awarding powers and university status for private and small specialist institutions are also part of the equation. It is highly probable that the complacent and less able among education providers will be allowed to fail. These eTextbook templates have been developed by Magus Digital as part of its eProduction and publishing activity and are adaptable to all kinds of subject matter, content and presentation. The VDP system originally developed for the University of East London has taken six national and international awards for innovation and is now available as an adaptable solution. Magus Digital has a strong background in digital technologies and environments and is able to call on extensive experience and expertise, which encompasses a wide range of interrelated possibilities. These include Strategic Media Consultancy, eBook Production and Publishing Consultancy, Intelligent Marketing and Digital Intelligence and Social Media Research.

Magus Digital is also an independent ePublishing house that produces high quality eBooks under select imprints for distribution to a global market.
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