March 27, 2012

Olympics 2012 – Plan Ahead

By Kam Dhesi – Human Resource Manager, Romax

With the 2012 London Olympics fast approaching, all stakeholders should start pre-planning and thinking about their journey to and from Romax during the 4 weeks of events.

No doubt an increase in traffic will be inevitable especially during the first 2 weeks, from 27th July to 12th August, which should calm down by the start of the Para-Olympics on 29th August 2012 to 9th September 2012.

Visit the Transport For London (TFL) presentation a link provided by TFL.

These points can be used as a guide, but l do recommend that you read the document too. It shows vital information regards to various surrounding areas, benefiting staff, visitors and suppliers alike depending on where you travel to or from.

Points at a glance:

•http://www.getaheadofthegames.com/
•Olympic Games start on the 27th July to the 12th August 2012
•Para- Olympic Games start from the 29th Aug to 9th September 2012
•The ORN is the Olympic Route Network, this is the main routes the athletes and officials will be using to get to and from the venues
•Any vehicle can use the ORN
•The ORN equates to 1% of the London road network
•0.3% of the above will be used as games lanes (for officials and athletes only), but only where there are 2 or more lanes available
•The A2, Woolwich and Trafalgar Road are part of the ORN and alternative ORN
•Planned road works from March 2012 will be banned on the ORN
•Planned tube works will be suspended throughout the games
•200 extra buses will be in operation throughout the games
•Extended hours for trains, tubes and buses, esp. Jubilee Line
•With our shift patterns, and opening times 8am to 8pm we can avoid the busiest times
•Mornings are predicted to be busier than normal, but from 4.30pm onwards, there could be up to an extra 30 minutes or more waiting time on tubes, esp. Jubilee Line
•Event times are from 10.30am through to the late evenings
•70% of road journeys in London will be unaffected
•65% of tube stations will be unaffected
•Road traffic reduces by 10% during the summer holidays and 20% during any major UK event
•Allowing extra time and pre-planning your journey should diminish any lateness

Please plan ahead so your travel to and from Romax does not suffer during this time. We should be able to resume work as normal as possible during this busy period with only a minimum amount of disruption.

romax_logo_tag_blueRomax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2CDirect Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage and Membership Communication Services and Consultancy. Contact us: hello@romax.co.uk +44 (0) 20 8293 8550

Contact Us

March 26, 2012

4 is the Magic Number

The four numbers every company needs to know and that most don’t By Ust Oldfield

1. Customer lifetime value (CLTV)— The sum of the future money you will get from a customer. Too many companies make the mistake of thinking they can calculate one number for their entire customer population. It’s more useful and accurate to segment a population and then calculate a different CLTV for each segment. This is the number that guides your marketing spend and marketing methods.

2. Cost to acquire a new customer— Add all of your acquisition expenses for the year and divide by the number of new customers you acquired. Then hope your answer is less than the CLTV. If it isn’t, you need to change your business model.

3. Money lost on each one-time buyer— Subtract the acquisition cost (number 2, above) from the median gross margin on a first time purchase. Generally this is a negative number; they cost you more than you spent to acquire them. A consumer usually needs to make multiple purchases before the gross margin on those transactions exceeds the cost to acquire the customer. Until that happens, the customer is unprofitable. When you multiple this dollar amount by the number of one-time buyers, you get a scary picture of how much these single purchasers are costing your company, and hopefully some resolve to fix the problem.

4. Retention rate—What percent of your customers from your last period are still your customers this period? Is your retention rate improving or getting worse? Is your bucket of customers overflowing, filling, or leaking? As one of my networking contacts wrote me after reading an early version of this post, “Preventing base erosion is a red-hot concern, especially in rough economic times when every penny matters.”

As more and more marketers convert to the discipline of making “data-driven decisions”, these are the data points that should drive many of those decisions. We think it is difficult to be an effective marketer today without knowing these numbers.

romax_logo_tag_blueRomax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2CDirect Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage and Membership Communication Services and Consultancy. Contact us: hello@romax.co.uk +44 (0) 20 8293 8550

Contact Us

March 23, 2012

I may be a Geek but I’m a rich one

The following blog discusses data, data and a bit more about data, but if you get to understand your data better AND take advantage of it through improved 1-2-1 communication – in real time to enable you to better market to and sell to your cleints/members, then let’s all be Geeks together! Robin Sumner, MD, Romax. (PS this guy is far better looking than me!)

Blog by Deb Haines, senior trainer/solutions specialist, XMPie, A Xerox Company

The first key to doing any type of variable application, from a simple direct mail piece to a highly-complex, ongoing cross-media campaign, is having accurate data. Often, for those new to the industry, data and managing the files holding the content is a daunting new world. Sure, most people are familiar with using and working with everyday databases; for example, entering information into their phone’s contact list or putting an address list together for events that need invites. However, most people don’t think about the actual list itself, and how a computer application understands or works with that list of data. Most computer applications that read data (similar to the way you would) use a special language called SQL (Structured Query Language), but that discussion is for another time. Let’s start with the basics. Just so you know, terminology will be italicized.

All databases have common characteristics. First, there is the content, which can be described and labeled. For example, the label for “123 Main Street” would be “Street Address,” and the content would consist of letters and numbers. To a computer, the content “123 Main Street” is the called the data value, “Street Address” is called a field or field name, and the description of the content is known as a data type—in this case, a list of characters, known as a string.

When you group a set of related fields, you’ve created a record. The easiest way to see a record is to create a list using a column format with the field names at the top of the column. When you group a set of related records together, you have a data table.

