As an innovator, you need your shop to be able to keep up with your ideas. The most agile approach is a customizable one, allowing users to continue to get the most out of your print operations without restricting them to rigid modes of operation. That’s where Ricoh’s 2014 MUST SEE EM award-winners 1to1 Create Marketing Services and Ricoh’s Critical Communications Solutions Suite, both of which will be on display in Ricoh’s booth at GRAPH EXPO booth #1931, can really help your business shine.
1to1 Create is a great way for you to get your big marketing ideas out of your head and into the world. The cloud-based subscription service leverages the technology and experience of Ricoh and PTI Marketing Technologies to make creating marketing materials – like postcards, pURLs, email blasts, and brochures – remarkably easy, not to mention time- and cost-efficient. You plug your ideas into ready-made templates, and 1to1 Create takes care of the most challenging work, giving you the tools, templates and tips to execute a marketing campaign that reflects your unique business without bogging you down in the hours and expenses associated with many campaigns. Graphics Plus, for example, secured a ten percent spike in business for their client after deploying the service. Watch this video to see how:
The award-winning Critical Communications Solutions Suite allows unprecedented levels of customization and control in your job creation process, while ensuring utmost fidelity, helping to ensure what you print is what you envisioned, an invaluable asset for outside-the-box requests. Vendor-neutral and easy to use, the Critical Communications Solutions Suite makes managing your output, your way a snap, no matter how complex the environment.
Want to learn more about how you can implement innovation in your shop? Read more about 1to1 Create Marketing Services and how it can help you materialize your marketing ideas at http://rpp.ricoh-usa.com/services-solutions/1to1-create-marketing-services. Find out more about how to monitor and manage your output, no matter how you want to arrange it, with our Critical Communications Solutions Suite at http://rpp.ricoh-usa.com/discover/critical-communications.
And stop by booth #1931 to see it for yourself!
- Kurt Konow
Director, Vertical Marketing, Ricoh
Are you a print shop finding that the advent of so many digital technologies is creating a demand from your customers for services beyond traditional print offerings – services like Web-to-Print or Targeted Marketing? Do you see the need to expand your offerings into these areas just to remain competitive and yet at the same time potentially grow your business? Well, you are not alone.
Today information is king and incorporating digital options into a traditional print shop can be the difference between a successful printer and one that struggles. Knowing this and facing a client base that began demanding Web-to-Print and marketing services, Pacful, Inc, with the help of Ricoh, spent the last three years working to transform from a traditional print service fulfillment shop into a full-fledged marketing service provider, without sacrificing print quality. For success, Pacful had to find technology solutions that would allow them to place an emphasis on web-to-print storefronts, order tracking and quick response code generation.
With Ricoh, they found a vendor that could provide reliable technology offerings, while helping to ensure a positive ROI. Pacful installed the MarcomCentral software from Ricoh’s strategic partner PTI Marketing Technologies along with RICOH Pro C901 Graphic Arts+ Edition color production printers. Pacful uses MarcomCentral to deploy web storefronts that give their clients customized solutions that allows access to store-branded content, including high-resolution logos, document templates, collateral designs, contact information, and other digital assets, within their own branded website.
Today, Pacful is a full-fledged MSP. The combination of PTI’s MarcomCentral and the RICOH Pro C901 Graphic Arts+ Edition, along with its own in-house marketing skills has set the company apart and allowed them to grow relationships and add new customers regularly.
Jennifer Hudek, president of Pacful, sums up Pacful’s success using Ricoh solutions this way: “When clients work in our Web storefronts, they often don’t even realize they’ve left their own intranets. That’s because our print management infrastructure is so well integrated into their normal intranet experience. It’s seamless, and with Ricoh’s support, we’ve effectively become an extension of their marketing team. As repeat customers, they don’t need heavy consultation. They get exactly what they want, with consistent quality and turnaround, every time.”
Want to learn more about how Ricoh’s comprehensive portfolio of production print, software and services offerings can help you transition as well? Please visit http://www.ricoh-usa.com/
- Ed Wong
Ricoh Production Print, Product Marketing
With GRAPH EXPO 14 just around the corner, we at Ricoh are thrilled to deliver the exciting news: we’ve won two 2014 MUST SEE ‘EM awards; one for 1to1Create Marketing Services in the Variable, Transactional and Multi-Channel category and another for our Postal Optimization Solution in the Imprinting, Mailing, Shipping and Fulfillment category. These prestigious awards serve to highlight the industry’s most innovative and promising technologies.
