That GDPR thing

Understanding GDPR Data Cross-media Multi Channel Marketing Bournemouth Poole and Dorset

We’ve all heard about the May 2018 deadline looming, been invited to numerous events and received email blasts on the subject of the General Data Protection Regulation and how it affects business. You think you’ve got your head around it, and then a passing comment makes you think, ‘have I’? If you haven’t done so already try this self assessment to see how ready you really are.

When planning a marketing campaign it will become critical to employ the services of a processor who is reliable and trustworthy and who can guarantee compliance to the law. That’s where we come in. We know the questions to ask.

If you’re using us for emails – has the recipient opted in to receive them? Perhaps they are an existing customer, meaning soft opt-in applies – but what about the new E-privacy regulations coming in later in 2018?

If you’re using us for direct mail – the good news is, relevant printed mail does not need prior consent, but you must tell the recipient how to opt out, record this information and stick to it. We automate all this.

If you’re using us for personalised marketing campaigns – we need to talk about profiling and legitimate interests. This can get quite complex so we have developed a guide for users of our automated marketing service, to simplify things and address issues of security, legal basis for processing and data retention. When you employ us as data processors you can be sure that our systems are compliant, secure and up-to-date as we follow the developments in data protection law very closely. We have been registered with the ICO for over 15 years.

We may be small but we are proud of our reputation as trustworthy and reliable suppliers to the vibrant digital economy of the South coast.

Please get in touch if you’d like to know more.

FSC ® is not news. But it should be.

RPM FSC environmental accreditation

A lot of printing companies offer to print FSC or PEFC documents for their customers. It’s not exactly news, and most digital papers nowadays are FSC certified anyway. Forests are managed for paper production and demand for print overall is reducing. But we can still do more to protect our precious planet. RPM is doing its bit.
Being printers it hurts us to say this, but we think you should print even less. That’s why we’ve invested in solutions that can send your messages across email, text, web and social media, in a joined-up way and keeping print to a minimum. And when we do print out that personalised, targeted and relevant message that clever marketing should produce, we want it to be on FSC paper, non-laminated and as short as possible. Keeping the environmental footprint to a minimum and your costs as well. FSC makes more and more sense every day.

RPM Digital is a member of an FSC certified group scheme

RPM inspired to go plastic free thanks to BBC’s Blue Planet 2

Here at RPM we have always been environmental fanatics. We cycle, recycle and reuse – take a look at our Environmental Policy. But having seen the shocking truth about the impact plastic is having in the oceans we’ve decided we must do more.

The facts are terrifying. The UN describes it as a ‘Planetary Crisis’. One million plastic bottles are bought every minute. Enough is enough.

We will do the following:

  • Write to all our suppliers immediately to ask them to reduce the amount of plastic they use in their packaging
  • Replace bubblewrap with corrugated cardboard for packing out our delivered print.
  • Encourage customers to stop laminating print, and if this is unavoidable, offer biodegradable laminate.
  • Use metal wires on wirobound books instead of pvc coloured ones.
  • Ensure that all pallet ties and any other small items of plastic are secure before putting them in the bin to prevent any being blown away from the bin lorry
  • For liquid items such as washing up liquid, soap and milk buy only the largest sizes to reduce the number of bottles bought.
  • Do a litter pick on our industrial estate.
  • Remind staff of their responsibilities and encourage them to follow suit at home. (We use mugs and glasses so there are no plastic bottles at work).

Please, will you consider what changes you can make to your lifestyle and your company practices before it’s too late? Tell us about it. Let’s start a movement.

RPM Cyber Essentials

You’ve probably  heard of Cyber Essentials by now. It’s a cyber security standard first launched by the Government in 2013. The scheme focuses on the following five essential mitigation strategies:

  • Boundary Firewalls and Internet Gateways
  • Secure Configuration
  • Access Control
  • Malware Protection
  • Patch Management

Having been in the digital print game for so long we have been targeted by cyber criminals in the past, and whilst we remained protected, we decided that if Cyber Essentials was good enough for the MOD it was good enough for us! Our system passed first time and was proven to be robust, being hosted and supported off-site in a data centre, but the report brought up some interesting points. 

