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June 10, 2009 / jasonpinto

Captivate and Wow Me

I had the privilege of attending the In-Plant Printing and Mailing Conference this week in Rochester, NY. Part of the conference included a trip to Xerox. I’ve never been to their facility before, so when the buses left the hotel at 7:30 in the morning, I was on them!

The Xerox tour was quite impressive. We were specifically taken through the Gil Hatch Center for Customer Innovation.

Setting up a building that will be used for public tours must be a challenge. You know that you’ll have a captive audience. What will you show off while you have people in your building? What will be the tone of your presenters? What will be the overall approach to wowing your audience?

In Xerox case, the easy way out would be to talk solely about the equipment. How it all works, the list of features, etc..

But, the Xerox tour definitely took this approach: here’s our equipment — let us show you how you, the customer, can benefit from it.

This how-can-you-benefit approach was evident throughout. You could see that from the signs on the walls, to the pictures, to the generosity in giving out samples, and to the questions that the presenters asked the touring audience.

So, “lesson learned #1” for me was — features are great, but they can become boring quickly. People never seem to tire when listening to the benefits something can offer them.

The other great thing I picked up on was their approach to addressing their competition. I do not know if I can list exactly how they do this — but let’s say, they basically put themselves next to their competition, and let them duke it out. (Guess who wins during the show?) 

When it comes to marketing our own product or service, it can sometimes be tricky figuring out how to address comparisons to our competition. I’ve seen some companies take very bold measures — I’ve seen one recently that lists (and compares) their competitors directly on their website. I am not saying I support or encourage that approach, but it’s very intriguing.

Thank you to IPMA and Xerox for a great week. It was very enjoyable…. and thank you for the marketing inspiration.

P.S. Have you seen the bike that Xerox has in the Gil Hatch Center? Wow… http://twitpic.com/6wkii

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