For your small to medium-sized print and marketing service providers out there who are seeking to create, launch, track, manage, and modify marketing campaigns, 1to1Create Marketing Services, a cloud-based subscription service, can help them optimize turnkey cross-media marketing campaigns. This useful service helps businesses like yours make key marketing decisions with ease and to increase overall profits.
Ricoh’s Postal Optimization Solution, part of the 2013 MUST SEE ‘EM award-winning Critical Communications solution suite delivers Postal Enablement tools, which identify address information, extract it and present it to a third-party postal optimization software product early in the mail process. This service ultimately saves mailers money in postal costs and valuable time.
Not only did our own home-grown solutions win, the Ricoh ecosystem of industry-leading partner solutions is also a big MUST SEE ‘EM winner this year. We’re excited to congratulate our partner, PTI, on their win for their MarcomCentral software-as-a-service (SaaS) Web-to-print offering in the Variable, Transactional and Multi-Channel category. Avanti Slingshot, the print MIS system which helps printers automate their business and production workflow, was also recognized with an award in the Management Systems category.
Plan to attend Graph Expo? Stop by Ricoh’s booth #1931 to see demos of this year’s MUST SEE ‘EM-award winning solutions from our entire ecosystem, and learn how your business can increase efficiency and reduce operating costs.
Learn more about Ricoh’s 1to1Create Marketing Services here: http://rpp.ricoh-usa.com/services-solutions/1to1-create-marketing-services and watch a video about how Ricoh’s Critical Communications solution suite can help optimize your postal operations: http://youtu.be/C7YjgaHC750
Also, tune in to MUST SEE ‘EM awards organizer Hal Hinderliter’s webinar on the winners today at 1pm ET: https://event.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1037099.
- Annette McCrary
Director, Production Field Deployment, Ricoh
How are you tackling the demands of critical communications – documents that have to be perfect, are regulated, require tracking or reporting, or contain customized or personal information? With critical communications, if you make a mistake, your business suffers and if you print them accurately, your business prospers. Navigating these challenges and opportunities has been a hot topic on our blog, and our recent video series explores how companies like yours can use Ricoh’s Critical Communications Solution Suite to optimize your workflow, improve accuracy and help cut costs without cutting corners. In the next feature of our Critical Communications video series, our host Joan explains how we helped Dennis, a mailer who was under pressure from management, to decrease postage costs and improve overall mail center efficiency for his business.
With Ricoh’s Postal Optimization solution, Dennis was able to identify and extract address information from his mailing jobs, even from fully composed PDFs. This simplified critical steps in his workflow process. Our solution also allowed him to think beyond cleansing and suppressing and allowed upfront electronic sorting of pieces so Dennis’ output would be eligible for the best possible postage discounts. After correcting inaccurate address data and removing invalid addresses, Dennis stopped unnecessary printing and eliminated wasted postage on mail that would have been returned.
Ultimately, Dennis is saving money with our solutions. He has lowered postage costs because he is no longer mailing items that shouldn’t be mailed, and is taking advantage of postal discounts. He saves time and reduces errors by automating his manual tasks – freeing up room to take on new jobs that he couldn’t before. And an added bonus: with an easy to update workflow in place he’s able to respond to new postal regulations more quickly. All in all, ROI was fast – which made his boss very happy. Working smarter, not harder, is the order of the day – and saving time and money continues to follow.
To learn more about how Ricoh can help save time and money spent on the postal workflow process at your business, watch the video below and visit http://ricoh-usa.com/critical .
- Scott Scheidenhelm
Senior Product Manager, Services and Solutions Marketing, Ricoh Production Print
At Ricoh, we are not just about production print solutions, we’re about people too. These are the men and women who work every day with you, our customers, to find solutions that best fit your needs. We know that a major part of your business includes those working for you, so we think you’ll appreciate an inside view at the people that are behind the products and services at Ricoh – the people that help define what makes Ricoh the company it is today.
