Power of the portal

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Power of the portal
Power of the portal
“The printed materials for these types of companies are more complex than in the franchise marketplace,” Maher explains.

Part of the problem is that insur­ance and healthcare companies must deal with different regulatory agen­cies in every state, each with their own requirements for what should be printed on documents. A Web-to-print portal that would automatically address regulatory issues by location could mitigate many of these issues, allowing end-users to use collateral documents without thinking about regulatory issues.

According to Dunklee, there are “two schools of thought” on Web-to-print portals from the marketer's per­spective. One, such as is with BBI, the corporate attitude is that document management is complex and it is best to have the printing services provider handle as much of it as possible. The other tends toward self-management, and is seen with larger companies.

“If a company has a staff of marketing folks and designers in house, they don't need to go out and pay another company to manage a Web-to-print site,” Dunklee explains.

For this market, Saepio is currently developing a new product that will let large companies use marketing intel­ligence and connect the dots between local and corporate markets.

More sophisticated portals

There are already signs that Web-to-print portals are getting more so­phisticated in how they manage data files. Much of the data held online by a Web-to-print portal have been document templates and images. Now, there's a movement towards bringing the entire data file online, including ZIP code information. This will enable marketers to create personalized campaigns targeted to specific local market segments.

For global clients, Saepio's system lets end-users apply this logic to a marketing document — for example, using a specific image for a target audience with income more than $50,000 — but have them automati­cally presented with culturally appro­priate images and language.

“You'll always have a vendor printer offering a single-point Web-to-print solution,” says Maher, who adds that this represents the mar­ket reaching maturity at this stage. “The opportunity emerging is with complex enterprises with market­ing communications that need to be personalized.”

Franchises are also looking to Web-to-print to help them get to the next level. BBI, for example, is looking into offering its franchisees the ability to coordinate direct mail campaigns with local ZIP targeting data that would be uploaded to the portal by the corporate office.

“The company wants to use as much of this technology as it can to help grow its business,” Archer says of BBI's future strategy.

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