As IWCO Direct monitors and evaluates the landscape for new direct marketing technology developments, we are continually asking ourselves, “Will this technology improve our workflow and how will it provide value for our clients?” There are a number of factors we look at to determine the value a new technology can deliver for our clients. We break them down into four categories:
- Response rate improvement
- Production cost reduction
- Cycle time reduction
- Capacity increase
A new technology may affect one or many of these categories, which is all taken into consideration when trying to measure the overall value and effectiveness it will deliver.
A Team Approach to Evaluating Direct Marketing Technologies
It takes a real team approach to stay on top of all the upcoming technologies. To do that effectively, we leverage Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) across our organization to identify, research, and bring back ideas to our Innovation and Engineering Councils. These same teams take a ‘divide and conquer’ approach to attending all the industry expos and conferences, in order to stay abreast of new technologies. Factor in all our vendor partnerships, and it’s a substantial commitment across the organization that goes into supporting technology innovations.
Recent Innovations Deliver Value
In a previous post, I mentioned our recent investments in high-speed inserters, mail sorting equipment, and finishing equipment to enhance direct mail production. These investments have been paying off and helping us deliver value to our clients. All three of these investments have expanded capacity and reduced cost and cycle time by replacing slower machines. They have also provided additional benefits by freeing up labor needed in other areas.
In that post, I also mentioned testing personalization of multiple components to a single recipient. We have continued to expand the testing to different combinations of components as well as personalization options for the components. This includes expanding digital form and envelope capabilities along with improved digital workflows on personalized cards.
At IWCO Direct, we continue to actively test and research direct marketing technologies that deliver and support expanding our four-color personalization options across all components. These technologies are attractive because they deliver multiple benefits such as improving response rates, reducing cycle times, and increasing capacity through consolidated job processing, as well as reducing costs through postal optimization.
Looking to the Future
In addition to what we are doing today, we are actively pursuing innovative ideas that are “incubating.” There are a number of exciting new technologies on the horizon that we are researching now. Some of these innovations must remain sealed for the time being (pun intended), but we will give you more insight and a sneak peek into the new technologies as we get closer to releasing them.
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