Deborah sat down with Helene Blanchette, Global Vice President of Marketing for Graphic Communication at Xerox, on the Xerox stand at Hunkeler Innovationdays in Lucerne to record this podcast episode:
It’s so interesting to hear people who have been in the industry and often a particular company for a number of years talk about their personal professional evolution, and it’s hard to think of many people with a more efficient personal growth strategy than Helene Blanchette.
Helene says: “Every five years I take a retreat and reshape my next five years. I’ve done this for many years, it keeps me fresh and keeps me going forward and evolving, and in five years I’m always where I said I would be. It’s exactly like having a business plan. I put it in an envelope and open it five years later.” Isn’t that amazing? I wonder how many of us listening to the podcast are stealing the technique for ourselves, googling ‘retreats’ and scribbling our career goals on notepads.
Looking at Helene’s career, it’s clearly a method that pays off. Having run a commercial print shop, she sold the company and concentrated her efforts on education within the commercial print space, training thousands of people and working with brands to help them manage their print production.
That’s when her career with Xerox began, working on the company’s go-to-market strategy and going on to initiate the XMPie one-to-one lab in Canada, where she led charge in communicating to brands that there is a better way to do things and proving it to them.
In the podcast, she discusses how the productivity and capability of inkjet technology combined with advanced software means it’s the perfect time to scale up, grow and take advantage of the opportunities in the industry that weren’t there ten years ago. Now that we live in the ‘world of Amazon’, customers are expecting that high level of customisation and personalisation, brands understand the importance of it, and the technology can deliver it.
For a globetrotter like Helene, it’s no surprise that she shares Deborah’s enthusiasm for the Xerox Premier Partners Global Network, and the handy online tool that helps people select partners anywhere in the world, and she also shares insights into some differences in direct marketing between Europe and America, such as prominence of variable data use and diversity in offering.
Helene also talks about some of the distinct ways in which Xerox adds value to customers, which includes helping understand their challenges and building the right solution, be it automation in operational processes or automating online sales with web-to-print.
They also help customers expand beyond CMYK and bring premium value with eye-catching embellishments like those achievable with the Iridesse press. She also hints at what we might be able to expect from Xerox at drupa next year – listen here for the full podcast.
Karis Copp is a UK-based writer, journalist and communications expert. With a background as an editor and public relations specialist in the print industry, she now works on a freelance basis covering events, writing on industry news and trends, and working with businesses to help them tell their stories and connect with their customers. Follow her on Twitter @KarisCoppWrites.