Will Trans Meet Promo in 2009?

By | January 16, 2009

Way back in September ’08, I talked about a study that InfoTrends conducted entitled “Trans Meets Promo… Is It More Than Market Hype?” and I said that I would be posting some high-level results from that study on The Digital Nirvana. Well… that didn’t exactly happen in 2008. However, since everyone is putting on their soothsayer hats to proclaim what they think will happen in the next 12 months, I thought I would present some of our study’s results and give some insight into what the world can expect for TransPromo in 2009.

To give a general overview of the study, InfoTrends surveyed consumers, transaction document owners, direct marketers, and print service providers about the use of direct mail, transaction documents, e-Presentment, and TransPromo. While the primary focus of this study was related to TransPromo, there were a number of direct marketing-related questions asked as well. There were also a number of interviews and case studies conducted of companies that have successfully implemented TransPromo applications. Below are some intriguing results from the study.

  • – Consumer respondents spend an average of two to three minutes each reviewing statements; 20% of consumers spend five minutes or more.
  • – Consumer respondents still prefer to receive bills via the mail; 44% of respondents prefer mail with an additional 18% preferring to receive transaction documents via mail and Internet .
  • – 68% of direct marketer respondents who include promotional messages in transactional documents are printing at least some of those messages directly on the statement.
  • – 54.4% of document owner respondents produce less than 100,000 bills or statements per month.
  • – Print service provider respondents expressed that the average number of unique addresses included in transaction print jobs is 36,000, and the median is 3,000.

Consumers spend a significant amount of time reviewing their statements, which can be capitalized upon by implementing TransPromo onto statements. Direct Marketers are clearly taking advantage of statement viewership by placing promotional messages directly on statements, which can also be viewed through e-Presentment.  There is also a significant opportunity for print service providers to take advantage of mid-market TransPromo opportunties, as many are well-equipped to handle these volumes.

InfoTrends is formulating a road map for trends in TransPromo we expect to be prominent for 2009. Our road map is based on our own primary research, past trends, current & future vendor and service provider initiatives, and a little bit of guesswork on our part. While the actual road map document provides much deeper insight, here are a few trends that we see occurring this year:

  • – 2009 will bring with it a greater understanding and acceptance of TransPromo, fueled by better education and deeper penetration.
  • – Vendors and service providers will focus increased efforts on sales force education for TransPromo in order to be better equipped to sell clients and prospects on the value that TransPromo can bring to their organizations.
  • – Interest in mid-market TransPromo applications will lead to increased competition between both TransPromo statement print providers and software providers positioning themselves to enable mid-market TransPromo applications.

Overall, TransPromo is definitely poised to become more conspicuous in 2009. We are well aware of the potential of TransPromo here at InfoTrends. Aside from our TransPromo study and the third annual U.S. TransPromo Summit being held August 13-14 this year (at the Hyatt Regency in Boston), InfoTrends recently launched a service dedicated to the topic: the TransPromo Consulting Service. Since TransPromo touches on business development, production workflow software, and on-demand printing, it made sense to centralize discussion within its own service. By dedicating staff to the topic, we are able to go much deeper on the topic, enabling us to be better informed and educate the market at the next level. Now that we all know WHAT it is, we can move onto the why, how, when, and where. The next step is taking the research to Europe in 2009 in a multi-client study entitled Trans Meets Promo: a European Perspective along with an inaugural European TransPromo Summit slated for late in the year. For more information on our studies, services, and events, please contact our TransPromo analyst Matt Swain.

So what do you think about TransPromo? Will Trans Meet Promo in 2009? Please comment and let us know.

Bryan Yeager is a Senior Research Analyst in the Production Workflow and Customized Communications Services group at InfoTrends. He can be reached at bryan_yeager@infotrends.com.

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4 thoughts on “Will Trans Meet Promo in 2009?

  1. Christian

    Great detailed outlook for 09. There is certainly much to do about transpromo. Look forward to hearing more.

  2. Pat McGrew, EDP


    Great piece. Remember, though, that in some places Trans Met Promo some time ago – sometimes under the disguise of projects called Statement-based Marketing, and sometimes under the disguise of on-statement messaging. And, for many companies around the world (sadly more outside the US than inside the US) the use of the monthly/quarterly statement or billing advice as a fully functioning member of the marketing tool is “situation normal” and producing results.

    This week PODI awards the first TransPromo Best Practices award to ING Direct, who demonstrated the clear value. They join companies like Virgin Money, DigiPlus, Juventus, Debenhams, and others around the world who have clear ROI.

    Because it is transaction work, it is much harder for many of the companies that are successful to share their results. The indicator I use? Are they still doing it after the first pilot is completed. The answer is a resounding Yes! The techniques hold up and you can take baby steps!

  3. Roger

    Do you think the commercial digital/offset printing companies will eventually advertise or promote capabilities or offers on the invoice we send to our own customers? I do realize many customers require the invoices be directed to accounts payable but many buyers get a copy for the records.

  4. Bryan Yeager

    Good points Pat and Roger!

    Pat: I totally agree that there are some great examples and success stories out there regarding statement-based marketing and TransPromo. However, when I think about the bills and statements that I personally get, I don’t see a lot of this going on. For example, I get bills and statements from Citizens Bank, Bank of America, Comcast, National Grid, Nstar, and AT&T Wireless every month. Those are all fairly large companies that send bills and statements to a very large group of people. While there is some promotional messaging directly on some pieces, it’s usually not very compelling nor convincing and most promotion still comes from inserts. While it may be particularly hard in the financial services sector this year to make some of these changes, I feel that when one of these large companies starts doing full-fledged TransPromo, that will bring a much greater understanding and acceptance of the concept to other companies and recipients. Hopefully we will see this in 2009.

    Roger: Good point to bring up. I don’t think we really have much information on the effectiveness of TransPromo in business-to-business transactions. This may be something that Internet-based print companies (VistaPrint, PrintingForLess, etc) already do. I’ve seen other general Internet retailers put promotional messaging/offers on the invoices or receipts they send with what I’ve ordered. Ultimately, I think it depends on what type of relationship you have with your clients. If you have a Web storefront set-up for a specific client, you’re most likely selling directly to the person who purchased their own business card or brochure. It may be effective to promote other print-related services that you offer, as well as discounts/coupon codes through storefront orders. If you do attempt something like this, let us know how it works out!

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