OPS 2020: Communication – The underestimated success factor


“Sensory overload, oversupply, ever shorter product life cycles. Add to that, digitalization and disruption. Entire industries are disappearing, new ones are emerging. The markets are changing rapidly. If you don’t pay attention, you’ll quickly lose contact with your target group,” Frank Fülle, Managing Director of Briefodruck Fülle, explained right at the beginning of his well-received speech, in which he gave “valuable marketing tips”.

However, these were not only aimed at the online printers in the room, but at the entire printing industry. After all, “80 percent of print shops underestimate the impact of their own corporate communications to the outside world,” says Fülle. Communication is one of the four pillars in the marketing mix and all four should be equally pronounced: Products, prices, sales and communication. This means that each of these elements only accounts for 25 percent of success.

Frank Fülle gave his keynote speech on corporate communications, with which he expressed the feelings of many of the OPS 2020 participants.

Additionally, there is the products. Should every printer always question whether his products are still relevant today? And for whom? To do so, he should experiment with the products and perhaps even specialize. Just like letterpress did with its 50 system mailings. These were not created all at once, but by experimenting with the core product. By adding system building blocks such as sample and design service, design templates, express production, data check, fixed prices and much more, the mailing variants became even more attractive.

At some point, every printer is faced with the decision of whether he wants to be perceived as the price leader or performance leader. “Wishes, dreams and desires can already be addressed emotionally via the pricing policy”, explained Fülle and advised the audience to also have the courage to take a flat-rate pricing approach. If necessary, prices should be more demand-oriented than cost-based. At the same time, one should not shy away from dynamic prices.

No Business without Show Business

However, only 50% of the marketing mix is thus fulfilled. “And never forget: Customers are not interested in the pricing structure of the raw materials sector. Customers buy where they feel comfortable,” reminded Frank Fülle before he showed us in the second half of his presentation how his company has succeeded in winning customers through digitalization, online printing and strategic corporate communications.

“Anyone can now do mailings!” is the new claim of Briefodruck Fülle. The company deliberately uses wacky motifs to create polarization. Source: Briefodruck @OPS2020

At the same time, sales are no longer possible without the Internet and social media, and are therefore part of the communication strategy, explained Fülle. “There is no business without show business. Marketing is a battle of subjective perception”. That’s what I want to be good at. “It’s about the clear formulation of the intended message, a simple and pointed core statement that has to be positioned. We are currently focusing on the claim ” Anyone can now do mailings”, reported Frank Fülle. The polarization is intended and is constantly repeated. “Because once in the memory, it is in the business. At least four contacts per year are necessary for this.” Additionally, he gave the participants of the OPS 2020 another insight: “Check the relevance of the print products, specialize and position them, and only then skilfully communicate them to the outside world, give the matter time and optimize it. This is a strategically sustainable approach.”

After his presentation, everyone will have realized why Frank Fülle is probably the most innovative online printer in the direct mail market for targeted mailings. Having started as a disciple of the black arts, his heart now beats for marketing. While the print industry is all too happy to retreat to technical issues and put a strain on the product, Fülle and his team in Wünschendorf, Thuringia, are working consistently to solve customer problems and perfect the customer experience. Through digitization, he transformed an envelope manufacturer, which was founded in 1912, into the most efficient mailing factory in the German market, which processes 80% of its orders online. Respect!

Untapped marketing channel after checkout

Visitors to the 8th Online Print Symposium will have long since realized that our reports do not follow the chronological sequence of the event. So here too, we have summarized two major contributions to OPS 2020, which deal intensively with the topic of communication. After all, communication can be quite varied. Want an example?

The doorbell rings, through the intercom you can hear something similar to a “courier service” and instead of delivering the package to the second floor, the courier throws it behind the entrance door and disappears again. This is what an online shopping experience on its last leg can look like.

Angus Knights, UK Partnership Manager, is focusing at parcelLab on understanding supply chains and looking at them from a different perspective.