Recently, Tim Vellek, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Ricoh Americas Corporation, sat down with Quick Printing to provide insight into his role within Ricoh, his goals within that role and his overall professional background. Shared here are a few pieces of that Q&A to give you a window into not just what we do at Ricoh, but who we are and how we think – information we feel will help you in your future decisions for a print solutions partner.
QP: How did you get involved with the company? What is your background before that?
Tim: I joined the Ricoh team via their acquisition of Lanier in 2001. At the time, I was the COO and president of Lanier’s EMEA group based in Brussels, Belgium, and I was responsible for all areas of the business for ultimately all regions outside of the Americas. My background prior to that is likely not what you’d expect from a marketing executive. In fact, I was pursuing oceanography at the University of Miami and eventually wound up in the US Air Force. Then, in 1978 I began working with Lanier. About six years after Ricoh’s acquisition of Lanier, I was asked to return to the US to incubate a new business initiative focused on production print. Ricoh had recently acquired Hitachi’s Printing Systems Division and wanted to create a business unit to serve the production digital print market.
QP: What do you consider your greatest achievement in this market to be?
Tim: From a Ricoh perspective, our growth in the digital production print business has been undeniably successful. When we began in 2006 we had no presence in this space: zero. And today, we’re ranked among the leaders across the board by industry analysts like Gartner, IDC, Forrester, InfoTrends, and others. Our accolades range from digital cut-sheet solutions up to continuous-feed solutions. It’s something I know Ricoh as a whole is incredibly honored by.
We attribute these successes to dedication, hard work, and determination, and especially being true partners to our customers. Our production print business has grown by internal expansion, acquisitions like IKON and IBM’s InfoPrint, and true product and services innovation. We took our time to create the production print business and launched our first digital product, the RICOH Pro C900 in 2008 and have been consistently innovating across the board ever since. I believe our dedicated focus on digital color and monochrome technology is an example of Ricoh’s unwavering commitment to the commercial print and production industry. We set out to become a major force as quickly as possible, and I think the feedback from our customers and industry influencers prove we’ve been successful.
QP: What is the biggest piece of advice you would give to printers and others involved in this industry?
Tim: Stay current with new technologies, developments, and innovations; listen to your customers and demonstrate a partnership with them that grows the relationship; and most importantly, have fun and enjoy the ride!
To view the full Q&A, please visit MyPrintResource (the online portal to Quick Printing) at: http://www.myprintresource.com/article/11359958/print-qa-with-ricoh-vp. To learn more about Ricoh’s Production Print Business and Ricoh executives like Tim Vellek, please visit http://rpp.ricoh-usa.com/.
The shifting digital world is impacting each and every one of us in more ways than we can count, but one way that is obvious is changing customer expectations around how they receive information. A combination of mail, email and other channels is now essential to reach customers in a meaningful, captivating way. How do marketers and marketing service providers grapple with the changing media environment? I recently spoke with Digital Publishing Solutions magazine about just that. Here are some highlights of our conversation that get at the heart of how companies like yours are managing information workflows to successfully deal with the new marketing landscape and your customers’ demands for cross-media marketing (CMM):
”If used correctly, a marketer can utilize data to identify a customer’s purchases over time and offer up a targeted mail piece that touches on items that a customer might want a discount on, or a new item that would complement past purchases. That same marketer can use cross-media software to add URLs to the mailer for a specialized site that includes viewing offers”.
With the recent increase in postal rates and regulations the direct mail channel has changed. “In order to realize the best postal rates and not have overall marketing campaign costs skyrocket, mailers have had to meet stricter regulations in how mail is dealt with—from the original generation of the piece all the way to the delivery. New trackers need to be implemented to deal with returned and mislabeled mail,” explains Ricoh’s Konow.
CMM solutions attract marketers and MSPs. They include tracking and other important data handling tools to ensure that mail is organized, being used to its greatest potential, and comply with United States Postal Service regulations.
“Data can easily become a hindrance when there aren’t appropriate processes and infrastructures in place to control it. But that is where automated workflow, advanced reporting, data analytics, and digitized in-bound mail solutions often come into play,” continues Konow.
Careful attention must be paid to all campaigns leaving the print shop. Rate increases and stricter regulations mean it isn’t worth wasting money and time to create a CMM campaign that won’t go anywhere. Konow says that print and marketing service providers must evaluate all campaigns to ensure what they are saying and whom they are being sent to are indeed worthwhile.
