Personalized Communications: Back to the Future

Submitted by: Elizabeth Fox, VP, Solutions Business Unit

This summer my family took a “stay-cation” for our holiday – staying close to home and taking day trips around central New York. We saw knights jousting at a 15th century Renaissance fair and children learning to sew in a 19th century village re-enactment. Tradesmen and women from both centuries practiced their craft – dressmaker, land office, general store – without the benefit of overnight mail or an office multifunction printer. Marketing back then wasn’t 1:1… it was one on one.

Victorian Era Tradecard for Chase's Liquid Glue
Victorian Era Tradecard for Chase’s Liquid Glue

Businesses turned to mass marketing in the 17th century when they distributed tradecards with the name and address of their firm. Tradecards fell by the wayside in the mid-1800s when newspapers realized they could offset production costs with paid advertisements. And now, personalized cross media communications – digital print, text messaging, email, QR codes and PURLs – are replacing static print media.

Although decades have passed, the content of business communications remains the same – a sales promotion is a sales promotion. However, the form of commercial communication has certainly evolved. The peddler shouting out “caps for sale” now uses social media to build a loyal following.

At Xerox, we’re changing too. We provide technology services for many of the personalized communications you receive today – account statements, loyalty programs, cross media marketing campaigns – most of which are generated by Fortune 1000 firms or their marketing partners. The real power of innovation is extending these services so even the smallest businesses benefit…  enabled by hosted or cloud-based software.

I’ll know we’ve succeeded when my blacksmith texts me with a two-for-one horseshoe replacement offer.

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