Montage Graphics, based in Fort Collins, Colorado, began life as a design and marketing agency in the early 1970s. President, Toby Gadd, acquired the company in 2001, and it was his vision to make Montage Graphics the comprehensive one-to-one marketing solutions and creative service provider that it is today.
One of Gadd's primary targets was to better equip the company for the digital age. He wanted to provide his forward thinking, enterprise clients with a similarly modern and innovative consultancy service. When researching the technology he would need to make this service a reality, he was presented with DirectSmile - a tool that would enable Montage Graphics to manage customer databases and personalize marketing materials.
„To be honest, when I was first introduced to DirectSmile's products I thought the concept of image personalization was a bit gimmicky," confesses Gadd. „However, I gave DirectSmile a chance, and quickly changed my opinion when the campaigns that used variable data printing and personalization proved to be hugely successful. The full potential of these software products and the fantastic results achievable for our customers and our business when using them became clear.
„The power of personalization is that it makes a piece of direct mail or a promotional URL more memorable. Often, marketing materials are immediately disregarded or put to one side, but receiving something that has been personalized makes a much bigger impact on the recipient. The email or the direct mail piece is kept for longer and the message remembered, and therefore the campaign maintains a high profile in the recipient's mind, potentially increasing the campaign's success."
DirectSmile's software was integrated into Montage Graphics' own suite of one-to-one marketing services - a combination of print, web and email-based tools and technology that combine to provide an all-inclusive solution across the communication channels. Along with an HP Indigo digital Press, HP Designjet printers and Adobe design software, DirectSmile completes the toolset that powers Montage Graphics' services for personalized marketing strategies. Gadd continues, „Being able to integrate all three communication channels using just DirectSmile software was a key influencing factor when we chose this product. DirectSmile's Cross Media software takes the process one step further still, and enables our customers to interact with their customers and business leads by tracking response rates and measuring Internet activity. The customer data and feedback that can be attained from this is invaluable, especially for marketing executives looking to demonstrate ROI (Return On Investment) after launching a particular marketing campaign."
Using DirectSmile to achieve sales and marketing success
Long-standing Montage Graphics customer, Savvi Formalwear, recently approached the company to manage a sophisticated campaign, attracted by the company's capabilities to provide detailed customer feedback through their DirectSmile technology.
Gadd explains, „Savvi Formalwear is one of the USA's leading tuxedo and formalwear retailers, and a large proportion of their target market is in the wedding industry. As such, their customers are in the process of planning one of the happiest events of their lives, and Savvi Formalwear wanted to ensure that the marketing materials they distributed mirrored this sentiment by making the recipient feel special in the run-up to their big day.
„The campaign, called SavviOne, is running every week across the US and Canada, promoting different offers on formal wear. It's very complex, incorporating multiple elements of variable data printing and personalized images. What the bride or groom-to-be and potential Savvi Formalwear customer receives is a piece of printed direct mail with a personalized image, their name and address within the copy, as well as the address of their local Savvi Formalwear store, and a personalized URL linking to their individual online web page.
„Essentially, each piece of direct mail is targeted to address each individual, it's almost as if Savvi Formalwear is writing to each customer personally. This one-to-one correspondence continues when the customer then reacts to the campaign by visiting the company website. Recipients are provided with a personal web page which includes their details and any other information recorded about the customer, such as past purchases or clothing the customer has expressed a previous interest in."
In addition to enabling the highly personalized content of this direct mail campaign, DirectSmile Cross Media is also used to then track the customers' responses. Montage Graphics is notified when the recipient completes an online survey or simply clicks through to their personalized URL.
„Tracking the resulting activity from a campaign is every marketing manager's dream! It means that not only can you see how effective that particular promotion is, which is of course a massive advantage for proving ROI on a marketing initiative, but also, it opens the door for the team to take that next step in the sales process. In this instance, Savvi Formalwear can contact the customer that has just clicked onto their personal URL, with a degree of confidence that the call will be welcomed, that the person receiving the call is interested in their products and that they will remember the recent direct mail material they received. It almost eliminates the potential that the call they make to the customer, following receipt of the direct mail, won't lead to a sale."
Savvi Formalwear's satisfaction with the ongoing success of this recent campaign was evident when it presented Montage Graphics with the 'Vendor of the Year' Savvi Spirit Award in 2009.
Mark Morrow, President, Savvi Formalwear, says, „The SavviOne marketing initiative has been extremely successful for us. It continues to bring new interest to our company and products, and significantly increases the uptake of the promotional campaigns we run. Internally, we even include the details of this campaign in pitches to new members of our marketing cooperative, to demonstrate the incredible benefits of using personalized, cross-media marketing campaigns."
Montage Graphics' future to always include DirectSmile
Since installing DirectSmile software and using it to provide personalized marketing materials, Montage Graphics continues to grow, both financially and strategically. In 2008, the company reported annual company growth of 15%. Montage Graphics and its customers have found personalization, especially when used to link together a multi-media marketing campaign, extremely successful. So much so, that Montage Graphics now uses personalization for 80% of its customers' jobs.
Gadd concludes, „DirectSmile's technology has become an integral part of the business and enables us to maintain our competitive edge. Their software solutions are always at the forefront of innovation, and this continuous development not only preserves their place as industry leaders, but also helps Montage Graphics to take a leading role within the marketing industry too.
„What will happen when DirectSmile's latest technological advancement becomes commonplace? Well, they'll just do the next greatest thing! It's this constant improvement and creativity that provides businesses like ours with a truly powerful offering."