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Practice what you Preach – How NOT to Cross Media Market

According to DM News, “Xerox CMO tells marketers to get personal with customers at Digital Marketing Days keynote.” DM News continues that “Marketers should focus on creating personal relationships, like Americans in the 1950s had with their corner grocers, rather than only employing new technologies, Christa Carone, CMO of Xerox, told attendees of the Digital Marketing Days conference in New York June 15.”

Really?  Is that we she thinks?  If Christa believes her own propaganda, maybe she can explain Xerox’s own marketing which contradicts this whole idea.  Take a look at this gimmicky email from XM Pie that came out on June 15th - the very same day Christa was speaking.

XM Pie Weak Email

Now, I admit that I wasn’t at this presentation, but if Xerox, an equipment and software OEM with marketing budgets and staffs larger than most companies can’t manage to pull a quality cross media effort off, how can anyone?  Is XM Pie so hard to use that their definition of personalization and creating a relationship is putting a name in an email in a picture?  Are they serious?  Maybe access to the technical expertise required to launch a sophisticated campaign using XMPie is too far removed from brand managers, or maybe its too expensive or difficult to produce campaigns with meaningful segmentation.

Here are quotes from the XMPie’s page at that are nowhere to be found in the communication sent.

• "Bring relevancy to your marketing by leveraging variable data to tailor messages for each recipient”. The very first bullet point is ignored. How is this message tailored exactly? Nothing in relation to size, industry, needs of the recipient or any other demographic is even considered.

• "Create campaigns with built-in response tracking tools and adjust messaging, offers, and more, on-the-fly”. Where does this occur? There is no personalized or segmented messaging or landing page in the entire piece. The only marketing links send you to where tracking is surrendered to the IT department to be lost forever.

• "Expand your reach with one to one marketing campaigns that span print, email, Web, and mobile”. If Xerox is too cheap to send a coordinated print piece to match, why should they expect anyone else they sell the print equipment for crying out loud!

Other glaring issues:
XM Pie is not listed as a FIFA marketing affiliate at and we suggest you do not tread on or even near FIFA or any other sports trademark owner in your marketing.  The Wall Street Journal reports that FIFA has chased thousands of trademark violators mercilessly.  The NFL, NBA, NHL, NASCAR and others are equally defensive of their brands. Be careful.

This email has a weak call to action.  What is the reason the get started or register?  There is no compelling reason to take any action and no description of what we will get by visiting.

The truth is that elementary marketing efforts are not going to produce decent response rates and will not cover the major investments required to implement and execute image gimmicks like those shown.  Heidi Tolliver-Nigro asked recently if printers were masquerading as MSPs and not walking the walk.  Perhaps the question is the entire industry from the OEMs on down is faking it?

Take Away:
Concentrate your investment on segmenting prospect data, engaging your prospects in a meaningful two way conversation, and presenting relevant information.   Want to sell cross media?  Try practicing what you preach.  Spending a fortune on software that does everything, and none of it well, is a hard investment to recoup.


Karin Stroh

In response to your recent posting on Xerox and XMPie, this particular piece was NOT a cross-media campaign nor was it intended to be. This email communication was sent specifically to people interested in XMPie's image personalization templates, and its purpose was to highlight the new ones on the XMPie Marketplace store. There was no real call to action or segmentation or complex personalization needed. The message was, "Hey John, as you've shown an interest in the image marketplace you might be interested to know that there are some new templates." - Nothing more, nothing less. Not every piece of communication needs to be a sophisticated campaign.

In your blog you ask if XMPie and Xerox are "walking the talk" with respect to cross media communications. During DM Days we not only showed numerous examples of integrated personalized cross- media campaigns at our sessions and booth, but demonstrated the impact of these with measurable results. It is unfortunate that you choose to write this blog without having the opportunity to attend the show and see all the exciting campaigns our customers -- and we -- are doing. For more info, readers can visit

JFM Concepts

Karin, thank you for the reply. Please don’t get us wrong…your software can do some nifty stuff and there are neat case studies that describe it.

The question is: Why would any marketing organization, especially one that professes cross media expertise and purports to be in the vanguard, send out a one way, un-segmented email? “Marketers should focus on creating personal relationships”, which is exactly what this email does not do. The email had no link tracking, no PURL, and no way to engage the customer.

It is a needlessly wasted an opportunity.

The most recent Xerox case study presentation I had the dubious pleasure of listening to follows. Xerox flies in from the coast to a key customer and one of their best clients. A team of Xerox MBA’s, designers, and analysts provide the manpower and impetus for the end client’s executive team to mobilize internal resources and provide support. Everyone involved spends a ton of time, they set up a campaign, then everybody shakes hands and the Xerox teams flies back. Swell. Then reality sets in when it is quickly discovered that the process is impossible to duplicate in an ongoing fashion or across multiple product lines and segments.

It is the daily use of process and technology, as evidenced by this email, not the fancy outlier that is critical.

nursing pajamas

Interesting! The Wall Street Journal reports that FIFA has chased thousands of trademark violators mercilessly.

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