Want to learn more about end-to-end solutions that can take your marketing capabilities to the next level? Read more about our 1to1Create Marketing Services; and how with this innovative solution, Ricoh helped Graphics Plus, a marketing support solutions provider in Illinois, harness the power of information to deliver double-digit results with a dynamic campaign for their customer: http://rpp.ricoh-usa.com/services-solutions/1to1-create-marketing-services http://rpp.ricoh-usa.com/about/press-releases/ricoh-launches-1to1-create-marketing-services-to-empower-small-to-medium-printers-with-tools-for-new
- Kurt Konow
Director, Vertical Marketing, Ricoh
Are you looking to increase return rates on your current direct mail program or trying to decide if direct mail will be an effective marketing tool for you? Well, you are not alone. Mail still plays a strong role in today’s communications; it has simply evolved like the rest of our industry. One route to delivering the desired results and success for you and your clients is to add an interactive layer to your direct mail campaign.
There are many digital tools available to you today that provide personalization and interactive content. So how do you go about taking steps to bring digital content into your direct mail program and which tools do you incorporate? Do you even know what your options are? Here are a few tips that can help start you in the right direction:
1. Know your audience – For some recipients direct mail will be the way to go, for others, they may prefer an email campaign. Understanding your recipients’ preferences can go a long way toward a successful campaign. If you aren’t already, conduct a survey – or obtain your client’s data – of your recipients’ communication preferences and habits. Analyzing this data will unlock valuable insights about which channels are most relevant to your users.
2. Develop a marketing plan – Before you begin, it is important to understand the goals and objectives you wish to achieve then plan accordingly. Here is where you will lay the groundwork for an interactive component.
3. Establishing a clear call to action – It’s important for you to instruct your targets on what they need to do to receive what you’re offering, e.g..: mail back this card to receive two free issues of our publication. If it’s not clear what you’re asking your audience to do, chances are no action will be taken.
4. It’s all about the data – Good data and effective use of that data are the key building blocks to delivering targeted content that ultimately leads to a positive ROI. It’s crucial to determine where you get this data from (i.e. collected directly from customers or other micro-level activity, or purchased from a list provider) and how you’ll use the data to build profiles to more accurately deliver mail in the form that the targets prefer to receive it.
5. Understanding mobile device significance – Once you have the data figured out, you need to figure out how to link your print and digital resources. Some of the technologies that printers and mailers can and are using to bring more value to content owners and consumers include:
• A pURL – a personalized URL that takes the recipient to a web site landing page that is built, typically on the fly, for that individual using data that has been collected or purchased to target the message. So for example, a pURL such as www.auto-ad-promotion.com/johnsmith would take Mr. Smith to a landing page which references his five year-old Chevy and invites him to visit his local dealer for a new minivan.
• QR Codes – can be personalized just like a pURL but because they are simply scanned with the mobile device, they provide easier, more immediate access to online content. Imagine targeted text along with an eye-catching QR code on an envelope. QR codes can provide a route to adding creativity and relevance to mail pieces. For example, adding a QR code that launches a relevant coupon when scanned.
• Hashtags – are most conducive to social media and are used to both tag and search for content. For example, a hashtag such as #mailtechnology, would be used to publicize related content and create a community of interest around it.
• Image Recognition (IR) – uses the mobile device to scan the image and link it to content on the Internet. It can be built from any image, a paragraph of text, a picture etc. and is seamlessly embedded into content.
• Digital Watermark – is an imperceptible and unique image pattern that is embedded in the content and can be used with both images and text. It can be personalized just like a QR Code and it supports variable interactive content based on the context of the image, such as videos or other promotional content
• Augmented Reality (AR) – offers more complexity and sophistication than the other tools discussed. With AR you get an augmented view of the printed content by placing your mobile device over the content. An example of this would be that the printed material shows an ad for a new car. This technology provides a great opportunity for direct mailers, printers, and their customers to differentiate themselves.
Another great feature of adding mobile devices into the equation is the additional data they create. Many of the above applications capture information (data) about customers so that you can get the right message to the right person and also the opportunity to introduce tailored content to the landing page. Ricoh has a long legacy in helping the print industry capture, manage and transform information about clients to produce relevant, targeted campaigns.