Obviously this is not an isolated case. A survey by Statista shows that dissatisfaction occurs often enough when the logistics provider takes over customer contact: According to the survey, 31% of the Internet users surveyed said that they had previously been dissatisfied with an online shopping experience because the shipping of the goods was not satisfactory.

The reason is very simple: almost every shop sends tracking links after an order – and they almost always lead to the website of the logistics partner. This means, as an analysis by ParcelLab has shown, that online shops waste a lot of potential in marketing to existing customers. Up to 75% of customers return to the shop via Track & Trace after placing an order when the link is subsequently changed. There they could easily be motivated to make a new purchase.

After all, not only the shopping itself, but also the shipping can become an experience, explained Angus Knights, UK Partnership Manager of parcelLab GmbH: “After a successful order, the customer should be bound to the company. One possibility is to make shipping an experience with status messages and additional benefits”.

Striving for proactive customer communication

Through proactive customer communication, retailers regain at least some of the control in the shipping process. They can inform customers that the package has left their own warehouse, announce delivery for a specific day, indicate to whom the package has been delivered, inform them of delivery delays or confirm receipt of the return. “Dealers should not leave these points of contact with customers to their logistics providers. After all, on average 70% of customers still click on a shipping message after purchase. Shop operators should use this potential for themselves,” argued Knights.

But the reality is different, as he demonstrated with figures and examples. For example, 66% of online retailers do not communicate at all. 70% of merchants have unsatisfactory tracking and 87% of merchants neglect true personalization. Knights concludes from this that many merchants ignore their customers after checkout at the most emotional level of the customer journey.

The previously untapped marketing channel of delivery communications can create better customer experiences, increase customer loyalty and enhance the value of the existing customer base.

For example, a discount store uses personalized e-mails to inform its customers about the delivery status and current whereabouts of the package. Through this proactive service, the retailer generates 2.7 new touchpoints to its customers per order during the shipping process. And it’s worth it: 85% of the customers return to the web shop through the shipping e-mails.

Good communication can also relieve the call centers if shipments are delayed. This reduces dispatch-related inquiries by 24%. Thanks to prompt dispatch communication, it has also been possible to massively increase the number of shop ratings on rating platforms.

Bernd Zipper My Take: Most online shoppers still focus on comparatively simple information regarding the ordering process. With smart technologies, however, many more possibilities are conceivable for making the shipping process an experience for the customer. For example, online printers could sweeten the waiting time for their customers by offering them a print-out of the invitation cards they have ordered by e-mail. This way, they will be remembered and will certainly be reminded when the next purchase is due. After all, the checkout is the beginning of a new journey. How did Frank Fülle put it? “Once in the memory, it is in the business.”
OPS 2020: Communication - The underestimated success factor
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OPS 2020: Communication - The underestimated success factor
"Sensory overload, oversupply, ever shorter product life cycles. Add to that digitalization and disruption. Entire industries are disappearing, new ones are emerging. The markets are changing rapidly. If you don't pay attention, you'll quickly lose contact with your target group," Frank Fülle, Managing Director of Briefodruck Fülle, explained right at the beginning of his well-received speech, in which he gave "pertinent marketing tips".
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Founder and CEO of zipcon consulting GmbH, one of the leading consulting companies for the print and media industry in Central Europe. The technology and strategy consultant and his team actively support practical implementation in a wide variety of customer projects. His work involves developing visions, concepts and strategies for the players active in the print production process across a wide range of industries. His areas of expertise include online print, mass customization, strategy and technological assessment for print, and the development of new strategies in the print and media environment. Bernd Zipper is the creator and chairman of Initiative Online Print e.V. and, in addition to his consulting activities, is an author, lecturer and sought-after speaker, orator and moderator. His visionary lectures are regarded worldwide as trend-setting management recommendations for the print and media industry. (Profiles also in Xing, LinkedIn).

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