The Next Generation of Personalization in Pictures

AlphaPicture Brings Your Pictures Into a New Era of Programmatic Printing

Personalizing text and offers are a thing of the past. AlphaPicture personalizes your images!

As part of our interview series, we were pleased to welcome Gerhard Märtterer digitally for a brief discussion. His video in April (available in German) already showed what the technology is capable of, but we'd like to further discuss it. Who is behind AlphaPicture and what added value does this technology offer?

Hello Mr. Märtterer - Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to us. Could you introduce AlphaPicture again to those who don't know you yet?

AlphaPicture has been around since 2003 and our claim "AlphaPicture - We alphabetize pictures" sums it up: We place words in pictures because often a picture says more than 1,000 words. We personalize the pictures for each recipient and do it on-demand. Every digital printer can easily use AlphaPicture as software from the cloud.

I have a background in marketing myself and thanks to AlphaPicture I have found deep insights into the world of digital printing. It all started in 2003 with personalized postcards. That's how I realized what digital printing could do: Namely, print one-to-one messages. Through a cooperation between AlphaPicture and one of the very big manufacturers of digital printing machines, I was able to travel around the world from 2005 to 2010. Our cooperation was very fruitful for both sides and I was able to gain a foothold in the world of digital printing and get to know many innovative ideas and application examples in digital printing in Europe, America, India and Japan. From this experience, I myself developed many pilot projects in an area that I now call "Programmatic Printing". Now that the HighSpeed Inkjet can not only print fast, but also in excellent quality at reasonable prices, this market is growing very fast. And for that, you also need fast, high-quality and affordable image personalization. AlphaPicture does no more and no less.

Where exactly do you see the links between the priint:suite and AlphaPicture's technology?

In my opinion, the priint:suite is challenged precisely in this technological progress of the HighSpeed Inkjet. Due to the ever-increasing degree of personalization and new areas that can be personalized, the fast flow of data is of the utmost importance. Digital printing has now reached an enormous speed in CMYK printing. What the hardware can do, the software must provide. If the one-to-one data flow is not at least as fast as the one-to-one print speed, the workflow will stutter. In extreme cases, the machine comes to a standstill. This must not be allowed to happen.

"This is precisely where the priint:suite comes in, supplying the data from the content systems, loading the images, and drastically reducing the processing time for the data. This means that programmatic, highly personalized print on-demand is not just a dream of the future, but a reality.“

At AlphaPicture, we're lucky that our basic software comes from film production, because movies work with 2 x 25 frames per second. That's why we can generate AlphaPictures so quickly. Those who integrate AlphaPictures into the priint:suite can also produce high image-personalized runs at the top speed of their presses with a high-performance RIP.

From the hardware and software side, programmatic printing, whether with or without image personalization, is now really very good, very fast and affordable to produce. What is still missing is the "brainware" - in other words, the brains of those responsible in the marketing departments and in the creative departments of the advertising agencies. We need to do more convincing there. I call this "generic marketing for programmatic printing". To do this, we show those responsible that we achieve significantly higher conversion rates with programmatic printing than search media or social media, which makes the cost-per-order (CpO) more favorable.

We're on a similar approach there, we're also talking about the fact that there needs to be a shift in thinking: Less in pure production costs; more in conversion rates and return on marketing invest (RoMI).

Absolutely! I also experienced a convincing presentation by Horst Huber at the Print & Digital Convention from f:mp, where I was a speaker too. He showed the audience a route map reminiscent of an S-Bahn timetable. And this map has stayed in my head; thus reconfigured my "brainware". I then had this Touchpoint Travel Map sent to me by Werk II so that I could incorporate it into my presentations and thus illustrate how many points of connection there are. At this point my thanks to priint for this help among colleagues!

When you look at this map, you first realize where print plays a role everywhere and what power lies behind it. Then, at the latest, it should be clear to everyone that print is an important communication channel - coupled with the personalization options, the conversion rates are much higher and we have to make the younger generations, who grew up as digital natives with the Internet, aware of this: "Let's make Genre Marketing for Programmatic Printing"!

Thank you Mr. Märtterer for your insight into the print industry. We look forward to talking to you in more depth about one-to-one personalization and gaining further insights at priint:day.