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Retail has come a long way and so have we

It’s been more than 25 years since Matrix hit the scene. In that time, the world of print and digital marketing has seen some big changes, and we’ve had to change things up a few times to keep up with changing retail trends and the rise of new technologies. 

Matrix was formed all the way back in 1991. Back then, creative departments primarily produced collateral for print. Then web came along and customers demanded more from retailers, including expanded product lines and rich media in product descriptions. This meant that marketers had to adapt to multiple new marketing channels while still producing high quality print material. We responded by creating MatrixCMS – an integrated product management and publishing solution – which continues to be used by some of the world’s largest retailers.

With MatrixCMS, your assets are categorised, sectioned and tagged to make them easy to find with a quick search, so you’ll know exactly where to go when you need something. And it’s bursting with functionality that makes catalogue design nice and easy. It automatically repaginates brochures and catalogues as you go, creates indexes and content sections, manages cross references, and tells you what digital assets, text or images are missing from your catalogue.

Bear in mind that print is still relevant to the modern marketing landscape – it boasts a response rate 600% higher than its digital counterparts, and personalised print and digital marketing can have a tangible effect of up to 31% boost in profits. So for any retailer wanting to get the most out of their print and digital marketing content, MatrixCMS is an ideal fit.

Of course, the team’s grown since we launched MatrixCMS (and we’ve scaled up to a swish new office in Manchester!), and so too have customer needs, so we knew it was time to take our PIM offering to the next level. Allow us to introduce Pimberly – the most powerful PIM solution on the planet.

Pimberly lets you efficiently manage more products, with increased control and higher efficiency than ever, while still providing compelling, high quality product information. It allows you to produce the very best rich product content and deliver it with ease, and its intuitive user interface is designed for speed and productivity, and is adaptable to your needs.

Its product filters allow users to search their product database by attribute, such as manufacturer or brand – just like an eCommerce website. Attributes are configurable, as are products, and users can add or change descriptions, images and video, categories, copy, price, and more. The Feeds feature can receive data from any number of disparate sources such as data aggregators, suppliers and ERP systems, and shows users where the product information originated. Channels deliver data to any external source, including your website, customer support and ERP systems, resellers and more, and shows users where product data is being delivered to.

Simply put, Pimberly affords users greater control over the quality of their data. It helps distributors stay ahead in the marketplace by providing a completely scalable, easy to use solution for automated product information management. It allows content to be pushed out across all routes-to-market quicker than ever, and as a cloud-based platform, Pimberly makes the management of rich data hassle-free, while reducing maintenance costs, work-hours and implementation times from months to days.

Likewise, Pimberly will not only save retailers time with automated data cleansing and enrichment processes, they’ll see an increase in customer loyalty, too. Customers tend to lose faith in a brand if they’re presented with inaccurate information too often. But with Pimberly, users can rest assured that any inaccuracies will be filtered out before customers see them. It’ll also make sure that rich data is enhanced for SEO, and localisation functionality will help retailers reach their intended audience wherever they are.

Want to know more? Call 0161 804 1850 or email To keep up with all the latest news and blogs, follow us on Twitter @pimberlypim or follow us on LinkedIn.

Using digital to maximise engagement with print marketing

In case you missed it, print media boasts a whopping response rate that’s 600% higher than its digital counterparts*, and personalised print and digital marketing can have a tangible effect of up to 31% boost in profits**

That’s why we think it’s really important to incorporate them into your multi-channel marketing strategy. And with the pressure mounting on marketers to ditch print in favour of digital, you’re probably wondering how you can gauge the effectiveness of your print marketing so you can make sure it’s still worth your while…

Print marketing in an omni-channel world

Print always played a key part in marketing, but the development of the omni-channel environment has changed the game. With multimedia marketing now commonplace, marketers can compliment different channels depending on the format customers choose to consume. These days, marketing has become increasingly customer-centric, and when, where and how it will be consumed has become the primary factor in determining its content and format.

