Duncan Newton has an awesome post at Digital Nirvana about "transpromo." It's well worth the click, but here's the part that caught my eye.
The statistics that we all learned in undergrad Stat 301 (and quickly forgot) are woefully inadequate to conduct a proper inquiry into success metrics. TransPromo is first and foremost a data driven environment. Instincts, hunches and marketing experience are incapable of cutting through the noise, finding the actionable data, and linking the correct recipients with the relevant offers.And vendors expect printers or most marketers or small business to be able to do this? It is to laugh.
. . . You will know you are ready for TransPromo when basic mathematical marketing concepts like net promoter scores, RFM, CART, CHAID, LTV and brand equity come like second nature to you
Printers are already busy 18 hours a day getting the printing part under control and profitable. Most "marketers" are still playing by last century's rules and small business is worrying about paying the rent.
How Google can help . . . and make another gezillion dollars
Google lives on analytics. For a Google team, RFM, CART, LTV and lots of acronyms we've never heard of are second nature. Plus they have the ability to make it easy for everyone else. Google Analytics is the base from which to work.
For Google this stuff is a walk in the park. The division of labor is driven by the "easy for me, hard for you" principle. Printing at scale and on deadline is easy for us, hard for everyone else. That's why it's such a good business. Analytics, security and delivering data streams is easier for Google than anyone else on the planet.
The hardest part is "security.' But given the experience with Google Apps and Google Health, that is starting to recede. Once they figure out Google Education, life will be much better, much faster. Imagine education records as accessible as Health Records.
Meanwhile, every business, health and education enterprise can do better at the game when they use the knowledge revealed by mathematics in the form of success metrics.. If Google rolled out Google Analytics for Paper it should work and make all our beloved printers have a much nicer day.
It's much more plausible than trying to get newspaper people to understand and use metrics. Newspaper people have blablabla dna. For a hundred years they've been making their money with blablabla. That's a good thing. New knowledge and stories come from blablabla. People love blablabla. As a blogger, I love blablabla as much as anyone and more than most. Real life is mostly blablabla.
But blablabla does not a thriving business make.
The opportunity for independents
"Transpromo" is just Ad Sense on regularly delivered paper media. Bills are more regularly and more focused than any newspaper on the planet. Instead of "educating printers" they could be bringing new knowledge to the table. Don't teach printers how to do this. Partner with printers to do it for them. So the printers can stay focused on printing.
There must be some division of some global document company that can deliver this in the Cloud.
At Oce, HP, Ricoh or Google
Get this on the radar of the team that is trying to solve the " publish on paper' nut. The correct thought model is the printernet.
For everyone else
1. I would get a meeting with Google to see what could be done.
2. I would get meetings with newspaper companies to figure out how to make this work for them. Versioned newspapers and ad words on paper should be an easy sell.
3 . Locate the best SEO agency in the world. I think there is an awesome outfit in India that works on a pay for results business model. Get them to focus on the Print piece.
4. Stop wasting money on "educating" printers about the opportunity in "Transpromo."
5 . Locate the best marketing-by-metric companies. Get the meeting with them and one of your local OPM/PSPs. Show up at the meeting. Run the experiment. Make sure there is no blabla, just numbers. Then do that again.
To make it an more interesting meeting, invite the business manager of the local newspaper. To make it even more interesting, get someone from the local school board and a politician running for re election to show up.
Then we can all stop worrying about selling more stuff and focus on fixing education, health and government.