A few months back in my post “Transpromotional Printing: Will Google Get on Board?” I predicted that Google would develop a product that would tie in its online advertising to printed statements. Transpromo advertising is a great way for marketers to vertically sell their current customer bases, but it is very hard for smaller companies to implement. Because of this growing pain, I had thought that Google would come up with a standardized solution. Since then, I have stumbled upon a few interesting things.
First, Google did investigate something like this. It ran a program called Google Print Ads. This started back in 2005 as a limited program in publications such as Maximum PC and Budget Living. The idea was to sell the less-desirable ads––such as quarter-page ads––in an auction format. Google would let the advertisers set their own pricing, similar to how AdWords works. The thought was that this would attract a larger base of online advertisers that wanted to transition easily into print advertising. Since this venture never proved to be successful, Google decided to shut down its efforts in 2009 and focus on how it could better serve the print advertising market.
Second, Pitney Bowes just started to offer a web-based, or––to use a common buzzword––cloud-based, transpromo service. The company hasn’t released many details on how this will work or what market it is targeting, but it is promising. If Pitney Bowes can build this functionality into its hardware, then it can really reach a wide array of customers.
To sum it all up, transpromo advertising is an amazing way to keep your customers engaged. Since you already communicate with them on a periodic basis, this advertising is a cheap or almost free way to get the word out. Because there is some programming and technology involved in bringing this to market, however, it hasn’t really caught on with the smaller to medium-sized companies. Therefore, the industry needs a larger company to take the reins and build a solution that is easy to implement into companies’ current hardware. Google could for sure figure out a way to do this, but I think that Pitney Bowes may be an even better candidate given that it is already so heavily established in the print and mailing markets.
If you had an easy way of incorporating transpromo into your statements, would you jump on board?
Author: John Mehl