Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A nice razor by Xerox. But, it's all about incentives.

We'll have to wait until we hear more from the ground, but this looks very nice from here - $549 list for a workgroup MFP that has lots of cool features. It's not a lot of margin after street price discounts and sales comp, but it runs on EA Toner. We invented the stuff, have a new plant in Rochester, NY to make the stuff and from everything I've heard, EA toner rocks.

It's amazing what maniacal focus on Print can do.

Now, the problem is to grab as much market share with our first mover advantage. That's a problem because it's all about working in Internet time, instead of Corporate time. Corporate time is ok for measuring top down. Internet time is for bottom up.

Here's some free advice (remember, you get what you pay for.)
Learn from Google and Amazon. Save the advertising budget and "Use the Force, Luke." The force in question is the network + referral fees. Google calls it "Ad Sense." Amazon calls it "affiliates." Whatever anyone calls it, it's referral income earned with no extra time investment.

Cross incent the MFP sales forces with the PSP sales forces.
That's the operational definition of building a strong network. Forget about educating them or even managing them. Focus on incenting them. Proximate incentives are the real glue of networks.

Stop having meetings about "integrating the sales forces" or "educating sales people." The best sales people are cowboys anyway. That's their feature, not their bug. Cowboys like to roam on the range. They HATE staff meetings. But if you are in a land grab, there are few things more effective than a tribe of well incented cowboys. Then they become a calvary.

Here's how it might play out
PSP people get a fee when they refer someone to MFP people. MFP people get a fee when they refer someone to a PSP for printing. Local MFP networks will make different deals with local PSP networks. Eventually both MFP and PSP people will sell "complete marketing solutions" to SMB.

Sooner or later some locals will network with Newspaper Ad people. Then it's done. That missing link will enable affordable multi-channel marketing solutions for very stressed and busy local business delivered in the right form at the right time.

First sell the MFP, or the collateral, or the ad in the paper/web or the computer or the camera.
Then sell the MFP, or the collateral, or the ad in the paper/web or the computer or the camera.
Then sell the MFP, or the collateral, or the ad in the paper/web or the computer or the camera.
Mix, bake and repeat.

Eventually someone will cobble together just the right multi channel marketing program for each local business. It might include Purl's, signage, VDP brochures, newsletters, websites, pens, baseball caps, whatever. In a few cases, it might lead to an a MPS contract based on boxes and Google Apps or even DocuShare. The referral fee on an MPS contract could be real money.

If a local cowboy could get to Costco, the counter could be set up right next to their photo lab. Maybe it lives in Staples or Office Depot. Or Fedex? Or, dare we dream . . . Walmart.

Meanwhile, our cavalries can be selling Google Apps all the time. That way they get the fee directly from the source of referral fees - the Google itself.

Priced at $599, the Xerox Phaser 6128MFP copies, scans and faxes, and prints up to 12 pages per minute (ppm) in color, and 16 ppm in black and white. The MFP comes with 600x600 dpi and uses Emulsion Aggregate High Grade (EA-HG) toner with smaller, more consistent toner particles that enable higher resolution and sharper image quality. In addition, access controls track costs and ensure color use is appropriately managed.

For busy offices that require a single-function desktop printer, the Xerox Phaser 6280 color laser printer offers up to 26 ppm color print speeds and a first-page-out-time as fast as 10 seconds. With the capacity to hold up to 950 sheets of paper, the Phaser 6280 quickly prints documents without the need to refill paper trays often. In addition, the Phaser 6280 includes an intuitive front panel complete with a toner gauge that allows users to quickly check levels before starting a large print job.

Starting at $549, the Phaser 6280 features a variety of tools to help manage color, such as True Adobe PostScript3, PANTONE color-approved simulations, Xerox color correction technology and 600x600x4 dpi that delivers 16 shades of color per pixel.

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