Power of the portal

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Power of the portal
Power of the portal

Tulsa, OK-based Camille's Sidewalk Café, a restaurant franchise with more than 100 locations that sell salads, wraps, pizza and panini, supports up to eight limited-time promotions per year with point-of-purchase mate­rial, flyers and direct mail. Without the right technology, ensuring that the entire chain receives corporate-approved marketing materials on time and begins promotions on the same day can be difficult.

However, through the use of the company's Web-to-print portal, each franchisee can place orders for mate­rials online and customize them for their local branch. “This [technology] has a big effect on the promotions,” says Carolyn Archer, SVP at Beauti­ful Brands International (BBI), which owns Camille's.

The use of Web-to-print portals, which enable various company out­posts to modify materials based on their needs, has grown significantly over the past few years — thanks to the many ways this technology can simplify brand management.

“Five years ago, there were between six and 10 Web-to-print solutions providers; today there are 60,” says Rich Dunklee, director of product management at Saepio Technologies, a Web-to-print portal provider. As a result, small and midsize customers — especially in the franchise industry, in which the adoption of Web-to-print technology has been high — now choose between solutions based on price, signaling its commodization.

After experimenting for several years with printing in-house and using a fulfillment vendor, BBI switched Camille's over to a Web-to-print por­tal through provider MyPrint. As a result, the company has reduced its printing costs and removed some of the burden from the corporate office when it comes to working with fran­chisees on print orders such as post­cards and gift certificates.

Web-to-print increases ROI

“With MyPrint, Camille's can more efficiently roll out marketing materi­als,” says Archer. This is especially important, she continues, as BBI readies aggressive expansion plans for Camille's (a 10-year-old brand) as well as two other franchise concepts, Coney Beach and Fresh Berry.

“MyPrint will help BBI do more with its marketing funds and be more productive by helping the company reduce costs and get more bang for its buck,” she explains.

However, the adoption rate of Web-to-print technology is still only around 14% of the entire business sector, according to Kent Barkouras, president/CEO of MyPrint Corp. He and others expect that more growth will come from large enterprise business­es and industries where document requirements are more complex.

“We expect the adoption rate of Web-to-print solutions within the next five years to be greater than 50% of industry,” Barkouras continues. One reason for growth is that marketers have seen what Web-to-print portals have done for the franchise industry and want to replicate the success.

Vertis Communications, which also offers a Web-to-print portal, is look­ing to take its success in the franchise arena and translate it for financial, pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, says Michael Maher, director of strategic business develop­ment. However, he says, there are some challenges.

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