Always remember that the most successful campaigns stem from a marketing plan, offer a clear and strong call to action, and deliver high quality content across print and digital. Pull those aspects together and you will see results.
Want to learn more about tools for optimizing your print and digital communications? Visit Ricoh’s Production Print site at http://rpp.ricoh-usa.com/discover/direct-marketing.
- John Hankins
Strategic Program Manager, Production Print Cloud Services, Ricoh
Guest Post from Phil Riebel, President, Two Sides North America, Inc.
Are you looking to increase your understanding of the benefits of print and paper? Or are you perhaps looking for information to help better inform your clients on why paper is, in fact, a valuable commodity? Our organization, Two Sides, can help with both those needs.
It might interest you to know that print and paper have been the primary tools used by our society to communicate (learning, creative, commercial) for well over 1,000 years. In other words, even back in the days of our great, great grandparents, print and paper were the go-to way people expressed themselves. But, in the past few decades, misconceptions of their sustainability have arisen, with many promoting the “going paperless” idea, putting what has been a mainstay of communications for many generations, at risk.
If you’re like many folks today, you’ve probably wondered: Isn’t digital more environmentally friendly than paper? Do I need to promote digital solutions alongside my paper ones to show my support for eco initiatives? Do I need to plan for a society that is using less paper? Interestingly enough, products and services that replace paper are not necessarily better for the environment. According to IT energy scholars like Peter Arnfalk, an associate professor of the IIIEE, the direct impact to the environment of replacing paper with digital products and services is far from negligible. It depends on multiple conditions: use frequency, source of energy, end‐of‐life management of the products, etc… Rather than asking which is better, paper or electronic communication, Two Sides believes we should be working to determine which combination of the two has the least impact on the environment while best meeting social and economic needs.
So how can we help you show your customers why print and paper are part of an eco-friendly future? Well, let’s take an example. One common myth is that creating paper is bad for the environment. The fact is that paper is recyclable and it is made from a natural resource that is renewable. And thanks to the U.S. paper industry’s advocacy of responsible forestry practices and certification, paper is one of the most sustainable products on earth.
This is where our organization, Two Sides, comes into the picture. We began with one goal in mind – to promote the sustainable future of print and paper – and give you a voice to promote the sustainable practices of print. And today, we have more than 1,000 members globally and we are present in several countries that help work towards this goal every day.
We do the research for you providing the education tools needed to show others in your industry, regulatory bodies, and of course customers the environmental and social benefits to print media. We do this while exposing the fact that the many misconceptions related to the sustainability of paper and print are just that: misconceptions. Our primary focus is to raise awareness about the life cycle of print and explain the real sustainability impact of the Graphic Communications Value Chain – looking at everything from forest management to paper mill production to the differences in carbon footprints between print and electronic communications.
Check us out at http://www.twosides.us to learn more about how we can work together to keep print communications thriving another 1000 plus years. If you are attending Graph Expo this September, come visit us at Booth #1074 in the GreenSpace and we can give you a live demonstration of what we offer print organizations like yours to address the ongoing challenge of validating print and paper in an ever increasing digital society. Or if you’re not joining us in Second City, but will be in Brazil for ExpoPrint in July, come look us up at booth 94G – 20th street.
- Phil Riebel
President, Two Sides North America, Inc.
How can I produce print signage that makes me stand out from the competition? How do I incorporate online signage that complements my more traditional offline offerings? What can I do to make sure my end products are eco-friendly and made with sustainable materials? These are likely just a few of the key questions signage companies and printers are asking themselves as they attend the ISA International Sign Expo show this week.
Given the broad scope of the signage industry, it’s competitive. That means if you offer signage capabilities, you’ll want to find ways to innovate and separate yourself from the pack. The good news is that according to International Sign Association (ISA) 2013 report (which is a survey of members and attendees during their annual International Sign Expo), 93% of companies expect their business to grow in the coming year and almost three-fourths of those surveyed expect double digit growth, while a third expect growth rates of over 20%.
So what are the areas your customers might look to you for help with? Interestingly enough they are not all that dissimilar to other areas of print. Some examples include:
• Multi-channel strategies – Companies need to know how to cost effectively provide a multi-channel signage approach (incorporating print, online, social media and more).
