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PODi Announces Winners of 2006 Best Practices Awards

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Press release from the issuing company

Rochester, NY - February 28, 2006 - PODi, the Digital Printing Initiative, today announced the 2006 winners of the prestigious PODi Best Practices awards. The annual awards recognize outstanding innovations and results achieved using digital printing technology to enable and enhance high-return variable data campaigns and other marketing strategies. The presentations were made February 28 in Las Vegas at the 2006 PODi Applications Forum, one of the industry's most respected conferences for printing professionals at all levels. The 2006 awards recognize four categories of applications: Direct Marketing, Collateral Management and Fulfillment, Transactional output, and new this year, the Small Business award. "Every year we are amazed at the outstanding caliber of the projects submitted for Best Practices consideration. This year's winners were selected from a very strong field of candidates, which shows how successfully digital practices are being adopted and used across a wide range of businesses and needs," said PODi President Rab Govil. Small Business Award: Out-of-Door Academy Sets Fundraising Records with Personalized Mailer Like many private schools, Out-of-Door Academy (ODA) relies on fundraising to supplement tuition. To increase participation by parents, faculty, staff and trustees, the school turned to a personalized direct mail campaign created by One to One Gulfcoast. The new approach raised $345,452, a 42 percent increase over the previous year and a school record. The campaign achieved 100 percent participation from trustees, staff, and faculty, and 82 percent participant from parents, another school record. "We started One to One Gulfcoast with a singular purpose - to share what we had learned about the startling power of effective digital print communications with those who could most benefit," said Brian Weiner, President of One to One Gulfcoast, "While we are honored to be recognized, we take great pride in knowing that our products and concepts continue to advance the work of the diverse human and social services charities that rely upon us each year, and we thank them for putting their trust in our company." Direct Marketing Award: Personalized Marketing Helps Inter-State Studio Stop Sales Slide In 2004, Inter-State Studio, a school photographer in the United States, halted declining sales by using personalized promotional flyers showing individual student poses in the photo packages offered for sale. As a result, the downward trend was halted as total sales held even with the previous year. The company also achieved a 30 percent increase in average order size, 300 percent productivity improvement, and 40 percent reduction in manufacturing costs through use of pre-converted roll-fed paper. The project also made effective use of PPML to facilitate problem-free digital production. "This award recognizes the creative energy of the entire Inter-State team and validates the confidence we have in the power of personalized marketing and the advantages of pre-converting the printing substrate," stated Inter-State Studio CEO Aric Snyder. "Rolling out a project like this requires the expertise of many people in marketing, manufacturing, mechanical design and software development. We are proud to have produced an award-winning project and enthusiastic about future applications for digital printing on pre-converted paper." Collateral Management Award: MFS Enhances 401(k) Sales Proposals Via Customization MFS Investment Management wanted to respond quickly, efficiently and effectively to requests from financial advisers for 401(k) sales proposals. A customized Web-to-print solution has increased kit requests by 58 percent, cut annual costs by over $350,000 and boosted sales volume. Now 30 percent of all sales proposals issued are closed, and sales volume is predicted to triple to $3 billion in 2006. "Digital on-demand printing has enabled MFS to produce dynamic, customized sales proposals that more effectively reach our clients and prospects and address their unique needs in a personalized fashion," said William F. Shaw, MFS Senior Vice President and Director of Marketing. "From my perspective, sending proposals with a keystroke has revolutionized our delivery of marketing product and all but eliminated tedious quality control processes employed for years. Turn-around times are remarkable, with same-day production and delivery. Our clients rave about the quality and customization of our new sales proposals and the quality of the Bowne team that supports us. To receive this award on top of all the benefits of our Web-to-print strategy is absolutely thrilling." "Print and composition technology has matured to a point where creating documents digitally to allow for personalization and customization is not only possible, it is effective and efficient," said Ron Ens, Senior Vice President, Marketing for Bowne Marketing & Business Communications. "We at Bowne have integrated web tools with data feed processes to help clients create and edit content dynamically, manage content centrally and allow for distributed remote ordering and tracking." Transactional Award: College Credit Union Saves Money and Time with Customized Statements UMassFive College Federal Credit Union was spending too much time on the phone explaining confusing account statements to members. Redesigning the statements and making other changes to the production workflow helped the company save $18,000 annually and improve member services. Customer service calls were reduced, while UMassFive doubled response to marketing campaigns. "Improving the member experience drives everything we do. We are zeroing in on what marketing can do in effectively communicating to the member. We have found that members want to know about our products and services, but only those that have meaning for them," said Jon Reske, Vice President of Marketing for UMassFive College Federal Credit Union. "Improving our ability to provide one-to-one marketing through projects like this has not only resulted in more quality responses, but has also reinforced the message to our members that we listen and understand their needs." "We pride ourselves in creating effective solutions that assist our clients in developing stronger relationships with their customers. Successful providers have to go beyond being a vendor to understand the business and objectives of their customer, and, as a partner, offer a solution that helps them succeed in their business and marketplace. This award is recognition that we are providing these best practice solutions, and it also illustrates how these solutions translate into real savings and competitive benefits for our customers," said Stephen Miller, Cathedral Corporation Senior National Accounts Manager. An in-depth review of the winning applications along with dozens of new case studies will be published in the Best Practices in Digital Print 6th Edition report. The Best Practices report, which will be released in April 2006, is free to PODi members and available for a fee to non-members.




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