Issues around cyber attacks are only going to get worse and we all have to build in technical security to our business budgets, to protect valuable data. If you don’t have Cyber Essentials already, you should look into it. It forms around 70% of the ISO 27001 standard, which is our next target standard. We will keep you posted on our data security achievements.

We found this interesting magazine online with a fascinating video about the dangers with "The Internet of Things" - Take a look here

Print makes a comeback

Personalised Print

In the current digital world, where you’re connected to everyone by a device sitting in your pocket, marketing to people has become easier than ever.  So what’s happened to print?

I’d like you to think back, just for a moment, to a time before the internet and smartphones (I know, it’s tough to imagine) when you would come home from work and have to force the door open to get past all the mail you had received in the post. And guess what? You wouldn’t bother to look at any marketing material because you were getting bombarded with it.

Now come back to the present day (it’s good to be back, right?), and think about when you come home from work tonight and you open your door and it’s the weight of a feather, and then you check your email from your smartphone and then comes the bombardment of marketing messages. And guess what? You don’t read them.

So are marketers missing a trick? and is there a place for print again in this digital world?

Of course there is! Research shows that 87% of people considered mail believable compared to only 48% for email. Think about it. That’s a potential improvement of 39% for every print piece you send over an email. Now I know that sending an email comes at little to no cost but print really isn’t that expensive! And 47% of people feel that a printed item is important, compared to 15% with electronic messages.

Print has become rare in our digital world but the way we produce print nowadays has changed enormously. If you were sending a piece of print 10/15 years ago it would be a mass send (much like an email now) and offer little-to-no personalisation. Today a piece of print is not only a method that feels like a breath of fresh air for the consumer, it can be easily targeted and personalised to make a lasting impression and increase your engagement rates.

Can print be added to your current marketing campaigns?

Yes is the answer! In fact it’s encouraged. A Brand Science review of multi-channel campaigns concluded that when mail was included in the marketing mix, campaigns had 12% bigger ROI than those without mail. Just think about that stat for a second and the benefit that print could bring to any current campaigns you are running, especially automated prospect journeys.

Interested in finding out more about mail campaigns?

At RPM we specialise in personalised print and integrated marketing campaigns. We’ve just launched a new website and would love you to take a look HERE. Your feedback is encouraged and welcomed. Please email me at for more information.

By Jordan Howell

Digital Marketing Manager

Jordan Howell

RPM visits the Big Green Event 2017 in Southampton!

Managing Director of RPM digital print and multi-channel marketing at the big green event expo

Here at RPM Digital we’re passionate about the environment and minimising the effect we have on the environment and that’s why we attended the Big Green Event Expo last week at the Ageas Rosebowl.

The event is only in its second year but we were keen to see what kind of businesses were attending. There were plenty of green energy companies of course but also consultants, recycling centres, charities and even an accountant. Our MD Andy preferred the Tesla test drive opportunity.

We also spent part of the day catching up with one of our corporate partners, the Dorset Wildlife Trust, here demonstrating predator and prey adaptations. Some of the information about focused binary vision could come in useful for marketing strategies…

We’re looking forward to next year’s event already.

If you would like to find out more about the green initiatives we take at RPM click here - and whilst you’re there feel free to look around our clean new website. We’d love to know what you think of it! Feedback to

Multi-channel print bounces back for marketers as part of multi-channel campaigns

Multi-channel print bounces back for marketers as part of multi-channel campaigns

Multi-channel print bounces back for marketers as part of multi-channel campaigns

Evidence that multi-channel print is making something of a comeback, in the marketing sphere at least, continues to grow more and more convincingly.

Feedback from printers and marketing industry experts suggests that volumes of multi-channel print items and targetted direct mail are steadily rising as marketers are increasingly using multi-channel print at the heart of cross-media campaigns.

So what’s driving this surge in demand? Is it just a case of digitally fatigued consumers turning their back on blanket email campaigns, or are other factors at play?

