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Direct Group to Install Second Océ JetStream 2200

Press release from the issuing company

Pennington, N.J. – Dec. 10, 2008 – Direct Group, a fully integrated direct marketing solutions provider, announced today that it will install a second Océ JetStream 2200 system at its facility in Swedesboro, N.J. this month.  The JetStream 2200 is a high-speed, fully variable, color inkjet, continuous press that provides some of the most advanced digital printing capabilities available in the world.  The company installed the first such system in the U.S. at the same facility in May of this year.  The new system will feature magnetic ink character recognition (MICR) capabilities, a highly precise check-printing tool that has become increasingly important to direct marketers.
Direct Group also announced that it is installing five intelligent insert systems at the Swedesboro facility this month that will afford clients new statement processing and transpromotional ("transpromo") marketing opportunities.  These systems will help Direct Group clients maximize marketing opportunities and increase ROI by including cost-effective and relevant cross-selling marketing messages in monthly statements and transaction documents.
Despite a challenging economy, high-speed digital printing and transpromo are two areas in the direct marketing arena that are poised for significant growth.  According to InfoTrends, the leading worldwide market research and strategic consulting firm for the digital imaging and document solutions industry, the use of digital print in direct mail will grow more than 50 percent by 2010.  In addition, the transpromo market is expected to experience a compound annual growth rate of 91 percent, increasing from 1.62 billion images in 2006 to 21.72 billion images by 2010.
"These moves represent Direct Group's continued efforts to offer clients leading technologies that help them both acquire and retain customers," said Don McKenzie, Direct Group President and CEO.  "By expanding our capabilities in areas of significant growth potential, and applying the most advanced technological solutions available, we help our clients continue to focus on the most important metric of all – driving higher returns on their marketing spend."
In 2008, Direct Group has significantly increased volume year-over-year, due in part to the Océ JetStream 2200 installed in the spring.  This system has helped Direct Group clients take advantage of an industry-wide shift to more personalized and trigger-based mailings – those timed with major life events such as a move or retirement.  These mailings produce significantly higher response rates than traditional direct marketing techniques.  Tests have shown that highly personalized trigger mailings using fully variable color formats can produce upwards of 5 to 15 percent response rates, compared to the traditional direct mail channel, where 1 to 3 percent is considered a good return.
The Océ JetStream 2200 also helps significantly lower total campaign costs for customer acquisition programs, including raw material and postal expenses.  The latter is an important element of Direct Group's comprehensive package of postal-cost-saving solutions, known as Postal Optimizer.
According to McKenzie, the first Océ JetStream 2200 system is already at full capacity after only six months of operation for major clients in the financial services and education sectors.  However, clients in the telecommunications, retail, automotive, insurance and nonprofit segments are now eager to begin utilizing the second system.
"We are proud that the Océ JetStream is playing such an important role for Direct Group and its customers as they tap into the changing direction of personalized marketing," said Mal Baboyian, President, Océ North America, Production Printing Systems.  "The sophisticated personalization platform Océ JetStream enables maximizes the exciting new marketing opportunities available to businesses today, and Direct Group is at the forefront of this trend."
Direct Group's continuous focus on the shifting needs of clients is also evident in the company's entry into the transpromo and statement processing market with the addition of the five intelligent insert systems.  These systems can handle selective inserts into multiple-page statements while monitoring the various components of the mailing and ensuring security, accuracy and overall package integrity.
The new transpromo capabilities will enable Direct Group clients to deliver geographically and demographically relevant marketing messages and timely offers in statements or transaction documents sent to existing customers. For example, a frequent flyer statement could now include a promotional message about a hotel in a customer's frequent destination city.  The technology allows the marketer – at no incremental cost – to effectively and intelligently cross-sell to current, loyal customers who have already opted into a relationship with the company and are predisposed to receive the marketing message.
According to InfoTrends Director Barb Pellow, "Transpromo marketing messages, by their very nature, command more attention than traditional communications.  While the average customer may get as many as 3,000 advertising messages per day, they receive less than 12 transaction documents monthly.  Those transaction documents are from known and trusted sources, so they are more likely to draw the customer's attention."  A multi-client study by InfoTrends showed that, on average, consumers spend two to three minutes reviewing monthly statements they receive in the mail, but a full 20 percent spend five minutes or more.
Because of these dynamics, response rates for transpromo marketing are high.  According to Pellow, "Transpromo offers the benefits of significant postal and operational cost savings and the opportunity for improved response rates.  It is time for marketers to leverage this incredibly valuable and cost-effective touchpoint to generate further dialogue with their customers." 
Chris Ryan, Direct Group Chief Operating Officer, said, "Transpromo marketing  technology – along with increased digital printing capacity with the second Océ JetStream 2200 – are the logical next steps in the evolution of our significant investments in digital capabilities at both our fulfillment and direct mail facilities.  By enabling our clients to add color and personalization to their mailings, these technologies help increase readership and response, and enhance campaign effectiveness during challenging economic times." 

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