SG360 ° provides direct marketing services to large-scale stores

What year. No one in the industry could have predicted it. Now we are all doing our best to get through it safely.

2020 will be remembered for many things. One of them should be that this was the year that innovation often came to mean the same thing as business survival.

Everything that has happened to printing plants in the wake of the pandemic is unprecedented. This means that whatever they did to answer it forced them to improvise. To rethink. To find new ways to protect their employees. To switch to completely different methods of interacting with customers. In short, innovate.

As we have done in recent years in Printing fingerprints, we have profiled six companies that remain alive and well in the printing industry. This year, we present these portraits of Innovators as a tribute, not only to the companies themselves, but to all the printing houses that have survived the trials of 2020 by innovating. Here is the profile of one of our best innovators in his category.

SG360 °

“One of our clients recently called us a ‘Swiss army knife’ of direct marketing providers,” John A. Wallace Jr., President and CEO of SG360 °, states. If the client had said the business was the direct marketing equivalent of the famous Wenger 16999 Swiss Army Knife Giant – a 2-pound, 12-inch-long, pocket-sized toolbox containing 87 tools and 141 separate functions – it wouldn’t probably wouldn’t have been embarrassed. .

The comparison may be overstated, but not by much. Wallace emphasizes that the “360 °” in the company’s name reflects its determination to provide customers with everything they need to run direct marketing campaigns under one roof. In this, he maintains, SG360 ° is unique, because its only business is direct marketing via hyper-targeted mailings, in volumes as massive or tiny as the customer wishes.

“We have the greatest range of capabilities among print manufacturers focused solely on direct marketing,” says Wallace, noting the range of web offset, sheetfed and digital offset presses at work in the main plant in the company in Wheeling, Illinois. Founded by the Segerdahl family in 1956 as a web offset printer, SG360 ° still relies heavily on this process, supplementing it with inkjet printing, inline finishing and other features that extend its versatility for modern direct mail.

In this area of ​​marketing, “what’s going to grow is personalization,” Wallace observes. “The number of coins will go down, but the targeting and ROI will continue to increase.” This means basing mailings on data that will give speed, precision and freshness to the delivery of the message. SG360 ° achieves this across multiple channels, with techniques such as capturing digital signals and using IP tracking to collect valuable data for traders.

Trigger programs: 10 to 10+ million parts

This expertise allows SG360 ° “to support a scalable volume ranging from trigger programs of 10 parts to deployments of more than 10 million parts, while maintaining an optimized cost to deliver a higher return on investment, whatever or the volume of the program, ”according to Wallace. Other services, such as postage to optimize mailing rates, improve return on investment by saving customers money.

Wallace points out that results can be measured by KPIs (key performance indicators) like cycle time and increased response rate. In one mission – with the help of technology just starting to make its presence felt in direct marketing – SG360 ° reduced manual steps and touchpoints by over 35%, delivering a 66% increase of the use of coupons and an additional expense per coupon 250% above projections.

This involved using artificial intelligence (AI) to revamp what had been a very manual and tedious method of generating coupon offers. Wallace’s data team automated it by creating a repository of offer-based images and options that significantly expanded the range of coupon offerings that the client, a big box retailer, could present. Then, AI was used to match customer profiles to potential offers, triggering the production of coupons for recipients the software had identified as being very likely to use them.

The timeliness and relevance of this “mass version of microtransactional things,” as Wallace describes it, had the desired effect on redemption rates and expenses, and the results spoke volumes. for themselves. “It was a total victory,” he says.

SG360 °’s customer list is not long: only around 250 companies spread across six main verticals (advertising agencies, financial services, clothing, wholesale, housewares and healthcare). But doing business with them has earned the company an annual turnover of $ 300 million, as well as a prominent place in the Printing fingerprints 400 of the largest printing companies in the United States and Canada, and Wallace thinks he knows why the relationship has been so successful.

Building a “mass-tick” mystique

He explains, “I would call us mass-tique:” capable of providing direct in-store marketing services, but on a large scale. Responding to both the sourcing side of the house, which focuses on profitability and return on investment, and the marketing side, which emphasizes creativity, “we have been the best kept secret in the world. direct marketing ”.

Wallace believes that the current general sense of uncertainty is likely to prompt more ‘wait until the last minute, step in, and do’ behaviors on the part of buyers, who know printers have resell capacity and therefore believe that they can afford to conserve their expenses. That could change, but he says either way, “whoever can generate the highest ROI is going to win – at a rolling price that makes sense.”

That is why SG360 ° short term plans include continuing to add data capacity to provide performance information. Wallace says transparency, coupled with SG360 °’s drive for limitless personalization, is what makes the relationship with the company “a breath of fresh air for marketers.”

This is the appropriate attitude for innovation, according to Wallace. “You listen to your customers, you test solutions with them, you learn together, and then you execute the back-end perfectly. “

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