March 3, 2017

Does Transpromo Apply to Multi-Channel Delivery?

The idea of Transpromo has been around for decades; the concept is really the integration of promotional messaging into an already viewed medium—in our case a document. If you think about it, this kind of approach is the same premise as using a car as a moving billboard or a champion runner’s jersey as a … Continue reading “Does Transpromo Apply to Multi-Channel Delivery?”

The idea of Transpromo has been around for decades; the concept is really the integration of promotional messaging into an already viewed medium—in our case a document. If you think about it, this kind of approach is the same premise as using a car as a moving billboard or a champion runner’s jersey as a means for advertising.

Recently, some have called into question whether the term Transpromo has a positive connotation in the transactional document market. Whether you call it Transpromo or by any other name, the concept definitely has staying power; enough so that our customers have started to ask: “Does Transpromo apply to multi-channel delivery?”

Let’s set the stage of multi-channel delivery before we get too far into this conversation. Within the walls of Crawford Technologies we believe that multi-channel delivery encompasses paper and digital delivery through a variety of avenues generally referred to as channels.

From where we sit in both the Enterprise Output Management and Enterprise Content Management industries we see multi-channel delivery as:

  • Printed paper being mailed
  • Alternative format production and delivery for the visually impaired
  • Digital delivery through electronic files such as PDFs
  • Mobile device delivery
  • Delivery through Digital Mailbox Service providers

The latter in this list has been a hot topic around the world over the past couple of months including in a recent Xplor webinar sponsored by Crawford Technologies, Multi-Channel Delivery & Digital Mail: Business Considerations You Can’t Afford to Miss. It was during this webinar the question of Transpromo and its viability in a multi-channel strategy really started to take hold.

Before we dive into our perspective on the relationship between Transpromo and multi-channel delivery, we should take a closer look at the different channels that you might want to use to deliver customer communications. The traditional form of electronic delivery was electronic presentment, spawning the term e-presentment. As many of you know, e-presentment requires the print-stream to be re-engineered so that the documents you want to be presented electronically get transformed into the right format.

The right format is a bit of a red herring as this depends on the individual e-presentment system, most of which were built in-house by service providers. The traditional e-presentment model, while making way for the idea of digital delivery of customer communications, has also caused an issue with ease of use as customers need to login at each service provider’s portal to get their communications. Not as simple as just walking to the mailbox. At least with the e-presentment model, if Transpromo messaging was included in the statement design it was carried over to the print-stream, so the customer would see the advertising in the online portal (often presented as a PDF file).

We can call e-presentment the status quo, but what about mobile and alternative formats? We will tackle alternative formats in a minute, but mobile is really where Digital Mailbox Services start to make the most sense. In an e-presentment environment, the access to the portal is generally difficult on a mobile or tablet device.

In recent years, many providers have upgraded their sites to include mobile or app interaction. However, the issue is still that a customer has to have multiple logins and multiple apps to get their important information. Try remembering which bill requires which app or website while on the road; you generally end up with a sinking feeling that you are missing something. It is made worse by the fact that many mobile devices require a PDF to be downloaded, not just viewed in the browser. This is a situation that causes frustration while waiting for the document to be downloaded, opened and ultimately viewed by the customer, assuming they have a suitable PDF-viewer app in order to do so.

This is where many industry leaders including Madison Advisors, InfoTrends and ourselves are talking about Digital Mailbox Services (DMS). With a DMS, a customer has a better user experience by being able to login to one place and receive their mail in digital format. Most of the current services are also able to handle the payment and lifetime archiving of your bills and statements. DMS also has the advantage of apps for mobile devices, delivering a single user experience for their communications management. But can you have Transpromo in this scenario?

The answer is yes. As we discuss in our The Convergence of the ADF and Digital Mailbox Services article in this month’s issue, the idea is that through automation and document re-engineering, plus the addition of Customer Preference Management through PRO Channel Manager, the ability to provide data-driven relevant information to the customer via their transactional documents is retained.

Currently, transactional documents, or bills and statements as customers know them, are some of the most read pieces of mail delivered to mailboxes around the world. As we watch the growth of Digital Mailbox Services, industry analysts and experts expect that these documents will continue to have the highest open and read rates of anything delivered electronically to customers. The challenge is re-engineering the data-driven information for the DMS, something that can be accomplished today by pairing ADF technology with new-to-market Customer Preference Management technology.

As we look toward the future and work with all of the DMS service providers (such as doxo, Manilla, Volly, Zumbox), we believe that Transpromo or relevant data-driven communications continue to have a significant place within the transactional document market. PRO Channel Manager was developed specifically to address the needs of print and mail providers who need to connect to multiple DMS solutions without having to re-engineer their entire workflow. In addition, by pairing the ADF with document re-engineering and transpromo modules, the transference of messaging into the content being delivered to DMS can be seamless and targeted.