The revival in fortunes of printed messaging over the past few years is nothing short of extraordinary. At one point print was the lowest cost way of mass marketing, which led to carpet bombing mail drops and the vilification of direct mail, or ‘junk’ mail as some people preferred to call it.

The demise of blanket direct mailers was hastened by the rapid rise of the internet and email marketing campaigns during the mid-2000s, which many people argued were cheaper and easier to track in terms of ROI. As a result, multi-channel print direct mail spent many years in the wilderness, before reinventing itself – thanks largely to technology improvements – as a premium media. The industry shifted from offering “dumb print” mass mailings to what Simon Biltcliffe, chief executive of Webmart, describes as “smart print” – contextually relevant and data-rich printed communication. But there is more to it than that, believes Biltcliffe.

“Print is cooler than it was before,” he says. “People like the tactility and feel. Multi-channel print has also got browsability; I suppose if you look at it from a millennial perspective it has got a retro intrigue about it and it is reassuringly tangible.”

Clearly volumes haven’t returned to anywhere near the levels they were at when the direct mail industry was in its pomp, but Judith Donovan, chair of the Strategic Mailing Partnership, says they are bouncing back.

“It is a trend that we’ve been noticing for some time,” says Donovan. “It goes at different speeds depending on which sectors you look at. You have some sectors like financial services that never really gave up on paper, whereas others bonfired paper and they are now regretting it. You also have new sectors, like fintech (financial technology) – that are starting to use direct mail for the first time.”

Case proven

The key appeal of printed direct mail to clients either returning to, or using it for the first time as part of a multi-channel marketing campaign, is its proven effectiveness, adds Donovan.

“If you’re trying to do cold acquisition you’re not going to get very far with cold email opening rates of under 10%, so multi-channel print can be a much more credible medium for acquiring customers,” she says. “It has got tactility, it has got targetability and it has got quality.”

This is the message that Graeme Smith, director at Cyan Group, PrintWeek’s Cross-Media Company of the Year in 2015, is working hard to communicate to current and potential customers.

“We’ve been educating our clients that using multi-channel print or promotional merchandise at the centre of a campaign can act as an effective trigger to gain access to further information for both sides – so we’re giving consumers something, but we’re also collecting information from them,” he explains. “To make it work you’ve got to have a big enough hook and add value so the trigger has got to come from a printed branded piece. This approach also protects the campaign because it doesn’t allow anyone to have access to it. You can target the recipient and the designated viewers so that they can really interact with it.”

The challenge Smith faces is persuading some clients about the value of starting the campaign ‘journey’ with multi-channel print.

“Digital seems to have its journey. You have an email that directs people to a PURL and a direct mail piece comes out. That’s been done for many years. But what we are trying to do is to engage with the digital agency sphere to get them to see the value of using multi-channel print or promotional merchandise as the trigger for a campaign,” says Smith.

Part of the problem that the likes of Smith face in terms of educating marketers is that a lot of younger members of the marketing agency world didn’t grow up with multi-channel print and therefore don’t know its value. However, Biltcliffe says that he’s noticed these barriers are slowly starting to come down.

“A lot of younger people don’t know a lot about multi-channel print and they want help and advice to bring this channel back into their mix, or into their mix for the first time,” he says. “We’re finding quite a lot of people who have never used multi-channel print before and they now want to understand how they can get into this reassuringly expensive media.”

These barriers have come down at some agencies quicker than at others. One company that fully understands the power of multi-channel print is MC&C. Mark Jackson, managing director at the London-based agency, says the company uses multi-channel print as part of its integrated media plans for a number of the agency’s ‘performance’ clients.

“Performance media isn’t just about deciding what the audiences are consuming, it’s decoding the relevancy and efficiency of each channel to drive response,” says Jackson. “When you look at multi-channel print through this lens, there’s no arguing that it is effective at driving a response amongst certain target audiences.”

He adds that the use of printed communication has proven to be particularly effective in the leisure and retail sectors to support a cross-channel strategy.

