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Thought Leadership Video Series

John Foley of Grow Socially on integrated marketing

Published on April 26, 2011

John Foley, CEO of Grow Socially and InterlinkONE talks with Cary about the importance of integrated marketing strategies, some of the benefits it offers, and the new solutions it can provide.

Cary Sherburne: Hi, I’m Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com and I’m here with John Foley who is CEO of Interlink One and of Grow Socially. And you’ve been a really, an early adopter in the whole field of integrated marketing. You know, one of the issues that the printers tend to have is they’re buying all these point solutions and then they can’t sort of figure out how to make it work together, but you’ve taken it from a different angle where you start with an integrated solution. Maybe you can talk to us a little bit about that and why that’s important.

John Foley: Well, when it comes to measuring your marketing efforts, it’s a lot easier if they’re all in one particular database, whether I’m sending out an email blast and people are responding or whether I’m doing PURLS and people are responding or I’m doing variable data print items. All that interaction, when it comes back to end of the day if it’s in one database, we can measure it easier. And you know, I’ve been at this a long time in trying to transform… I won’t always call myself a change agent, but you know, trying to transform the print industry to help them be able to offer more services where the value is in the marketing chain.

But from a printer’s perspective, and I’m generalizing, I know, but they actually would say, “Okay, let’s buy this solution and we’ll add that on and that will help us drive more print.” Well I… not with the maturity of the industry, I think I’m seeing that they’re saying, okay, just like they had to squeeze out operational costs in their print business, the same thing happens now. How are we going to squeeze out the costs of these marketing efforts we do if we don’t have any centralized solutions. So instead of buying Point Solutions, they can actually use one application.

Cary: Yeah. You know, it’s interesting, I’ve talked to a lot of printers recently for some work that I’m doing on automation and like one, for example, said that you know, they looked at the workflow from end to end because they say they had a bunch of different point solutions. And there were three hours of administrative time to get the job through the shop. And that gets pretty expensive.

John: Well, it’s…

Cary: Okay? And then so now, they’ve complete… they’ve been able to integrate everything and automate everything and now they’re handling as many as three or four thousand orders a day. You couldn’t do that in the old way.

John: Right. And you know, if you’re collecting data from let’s say a response mechanism such as a BRC Card in a database and then you’re collecting data over here on another solution that’s from a PURL campaign; let’s say a PURL campaign for a print run or whatever. And as a PURL run, those two databases as some point in time have to come together and have to be identified and matched. And I don’t know if even sometimes they understand that someone is running around with this data and someone’s running around with that data and putting it into the Excel spreadsheet and trying to munge the data up so it reports right. That’s a lot of work, you know. And a centralized application can help you be more efficient and save you a lot of money and time, you know, time is money, so…

Cary: Yeah. And a lot of the applications now, you can you know, pay as you go, you can do a cloud thing or you can have it installed in your… on your site, however you want to…

John: Yeah, well in the old days when I first started selling what I referred to back then as an ASP model or software as a service model today was very difficult, but the masses have moved to where they understand it, they’re actually renting the software, which is, I think a great deal for them. So if they don’t want to continue they can stop, you know. Now, some folks still want to have it installed and that’s great and then they go back to their model where they pay a maintenance fee. Software as a service usually, it’s all included. And that’s great. So for a company like ours and others, when they make a change, we can rapidly push that up to them versus having to wait till the end of the year or quarterly whatever those release cycles are.

Cary: Yeah, so it’s a lot more flexibility and options for that, for the end-user much easier to get into it. Great.

John: All right.

Cary: Thank you. 

John: Thank you very much. 

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