Cary Sherburne: Hi. I’m Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink. I’m here with Gina Testa who is Vice President of Graphic Communication—the Graphic Communications Segment for Xerox.
Gina Testa: That is correct.
Cary Sherburne: And it’s good to see you here.
Gina Testa: Always a pleasure, Cary.
Cary Sherburne: So, you know, Xerox has been really one of the leaders in terms of developing business development and other kinds of tools to help your customers be more successful. And a couple of examples of that I’d like to just chat with you a little bit about, and one of those is Premier Partners and the other would be the ProfitAccelerator tool Kit. So maybe you could talk to us a little bit starting with Premier Partners and what that means to you and what that means to the customers.
Gina Testa: Terrific. So as you know, Cary, we’ve had a Premier Partner customer affinity group, I’d like to call it. It’s made up of our largest customers. They are nominated to be a part of this special group. We hope all of our customers will aspire to reach those levels, so there are some qualifications. It’s global in nature, so it truly spans all four geographies; so Continental North America, we’re going to Europe, of course, Fuji Pacific Rim, and Latin America. So truly, we have representatives that are global.
And what we have done with them is we’ve created this global portal where we can actually all gather together in a virtual space. We have all of their statistics, characteristics. They get to actually create a marketing plan, a video, put up collateral. And the absolute goal is to make sure that we use this portal to both talk to them, train them, give them tools and initiatives. But probably what they have told us that they feel is the biggest value is the fact that they can network with their peers, people that have the same issues, problems, and opportunities.
And as we move into this global economy, knowing that you can—here’s an example—I’m an iGen4 customer, I’m in Belgium, I have a client who wants to do a campaign in San Francisco. I can go into my Premier Partner portal and know that I can find someone who’s just like me that I can trust, etc., as part of that network and then execute that campaign faithfully in San Francisco.
Cary Sherburne: And also, if I’m a print buyer there’s some advantages, right?
Gina Testa: Absolutely. Literally, just before, I think last month, I actually got a call from an ad agency. They contacted Xerox. A paper spec rep, not even from Xerox, called on them with some beautiful iGen4 matte toner samples. They were stunned. They said we never would have taken a digital campaign to our client. It’s amazing how much they still don’t know about what this technology can do. That said, they got an example, they contacted Xerox when they found out it was our technology, and they literally said, who in Dallas can execute a campaign like this?
Cary Sherburne: And so you were able to give them a couple of Premier Partner names?
Gina Testa: Yeah. And actually, you can go into—there’s a public doorway into the portal that allows an agency, a creator, a VP of Marketing to search for someone that they’re looking for, either in their local city or around the world.
Cary Sherburne: And what about ProfitAccelerator? That’s been around for quite a while but you keep enhancing it.
Gina Testa: Yes. And coincidentally, both have reached their 12-year anniversary, both the Premier Partner Program and ProfitAccelerator. What’s exciting is we continue to add to it, not in huge volumes but very judiciously. We’re talking to our customers and are constantly asking them what do you need, what areas are you trying to get into? And so recently we’ve actually added tools around packaging. Last year the big tool was a social media guide because that’s a burgeoning new area, and it’s not just what is social media. If I’m a printer or a marketing service provider, what do I do with it and how do I try to—
Cary Sherburne: Yeah. How do I get started? Which venues do I use?
Gina Testa: How do I produce revenue.
Cary Sherburne: Right, right.
Gina Testa: What service can I provide for my customers?
Cary Sherburne: Yeah, exactly.
Gina Testa: So we’re trying to keep a pulse. We’re constantly surveying our customers, literally. Two years ago we actually talked to a thousand customers globally to reaffirm the value that we’re bringing. It’s not just the technology, that’s the table stakes, as we like to say, and the stakes, the rest of it; it’s the peripheral—workflow, business development, etc.
Cary Sherburne: That’s great. And, you know, I think that others in the market have kind of followed that lead. And I think it’s just a really valuable and important part of the supplier’ role, especially as we are in, you know, these times of big transition.
Gina Testa: Absolutely.
Cary Sherburne: So great job.