“The retailer TM Lewin is a great example of how we use multi-channel print as part of a cross-channel media plan as it is key to driving footfall to their stores and traffic to their site,” says Jackson. “Offer-led creative that targets specific stores is a vital part of its media plan. It’s a similar case with fitness and leisure group David Lloyd, which runs geo-fenced mail campaigns around different club locations in the UK. As an agency we utilise specific print solutions to support targeted campaigns as part of an integrated performance offering for these types of brands in particular.”

However, he’s quick to point out that what works for one brand won’t necessarily work for another. “Each brand needs to tailor their strategies to talk to the specific audience they want to reach,” says Jackson. “What is true, however, is the power of print media to drive one-to-one interaction with customers. Plus, the open rates of direct mail are phenomenal and when talking to a regional audience, no other channel comes close to the micro targeting of print – specifically mail.”

Fresh opportunity

The recent print revival clearly presents opportunities for the industry, but pulling together complex cross-media campaigns isn’t a skill that can be acquired overnight.

“Anybody can write a cheque for a piece of equipment, but you’ve got to have the wherewithal to get the best out of it,” says Wesley Dowding, operations and technology director at Romax. “Some people in the industry think they can go out and get a piece of kit and everything will be fine, but that isn’t the case because to get the best out of an iGen like we have, you have to be able to interpret and use data to its best ability. Following on behind that you’re not going to get that sort of work from clients unless you’ve got things like ISO 27001, dedicated IT security teams and all of the infrastructure that would enable you to confidently allow you to go to clients or potential clients and say ‘we can handle that data, you don’t need to worry’.”

The good news for printers looking to move into this space is the price of digital presses and the software required to undertake cross-media marketing campaigns has significantly reduced over the past decade or so, but that’s not to say that this sort of equipment comes cheap.

“A lot of software – even entry level software – is still quite pricy so you would need a couple of meaty projects lined up to justify the cost,” says Smith. “The return on investment would be there if you’ve got the right clients and returning clients, and once you’ve done it a few times you could recycle and go through the same process with a different brand or different industry sector, so you’re not treading on toes.”

In addition to the associated high cost of offering this sort of service to clients, a significant challenge to the future growth of the direct marketing sector looms large on the horizon. Next year the general data protection regulation (GDPR) comes into force which aims to give people back control of their personal data.

There are conflicting views in the industry as to what the fallout from all of this will be. Dowding doesn’t think it will have a big impact on his current customer base.

“I think our clients are very geared up and savvy to the changing of the rules and I don’t think they will necessary inhibit what data they are able to collect,” he says. “They are just going to have to be very careful about how they collect it.”

However, Donovan thinks that there could be major problems if companies don’t have up-to-date permissions. This may mean they can send people direct mail, but not email or social media messaging, so print could potentially profit. Jackson also sees print benefitting from the new regulatory climate.

“We will undoubtedly see GDPR have an impact on how we target audiences in the future, but the impact will be far more significant for digital than print. Businesses that don’t overlook print as part of a cross-channel strategy will therefore benefit long-term,” he believes.

It’s a view shared by Biltcliffe who says he is more optimistic about the future of print now than he has been for the past 20 years.

“If you combine this 500-year-old technology with the smartest data analytics you’ve got the best of both worlds,” he says. “You’ve got something with real integrity and comfort and that’s got brand values written through it – it’s got your name on it, it’s personalised, it feels great and it is relevant to you. Today, everything is auto spam filtered and everything is regulated to death and with GDPR it is going to get much worse from a digital marketing point of view. Print is a fantastic way of gaining those active opt-ins that brands will be needing next year and that is why I think print has got a fantastically exciting and powerful future ahead of it.”

