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Thought Leadership Video Series

The Future of Print

Published on October 6, 2011

Cary Sherburne and Coleman Kane, CEO of PTI sit down to discuss the recent requests for jobs and technologies in the commercial print space and also how they're helping customers delve into the performance of the campaign.

Cary Sherburne:  Hi, I’m Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com and I'm here with Coleman Kane, President and CEO of PTI Marketing Technologies from Southern California.

Coleman Kane:  True, San Diego

Cary Sherburne:  How are you doing today?

Coleman Kane: I’m doing well.  How about you, Cary?  Nice to see you.

Cary Sherburne:  You look all New York; all black like that. Yeah, it’s great. We’re both New York.  Now Coleman, not that you’re – I mean you’re way younger than me but you’ve been in the industry a long time and you’ve seen a lot but what are you sort of seeing today in terms of adoption rates for the kinds of technologies that PTI sells?  Are you seeing people actually start to ramp up?  Or what are you seeing out there?

Coleman Kane:  We are actually. We are starting to see more obviously the sale of the web-to-print, the MarcomCentral products.  We’re also seeing a lot of the variable data standalone product take off and the image personalization.  So what we’re seeing is all sorts of different things being sold independently or packaged as a complete solution.  But we’re seeing more and more of the concern and the awareness of what the market is calling the market automation solutions.  So they are looking for much more complete solution than a single point solution.  

What we’re seeing in this commercial print space is that the commercial printers are coming to us for VDP standalone application for high volume jobs or they may be very interested in the image personalization in email.  So we’re seeing more and more of the cross-media because their clients are starting to ask for more cross-media capability and being able, for example, to not only print something but also to download it locally.  So we’ve gotten to that sort of you serve up the job anyway you want.  And so we’re seeing all kinds of requests but generally we’re seeing the business, fortunately, thank goodness business is good and we’ve got growth coming from both the commercial print space and we do have some direct enterprise accounts who help us actually learn more directly about what our clients are asking for.  So our product is all based on enterprise needs and requests, and so that’s what we bring into at least the web-to-print MarcomCentral side of the application.

Cary Sherburne:  So another really important part of this whole picture though is the reporting because it’s one thing to do a campaign but you have to be able to understand how its doing and tweak it and all those things. So what are you doing along the lines, what are you seeing along the lines of the reporting and tracking requirements out there?

Coleman Kane:  Right, that’s a really key issue especially now and it becomes more and more critical.  We obviously report all the things that happen within a storefront but we even actually as a company that markets itself using our own technology, we recently licensed some marketing automation company.  In this case it was called Eloqua to help us with our lead nurturing and lead backend.  So we’re using our technology on the frontend to get the lead, to get the attention, to get the interest of the end user but then we’re nurturing those leads with third party.  And we buy lists with Sales Genius, for example. So right from the very beginning of that lead, you buy a list, you buy a good list, you get the interest of the CMO which is what our clients have to do or the marketing department, and then once those leads are in-house you really have to nurture those leads and report them on those leads.  So we report on the information that comes to the, obviously, to the dashboard; all the information, everything from job ticketing to who downloaded, how much, etc.  But then it’s important for the commercial printers to nurture those leads that come in because it’s a lot easier to work an existing lead that’s already paid for than go out and get a new lead.

Cary Sherburne:  Yeah, exactly.

Coleman Kane: So reporting and analytics is becoming much more important.  And we’re even adding more reporting functionality into our application. But it’s key.  It’s all about intelligent marketing and intelligent lead flow analysis.

Cary Sherburne:  And the other thing I hear both from the print service provider side and the enterprise side a lot is our biggest problem is we can’t see a single picture of the print in electronic.

Coleman Kane:  Yeah, absolutely.  More and more we are getting into, as I said, they want to download, they need a JPEG, they might need a printed piece, they may be tracking their Pearl campaign, etc.  So we have to – the illness is on us, the technology developers in the space, to bring it as close together as possible if not completely in synch.  And through the integration processes that Shabnam was talking about earlier, integrating ERP, sales force automation, MSI systems and making them talk to one another and obviously eliminating double keying, etc, that’s a big, big part of our business.  The web service and data feeds that we provide really help to pull that all together.  There isn’t – I haven’t quite seen yet Nirvana where there’s just one single dashboard you can see everything.

Cary Sherburne:  Yeah, it’s all real time.

Coleman Kane:  Yeah. It’s what we all hope for and maybe some day we’ll get there but I haven’t seen it quite yet.

Cary Sherburne: Well that sort of leads into where do you see all this going?

Coleman Kane:  I’ve seen more of the same with what’s happening today.  I mean you and I have been in this business for a while.  I was looking at an old presentation that I gave in 2004 and I still had some information about.  I used information from Cap V back then and they were talking about the green button technology. How everything was going from big metal all the way down to the green button.  And I see that’s really where it’s going.  More and more even for us, we worked really closely in the early days with HP Indigo, we still work with them, but the big digital presses but now I see the smaller devices taking over more and more market share.  The color’s good or in most case good enough for the purposes.  So bringing the technology from sort of the big metal larger digital devices down to the smaller devices down to the SMB’s and the enterprise, so allowing the enterprise, for example, to have a storefront that’s intelligent with templates, allowing that enterprise from literally on the desktop to have the ability to version and make variable images and all that right there.  I kind of see where it’s going.  So when we started our business it was software as a service and back then no one really understood software as a service.  

Cary Sherburne:  Actually it was ASP.

Coleman Kane:  It was ASP, exactly.  It was ASP.  

Cary Sherburne:  What is that, you know.

Coleman Kane:  It wasn’t even a very good description of what we do.  So we spent a few years trying to explain what ASP and software as a service and now it’s all to the point where we say we have our own Cloud, our software of service.  It’s private Cloud but we also make use of the public Cloud.  What we do with it  and I think this combination of private and public Cloud makes sense for us regards to software development company, is we’re using the public Cloud for the composition of our **** expression product; our image personalization because those images are big hogs, CPU hogs.  So it’s much easier to throw the composition in the Cloud and not have to worry about creating more servers on our end, putting up more racks and service, etc.  So we can dial up as compositions are required more in any given day, within 15 minutes we can throw a lot more servers online, take that CPU, get the job back really fast and let’s face it, people have less resources so they have less IT.  They don’t want to make that Cap X expenditure.  And if you look at like a cost per gig in the Cloud versus buying something, it’s just unbeatable.

Cary Sherburne:  It’s variable so that’s the whole point.

Coleman Kane:  Totally variable, that’s right.  It’s what we’ve learned.  It’s variable, it’s virtual, it’s everything that – some of us hate and some of us have to embrace to make sure we can continue to grow the business and be successful.

Cary Sherburne:  Well thank you very much. 

Coleman Kane:  Thank you Carrie. Nice to see you again.

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By Jill Rowley on Oct 06, 2011

Thanks Coleman for the Eloqua shout-out. Great interview. We love your image personalization technology! I want to see PTI as a Markie Finalist for Best Lead Nurturing program in 2012. Check out the 78 Finalists for the 2011 awards - http://topliners.eloqua.com/message/4774#4774.

BTW - I remember ASP from my early days at Salesforce.com in 2000. "Cloud" is way cooler.


By Joe Fedor on Oct 07, 2011

Great interview. Nice eye contact with the camera too, Coleman!


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