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  • By Bryan Archer (CTO)
Bryan Archer (CTO)

For many organisations, the days of direct mail campaigns are a distant memory. The relatively expensive and comparatively slow method of communication is considered to be so outdated that, to some, even the term itself is enough to cause a cringe.

When email was introduced, it quickly because the fastest and most cost effective method of communicating with prospects, and whilst every organisation uses email, not every company has completely thrown the towel in on their postal efforts…and rightly so!

A large number of organisations are still seeing a fantastic ROI on their direct mail campaigns. Catalogue based companies are a prime example of this. Whilst their online presence is a vital component of their marketing mix, the physical brochures, magazines, and in some cases, hardback books (think NEXT directory), all help to widen the funnel and drive pipeline.

Typically, a substantial amount of resource goes in to creating an online product/service brochure. Although the creation process for creating a printed brochure follows a similar set of procedures, it is commonly created as a totally separate authoring process, which leads to a lot of inefficiencies and increases the likeliness of errors (where the printed material does not match the online material).

This is where Sitecore’s little mentioned “Print Experience Manager” (PXM) packs a punch.

Using familiar design tools, PXM allows document creators to extract live content from their website, resulting in the automated production of dynamic documents that are perfectly aligned with the digital experience. In short, PXM integrates your CMS with your print production.

If your organisation produce printed documentation, there are a number of benefits to gain from utilising the PXM module:

1. Using Sitecore’s personalisation engine, dynamically personalized printed content can be produced (leveraging customer insight from the Sitecore xDB). We’ve covered the benefits of personalisation in many of our previous blog posts.
2. The tool allows for a Bi-directional content flow. If the designer needs to update incorrect or missing information, they can do so within InDesign.
3. Since PXM works with Adobe InDesign and Adobe InCopy (industry-standard design tools), users can familiarise themselves with the new functionality very quickly.
4. The tool can automatically generate HTML renderings for interactive content, giving marketing teams the ability to repurpose printed pieces to deliver alternative, digital formats.
5. Even non-designers can customise printed assets though the use of predefined templates and the “Online Document Generator” functionality
6. PXM integrates with Sitecore’s workflow and versioning control, meaning that only the latest approved content is being used.
7. Whilst the designers are busy designing, content editors can create and edit content, avoiding workload duplication.

Various PXM case studies show that use of the module lead to great results. Here are just a few that are worth mentioning if you are considering whether PXM is something that your organisation might benefit from:

  • Total elimination of duplication errors.
  • Up to 85% productivity improvements – examples include one company who claim that a 207-day production cycle has been reduced to just 19 days.
  • Up to 85% reduction in costs – the production of smaller and more frequent print cycles contributed towards this figure though waste elimination.
  • Huge improvements in customer engagement
  • Increased staff happiness

Is it time to update your slow, expensive, inefficient, error prone, wasteful and generic catalogue production process? Talk to us about Sitecore PXM today and organise a demo of the system to see its functionality first-hand.

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