Ten Steps to Hitting the Sweet Spot with Your Multi channel Campaign

Ten Steps to Hitting the Sweet Spot with Your Multi channel Campaign

Ten Steps to Hitting the Sweet Spot with Your Multi channel Campaign

When you’re ready to develop your next personalised multi channel campaign marketing campaign, keep these tips in mind to help hit the mark with consumers:

  1. Use both print and digital – Increasingly, marketers aren’t talking one or the other. They are talking both. Seamless integration between the two is critical to creating stand out marketing campaigns.
  2. Put the customer – not the channel – at the centre of your strategy. Customers move across different channels during the customer life cycle. Take this journey into consideration as you design your variable data multi channel campaigns with strategy and logic from the get go. Get customers excited for the brand journey! Plan ahead and keep in mind that you are creating a customer journey, not just a one-and-done deal. Trying to market products and services without putting the customer first is like swimming upstream.
  3. Deliver a consistent brand experience, regardless of channel. Your beautifully designed personalised print piece shouldn’t link to an outdated online experience. This is key to customer satisfaction. A study of 27,000 American consumers by McKinsey & Company has found that a consistent customer experience across the entire customer journey will increase customer satisfaction, build trust and boost loyalty.
  4. Make sure the design is responsive and mobile friendly – With the abundance of consumers using mobile devices and tablets today, it’s important to be sure your campaign will display correctly on their preferred viewing method. By working with modern frameworks and scripting languages, developers can ensure campaigns will always display properly.
  5. Collect data from both print and online sources during your multi channel campaign. This will help build your unique customer profiles and improve the overall customer experience. You can use that information effectively throughout each communication cycle to build a much more loyal relationship over time.
  6. Integrate digital technology into your print pieces – With this integration you can monitor campaigns, analyse results in real time and modify strategy and tactics accordingly. Options include QR codes, NFC, Augmented Reality Software or a ‘Print to Mobile’ infrastructure such as DocumobiFUSE technology, which digitally enables interaction with a printed piece via mobile phones, tablets and wearables.
  7. Personalise your multi channel campaign – Campaigns that are individualised will help deliver engaging and effective communications. The use of variable data, personalised images, personalised video and PURLs can all help drive strategic engagement.
  8. Use recognisable branding across all channels – All multi channel campaign brand messages should deliver a consistent look and feel across all channels – from the style of photographs to the colours, fonts and graphics.
  9. Measure results – Evaluate the effectiveness of each channel to assess your ROI and plan for future campaigns. Campaign monitoring and analysis will enable you to see results first hand to determine what works, what doesn’t and why. Unsuccessful initiatives can be abandoned before they drain financial resources and past campaign results and data can be used for future campaign planning and execution.
  10. Bullet-proof your future – Choose a solid and open marketing platform with capabilities that will continue to serve you well as technologies shift and advance. Nurture and continually develop a greater understanding your customer relationships– this will help you shape the way you connect with them for many years to come.

Consumers are already ahead of marketers in their anticipation of a modern, seamless, integrated and consistent brand experience across both print and digital. Use these tips to beat their expectations and take your multichannel campaigns to the next level!

February 4, 2016
by Judy Berlin
VP Marketing at XMPie

XMPie Named multi-channel leader in Gartner’s 2017

multi-channel leader marketing Xmpie Gartner Award 2017

XMPie Named a multi-channel leader in Gartner’s 2017 Magic Quadrant for Customer Communication Management Software

NORWALK, Conn., Feb. 3, 2017 – XMPie, A Xerox Company, has been placed by Gartner, Inc. in the multi-channel leader Quadrant of the 2017 Magic Quadrant for Customer Communication Management (CCM) Software. In the report, 15 CCM vendors were evaluated by their completeness of vision and ability to execute.

According to the report, “CCM tools are evolving from supporting static, printed output and one-way broadcasting to creating dynamic, on-demand communications via multiple channels.” XMPie’s software supports the creation and management of multichannel, two-way customer communications that span print, digital, social and mobile channels, helping businesses modernise their CCM efforts.

“Our technology is designed to help our customers create engaging and memorable one-to-one marketing communications, uniquely integrating print and digital,” said Jacob Aizikowitz, president, XMPie. “By marrying media personalisation with marketing automation and analytics in an all-in-one platform, we provide a true one-to-one in one solution.”