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Commentary & Analysis

Defining TransPromo: It's not an ad on a bill!

By Pat McGrew Have you heard the buzz about TransPromo?

By WhatTheyThink Guest Contributor
Published: November 27, 2007

By Pat McGrew

Have you heard the buzz about TransPromo? Some call it hype. Some call it a panacea. Like most things, neither extreme quite has it right. TransPromo isn't a thing. It's a technique that can become a valuable tool in your customer communication strategy, but only if you take the time to learn more about it.

Let's start with where the word comes from. It's the marriage of two concepts: Transaction and Promotion. Transaction-based communication usually takes the form of demands for payment (your electric bill or phone bill) or informational statements (your mutual fund or 401(k) statement). Its role in your life is to let you know the status of a business relationship you have with a company that provides you a service.

Its role in your life is to let you know the status of a business relationship you have with a company that provides you a service.

Promotional communication seeks to promote an idea or service. It may take the form of an advertisement for a product or service, or it may seek to educate. A flyer for a garage sale or for the local high school play is as promotional in nature as a direct mail piece for the tire store or restaurant in the neighborhood or the catalog from your favorite clothing retailer. TransPromo is the technique of using the facts about a customer in the database to determine what products, services, or education might be appropriate to offer them as part of the regular monthly communication using the billing statement. It is not putting an ad on a bill!

So, where did the confusion come from? Why is there a sense that TransPromo means putting magazine-style advertising onto a bill and turning it into just one more annoyance? Part of it comes from the successes some customers have had doing just that. If you have a moment, go and take a look at the video clip on the Be'eri Printing site and take a look at the video clip at the right. It gives a great overview of how a bill becomes a marketing platform! OK, the clip is in Hebrew, but you don't need English to see the value. Remember that this clip is more than five years old and Be'eri has used it to help its customers understand how to use these techniques to increase revenue. In fact, one Be'eri project a few years ago helped one of its customers drive the equivalent of $2 million to their bottom line using TransPromo techniques.

I know, I know, that's Israel, not the United States. You want to know who in the United States is using these techniques and seeing success. I'd love to share those successes with you, but our customers each implement these techniques differently and tell us that their customers consider their success to be significant enough that they will not share with us how they did it. Instead, I challenge you to look at your mail box.

One Be'eri project helped one of its customers drive the equivalent of $2 million to their bottom line.

Look at your Home Depot statement, invoices from CitiCard Premier, your car leasing statements, and even the direct mail that lands in your mailbox. See if you can figure out which ones are using what they know about you to create relevant communication that respects your time and provides value. Which of the billers makes offers that you can use, and which are completely irrelevant to your lifestyle and needs? Which try to educate and inform, and which just want to sell you something whether you need it or not?

Let us know what you find!

 

 

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