Typically, data of this sort has other information that can be associated with it. In the example above, each company has an agent, and agents have a data table of their own information containing a field called Agent ID. Fields that are common (same data) between two tables are called key fields. Key fields usually have the same field name, but it is not a requirement. When there are multiple tables that can be linked directly or indirectly through other tables, this is known as a Relational Database.

Data tables can be stored in two ways: (1) as a flat data source, or (2) by using an application known as a Relational Database Management System.

Flat data sources are tables that are stored as text files with a symbol known as a delimiter (often a comma or tab) between values, or entered into a spreadsheet (like MS Excel). Data stored in this way usually doesn’t have a method for properly describing the data, nor is there a method to associate their key fields with other tables.

RDMS applications (MySQL, MS Access or SQL Server, Oracle) were built with ways to manage lots of data (millions of records), thousands of data tables, how they relate to each other, and usually their own flavor of SQL.

So, those are the basics of a critical component to successful variable data print and cross-media campaigns – data. Now check out this Digital Publishing Solutions article for insights on obtaining, maintaining and leveraging customer data. Our very own Judy Berlin, worldwide marketing manager for XMPie, shares a couple key pieces of advice.

Romax are users of XMPie Technology and would welcome discussion with clients over how to engage their clients for maximum marketing return.

 

romax_logo_tag_blueRomax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2CDirect Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage and Membership Communication Services and Consultancy. Contact us: hello@romax.co.uk +44 (0) 20 8293 8550

Contact Us

March 19, 2012

Predictive Analytics the Magic Wand in Marketing Success

Predictive analytics can produce an average ROI of 145%, compared to an average ROI of 89% for processes which did not incorporate analytics. It does this by streamlining the marketing process, segmenting customers into clusters and ranking them in order of benefit to the company. This means that marketing campaigns are targeted and deliver a higher response rate.

Analytics can also be employed to predict the life span of a customer with a business, so that measures can be employed to extend the life of the customer’s relationship with the business and thus increasing revenue. In a tough economic climate, every little helps.

The process by which analytics helps your business is through the Cross Industry Standard Process for Data Mining, or CRISP DM

To get the best results from data, the CRISP DM process should be followed. It starts with the Business Understanding stage – what is the desired goal of employing predictive analytics? Is it to discover how many people stop using the services of your company, or is it to improve the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns?

The next stage is Data Understanding – what is the quality of the data like? Is the data you have suitable for the goals of your business? If not, then you’ll either have to reassess the goal or collect new data. The next stage is to prepare the data for modelling – cleaning up the dataset and making sure that the cases match the designated variables.

The next stage is the modelling. The possibilities here are only limited by the data. For example, you could employ a Recency, Frequency, Monetary value (RFM) model to find out who your best customers are. Or you could employ propensity modelling to predict who will respond to a marketing campaign. These tools, and many others, allow marketing to be targeted, thus cutting down costs and driving up response rates – increasing revenue.

The next stage is to evaluate the models and ask the question: Does the result of the modelling fit the goals made at the Business Understanding stage? If not, why not? If the models do fit the goals of the business, the results are deployed into the marketing campaign to create a targeted and personalised marketing experience for both business and customer.

Once the marketing campaign is underway, feedback is fed back into the model to a) judge the success of the campaign and b) make subsequent campaigns more accurate.

Employing predictive analytics in your marketing campaigns and incorporating the practice into your business model will produce of wealth of benefits enabling your business to grow in a very tough economic climate.

romax_logo_tag_blueRomax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2CDirect Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage and Membership Communication Services and Consultancy. Contact us: hello@romax.co.uk +44 (0) 20 8293 8550

Contact Us

March 13, 2012

Sarabjit Wilkhu Moving On after 12 years

All of my employees have admirable skills, client focus and a desire to get the job done, for which I am extremely grateful.

When an individual has however contributed so much and invested so much time, passion and loyalty over the years then I feel very strongly that they should be praised openly.

For 12 years Sarb Wilkhu (previously Sarb Matharu) centre of the above picture at a recent Romax event, has committed herself to help Romax and to help me as Managing Director, to grow Romax to its current market leading position. Sarb started at Romax in its infancy and has advanced with the company to her current position of Operations Director, ultimately responsible for all client production.

Sarb recently married and is relocating to Bradford with her husband. This is great news for her and Bradford, and sad news for Romax as Sarb (after me) is the longest serving member of staff. It is however testament to her, that she leaves us in an excellent state with an excellent team of managers in place to continue her good work.

There will be plenty of time before she finally leaves at the end of May to say our farewells, but she will always be welcome back.

On behalf of Romax and from me personally we wish Sarb every future success.

Robin Sumner, Managing Director

 

romax_logo_tag_blueRomax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2CDirect Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage and Membership Communication Services and Consultancy. Contact us: hello@romax.co.uk +44 (0) 20 8293 8550

Contact Us

March 1, 2012

Information on VAT and Postal Services from 2nd April 2012

Changes to VAT rules and the way in which Postal Services are regulated have affected the VAT status of a number of Royal Mail products. A limited range of their services became subject to VAT through 2011, and this will extend to all bulk mail services from April 2012.

Universal services (USO) such as 1st and 2nd Class stamps will continue to be VAT exempt from April 2012. For more information on Royal Mail prices for 2012 visit:

This will bring a level playing field in terms of VAT charging to the postal sector where DSA providers already have to charge VAT. It will cause some confusion and potential cost increaes to clients that have not historically had to pay VAT on postage and have not been able to reclaim it.

Romax offers a full Single Source Solution which currently exempts certain print and mail packs from paying VAT. If you are a charity, university or other organisation that is unable to reclaim VAT, the single source solution may well be beneficial.

romax_logo_tag_blueRomax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2CDirect Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage and Membership Communication Services and Consultancy. Contact us: hello@romax.co.uk +44 (0) 20 8293 8550

Contact Us