January 19 , 2004 -- Over the past several months, I have interviewed multiple digital color business communications providers. The profitable digital color firms have discovered what I consider to be the "killer application." The firms that are experiencing the most success are those that are selling marketing programs focused on supporting agents, franchisees, dealers, branches and remote sales personnel. They have developed advanced, accurate, without-a-hitch marketing communications programs that are dealerized, personalized and localized – for any number of users, anywhere they may be. These profitable color service providers have blended customized print applications with complete Internet integration, developing easy to use templates for uploading data and information over the Internet so that users are in control of the message and timing of the delivery to their customers. The client uses an interface to select from a series of templates and to upload images, marketing copy, or personalized customer data to drive the final print applications. In many instances, however, the printer doesn't have the right marketing contact level, creative capability, or IT infrastructure to both sell and deliver these Web-based solutions to the customer. iGiLiTY Demonstrates a Model for Success In my quest to identify success in the digital color world, I discovered Springfield, Missouri, based iGiLiTY™ Communications Inc. iGiLiTY positions itself as a sales enhancement software company, offering an online communications service that delivers business and marketing software through a subscription service to major corporations. The objective is to empower marketing departments and their associated field sales infrastructure with the ability to create, customize, archive, and manage marketing communications more effectively and quickly. iGiLiTY is a subsidiary of Noble World Communications. Noble is one of the leading independent marketing agencies in the United States and places heavy emphasis on a concept called BrandMotion. Noble realizes that in all industries, building and protecting a brand in all facets of promotional activity is key. Noble's initial entry into "on demand point of sale support" started with understanding the needs of existing clients who were continually introducing new products and needed to get information into the hands of their distribution networks quickly. Messaging needed to vary by region while protecting clients' brand identity. Rapid time to market for new products is essential in a competitive global marketplace and the Noble interactive marketing team saw this as an opportunity. Providing access to Web-enabled Point of Sale material online could meet client objectives in a new and dynamic manner. The Interactive group built an ease of use system called CODi (Custom On Demand Impressions) that gives sale access to materials designed specifically for their territories and their customers. According to iGiLiTY Partner and Business Director Arthur Burkhart, "The sales person is provided with the ability to create marketing communications tailored to play in Peoria as well as Pittsburgh. CODi's template-based program gives corporations the flexibility to deliver multiple versions of communications materials (localized or personalized) while protecting brand integrity." The success of CODi led Noble to set up an independent subsidiary called iGiLiTY Communications Inc. The client base includes firms like Ingersoll Rand, Schwan's Consumer Brands, USA, French's, and Miller Brewing. The application focus includes: Merchandising materials and a selection of templates for product sheets, personalized POS, counter cards, posters, in-store Point of Purchase, and other business building tools Personalized catalogs ranging from single sheet flyers to multi-page catalogs showcasing those items that the sales person wants to promote Direct Mail templates that allow sales personnel to upload their contact data bases to personalize their message in combination with a choice of relevant pre-selected messages and/or images. The user can select from a number of postal-friendly formats. The screen shots from one of iGiLiTY's clients illustrate the ease of use associated with CODi. The user selects the type of sales piece; creates the headline, adds prices and appropriate logos; and sends it to print. The printed materials are delivered back to the sales rep in 72 hours. CODi also has a built-in tracking and reporting feature for co-op funds or local marketing budget expenditures. Brand marketers are frequently frustrated by the lack of ability to measure the effectiveness of point of sales materials. The CODi system provides a link between expenditures on marketing support materials and sales lift within a specific geography to provide the marketer with this much-needed ability to measure results. iGiLiTY Generic Beverage Template for Poster with selection fields on right iGiLiTY Generic Beverage Template with local marketing content. Provides relevancy to the individual market – with rapid customization. The system is home-grown and all the code has been developed over a four-year period by iGiLiTY. It has also gone through technology and feature upgrades. Based on the importance of including a digital asset management capability, iGiLiTY developed a module called DARiL™ (Digital Asset, Resource and Image Library) to archive and organize all of the client's digital assets including documents, logos and graphic standards, advertising artwork, photos, etc. With the software infrastructure in place, iGiLiTY wanted to ensure the ability to deliver quality materials to clients within a 72-hour window. Initially, their strategy was to create a printing partnership where sales personnel could pick up materials at a convenient Kinko's location. The firm quickly learned that sales personnel did not want to be taken out of their territories. Instead, they wanted materials delivered to their work location. That led to the establishment of a relationship with Prinexus. The Prinexus national network of short-run, quick turn, digital color service providers appeared to be an ideal match. They could provide high quality digital and traditional color printing as well as mailing and fulfillment. Prinexus Vice President Laura Gale said, "Prinexus was looking for tools to sell larger programs to customers. We were assessing options to deliver personalized materials leveraging the Internet. iGiLiTY was looking for a digital print supplier and found Prinexus on the Internet. The companies came together to offer a solution." Gale indicated that iGiLiTY and Prinexus make joint sales calls to present a seamless offering to the client. The organizations partner to do rapid customization of template-based Web sites. Gale said, "As a printer, one of the real benefits of the relationship is that Noble and iGiLiTY have higher level marketing relationships. Agencies are comfortable making senior level marketing executive calls. This has driven incremental color print volume to Prinexus and has gained us access to sales situations typically not available to our traditional print sales reps." iGiLiTY has also formed a strategic alliance with Synectics Group to offer clients a resource for retail company logos. Finding logos can be a time consuming process. LogoBase , a Synectics Group product, has over 900 high resolution retail logos from various industries available for users. These production-ready files are available in both PC and Macintosh formats. Access to this logo file has significant value to retail users. The Synectics Group has the ability to provide closed loop Trade Promotion Management in addition to its LogoBase offering. Its core product, Account Review, manages all aspects of trade promotion spending, including planning, budgeting, payment, deduction resolution and post-promotion analysis. iGiLiTY is packaged as an ASP (Application Service Provider)model. As an Application Service Provider, both marketing firms and printers can leverage the infrastructure provided by IGiLiTY. The ASP implementation offers a way for companies to outsource some or almost all aspects of their information technology needs. IGiLiTY handles the information technology infrastructure for content creation, content management, and project management. They will work with clients to customize sites based on user needs. The benefits that iGiLiTY uses to sell the solution include: Increasing sales by delivering messages tailored to meet local or individual needs Empowering the sales force to adapt messages to the specific needs of their territory within corporate guidelines Providing continuity of brand image with local marketing message. Accelerating time to market Reducing print inventory, obsolescence and waste Preservation of brand integrity Scalability to meet business growth and additional usage demands Control of the budget through CODi's reporting features so users can track point of sale effectiveness iGiLiTY's offering is an excellent example of a solution that gives marketers the ability to quickly respond to the changing needs of their marketplaces. It gives clients the ability to produce more targeted and persuasive communications. Prinexus has aligned with iGiLiTY to participate in the value-add equation. If I were a digital color print service provider in today's market, my next phone call or e-mail would be to iGiLiTY to assess how I could leverage this marketing communications application and technology infrastructure to expand my business with versioned, localized, customized support materials! To Contact iGiLiTY: Phone: Arthur Burkhart 417-875-5160 Email: [email protected] WebSite: www.igilityinc.com