Star product DirectSmile: Cross Media v5

By Tim Sheahan, Wednesday 22 August 2012

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This marketing campaigns tool aims to be the firm's "most user-friendly"

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What does DirectSmile Cross Media do?
DirectSmile Cross Media v5 enables businesses to create marketing campaigns for print, online and mobile media.

According to the developer, it was designed with the "user experience in mind". Its objective is to allow print businesses, among others, to diversify into a wide range of communication channels, with minimal digital experience.

Applications that are made possible with DirectSmile Cross Media include customer loyalty campaigns, customer surveys, newsletters and event invitations.

When was it launched?
DirectSmile used Drupa 2012 to launch the latest version of the Cross Media suite.

How does it differ from previous versions?
Cross Media v5 includes a range of new functionality designed to open up new application opportunities for mobile media, as well as template-based corporate websites and data-driven sales and marketing tools.

New to this version is the ability to create mobile landing pages and data-driven smartphone applications that, according to DirectSmile, make it possible to further link print, mobile and online media.

A salesperson can use their phones to enter customer information directly into a database or trigger reminder emails to their contacts. Customers can scan a QR code with their mobiles, which links to a website or personalised URLs (PURLs).

 V5 also adds a new Data Relations functionality that allows users to create data-driven sales and marketing applications without the need to employ programmers and database experts.

"Whether producing applications for lead management, customers communications, trade show visitors, for the distribution of marketing materials or for asset management, creating the user interface and connecting to databases is as easy as creating a website," says DirectSmile managing director Harry Raaphorst.

What is the USP of Cross Media v5?
"Its ease of use is its main USP," says Raaphorst. "Operating DirectSmile Cross Media requires no programming, HTML or database skills, even for sophisticated campaigns and applications."

"For the user, this means faster results, fewer people involved in projects and less external cost. Innovative marketing concepts that previously required a variety of special skills can now be implemented efficiently," he adds.

Cross Media also tracks and presents comprehensive data of customer behaviour that is claimed to make the ROI of online and cross media campaigns transparent.

The software also features DirectSmile’s image personalisation technology that allows the user to integrate personalised images in emails, websites, mobile applications or printed pieces.

How easy is it to use?
According to Raaphorst, Cross Media v5 is the company’s most "user-friendly solution yet" enabling companies to deliver personalised content will minimal investment or training.

In addition, he says investing in Cross Media gives the user full control over the process and their customer data.

"Not only does it allow you to avoid pricey software as a service (SAAS) models, you can also be assured that there will be no unplanned updates that interfere with campaign production," he says. "And you don’t have to deal with legal data protection complications that can arise with some cloud technologies."

How much does it cost?
Licenses for DirectSmile software start from around €35,000 (£27,000). At Drupa alone, DirectSmile sold a number of copies of Cross Media v5 and interest in the product and its many benefits continues beyond the show, according to the company. Today, Cross Media installations can be found on all five continents. None are currently willing to comment.

What training is provided?
DirectSmile offers individually tailored training, both online and onsite at DirectSmile’s training facility. In addition, there are a range of video tutorials available.


SPECIFICATIONS

 

Applications: Direct marketing – printed direct mail, email campaigns, personal URL websites
Customer loyalty – email newsletters, feedback websites, customer surveys
Event marketing – invitation campaigns, visitors management
Web – campaign micro sites, corporate websites, intranet applications, mobile web pages
Sales support – lead management, automated sales processes
Market analysis –response tracking, customer segmentation
Price From €35,000 (£27,500)
Contact
Transeo Media 0845 643 7490 transeomedia.com


ALTERNATIVES

Pageflex Campaign Manager
Like DirectSmile’s offering, Pageflex Campaign Manager allows the user to build multichannel campaigns in a range of formats. These include personalised print, targeted emails, personalised URLs (PURLs), microsites, online surveys and follow-up communications. Users can build and distribute campaigns directly from the Campaign Manager, or can offer campaigns as a product to be customised and ordered from within Pageflex’ Storefront software.
Price
from £10,000
Contact
xMedia Publishing 0131 220 8274 www.xmpl.co.uk

PersonalEffect Cross Media
The PersonalEffect Cross Media package includes the full functionality of the company’s PersonalEffect Print Edition as well as additional components suited for creating variable-data applications for multiple media channels – print, email, web and SMS. The software uses personalised Response URLs (RURLs), which are claimed to offer easy entry into cross-media publishing, providing tools and templates necessary to create personalised websites. Also included is uStore, XMPie’s web-to-print software for creating and deploying e-commerce storefronts.
Price
from £24,000
Contact
Xerox UK 0870 873 4519 www.xerox.co.uk

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