• Digital signage – It’s becoming more prevalent, but companies are looking for ideas around when and how to use digital signage – and want to know when the added expense is worth the business result.
• Relationship management and growth – A consistent customer becomes a partner. That partner drives more revenue than a onetime customer. What does this mean? Frequency equals profit. You must develop customer relationships that last in order to truly thrive.
• The green movement – As the world looks to make industries more environmentally friendly, incorporating eco-friendly practices and sustainable products into signage offerings without vastly increasing costs is important.
How can you stay current, remain competitive and address all of these trends to meet current customer needs and also grow your business? Look to campaign management. Given the increased role marketing trends are playing across all of print (including signage), it’s crucial for you to offer more than just an outdoor portfolio. It’s important to have a comprehensive set of solutions in place that allows you to offer customers a complete personalized marketing package that incorporates signage as one element of a print and digital campaign.
For the first time Ricoh will be attending the International Signage Expo (ISA) show and demonstrating how we help printers in industries ranging from healthcare to banking bridge the digital divide across areas like mail, critical communications and operational workflow. We want to help you grow new customers. At the show, we’ll showcase comprehensive print and marketing campaign solutions that we hope will do just that.
Are you attending the ISA International Sign Expo Expo this year? If so, stop by the Ricoh booth #479 and see how we can help you address the latest trends and issues affecting signage. To learn more about Ricoh’s signage solutions, visit Ricoh’s Production Print site at rpp.ricoh-usa.com.
How do you achieve document integrity and compliance while cutting costs? What channels are most important for you to address your customers’ critical communications needs? What is the future of customer communication management? These are just some of the questions we heard at Xploration14, a mainstay event of the electronic document industry which took place from March 25-27.
With more than 60 educational sessions on various topics ranging from data to industry applications to technology best practices, the conference was a gathering of leading print service providers, direct marketers and everyone in-between, all looking to address the latest trends and pain points in the ever shifting world of information communications.
It was evident that these marketers, service providers and technologists were seeking ways to work more intelligently and move our industry forward with innovation. The value of Xplor truly lies in being able to spend three solid days listening to experts in print address the industry’s most important issues and most pressing challenges, many of which often touch on very specific company needs. At Ricoh, we have been helping to revolutionize the workplace for more than 75 years, so we’re right at home sharing knowledge that can solve today’s and tomorrow’s challenges for the new world of work, where the only constant is change.
This year, I presented the session, “The Appropriate Document Factory 2.0: Budget vs. Compliance?” I shared the best practices that regulated industries (like healthcare and utilities) use to address ongoing challenges with proper tracking and reporting of sensitive data for compliance and accreditation. The Xplor audience responded well to tips and real world case studies on how to meet regulatory and document integrity requirements; maximize current resources to boost efficiency, cut waste and keep costs low; and avoid document tracking uncertainties. They also appreciated hearing some examples of how budget concerns are being trumped by compliance and business continuity.
Meanwhile, in a different session, marketing attendees heard from Kurt Konow, Director, Vertical Marketing, and fellow panelists on the current state of channel marketing – how to develop programs that work and can increase customer retention and satisfaction – including finding the most lucrative value-add services, leveraging Web-based portals for creating and delivering multi-channel campaigns and how to help customers extend their marketing content beyond print to email, Web pages, social media and more.
Howard Turetzky kept attendees up to date about the AFP Consortium and AFP Archive (AFP/A) Function Sets. This information is critical as companies attempt to retire older systems and printers and gain page independence through metadata tagging. This is a sample of the deep veteran knowledge that customers with newer staff need to make smart moves when designing their new infrastructures.
The icing on the cake for us was sharing an Application of the Year honorable mention award win with one of our customers. Making information work isn’t always easy – but together, CCS Printing and Ricoh were able demonstrate by integrating new solutions with legacy ones, that printers like CCS can meet both traditional printing and forms management customer requirements, while expanding to also handle client communications document integrity from the print process to mail insertion. This honor, and our own Harry Lewis’ acknowledgement as the recipient of the Brian Platte Lifetime Achievement award made for a humbling experience – and one of many rewarding experiences over the three days that we spent speaking with people in the industry face-to-face.
Did you attend Xplor? Have any questions or comments about the show or hot trends you’d like to address? Please share your comments!
- Paul Abdool
Director, Production Workflow Automation Practice