Measuring the ROI of your print

To gauge the ROI of print marketing, it’s best to supplement it with digital. You can do this by including specific webpages with custom URLs in your print material – that way, you can utilise analytics packages to track activity on the web pages after a send to see how many punters it attracted. Unique telephone numbers can play a similar role, offering customers a separate point of contact to discuss anything related to individual pieces of print collateral they’ve received.

It’s also worth employing channel-specific response codes for customers to quote when communicating with your business or making an order, and including an element to help identify location within the code could prove useful too. Not only will you receive concrete data measuring the success of your print marketing, but you’ll know exactly where the material was used and where it performed best.

If you’re targeting tech-savvy customers with your print, including QR codes could be useful (although it’s unlikely the IT illiterate will make use of them, and web hits are typically low). For those not afraid to use them, all they need to do is take a picture of the QR code, and the magic of smartphones will transport them to a landing page. From there, you can monitor website traffic right through to final order.

Encouraging an audience to take action is a tricky final step, but a nice incentive such as a discount slip, voucher, coupon or special offer can be enough to push them into making contact or placing an order. Pairing them with unique telephone numbers or URLs will allow you to keep track of your promotion’s performance, and your sales team can be used to keep record of any phone traffic it generates while your online analytics tools watches over any web activity.

Evaluating your findings

Once you’ve collected the data, you’ll need to make sense of it. Ask yourself a few key questions: If you used A/B testing, which version performed better? How many customers made use of the vouchers or special offers you sent them? Did a particular demographic respond more than others? Which parts of your combined print and digital campaign did well, and how could you use the results to improve future engagement? And ultimately, consider whether your efforts led to a significant uptick in business, and how you might be able to use these insights to tweak your print strategy going forward.

Want to know more? Call 0161 804 1850 or email To keep up with all the latest news and blogs, follow us on Twitter @matrixtweets or ‘like’ us on Facebook.

* 2015 DMA Response Rate Report.

** Smithers Pira white paper.

5 tips to boost engagement (and sales) with personalisation

You’ve probably received emails personalised with your name before, but did you know that as well as catching the eye, personalisation can actually have a tangible effect of up to 31%* boost in profits? Remarkably, 72% of companies say they know they need to implement personalisation in their marketing, but aren’t sure how to do it**. 

Personalisation can mean everything from simply using your customer data to add recipients’ names into targeted emails, up to personally branded print marketing, content based on customers’ interests, and tangible items that let customers engage with your brand (Nutella and Marmite have done this by letting customers personalise their jars of chocolate hazelnut spread or yeast extract, for example…).

Personalisation is especially effective in print, letting you target relevant customers based on things like purchase history and location. The immediate benefit is that it attracts attention, letting you put relevant products and offers in the customer’s hands and driving up engagement rates. It also increases the usability of your materials, displaying products each customer wants, and helping increase enquiries, orders and, ultimately, your ROI.

But before you get started, there are just a few things it’s useful to remember to ensure you get the best response from customers. So here are our top tips for personalising all manner of digital, email and print marketing…

1. Set a clear objective

As with every piece of marketing, it pays to set a clear objective which you can use to measure the effectiveness of your campaign. Say, 100 calls to the dedicated phone number on your brochure, or 50 email enquiries off the back of a flyer.

2. Start small

Don’t get overwhelmed right away – start off with a small sample of customers, experiment with different kinds of personalisation, and test what works and what doesn’t.

3. Stay targeted

Segmenting your data by area of interest, age, product preference and more lets you offer customers the most relevant content and offers. For example, sending anyone who’s bought a shirt in the past six months your latest shirt collections, or sending an event invite to anyone who lives within 25 miles of the venue.

4. Clean up your data

Before embarking on any campaign, it’s a good idea to go through your database and have a good cleanse and check everything’s up to date. Depending on the size of your audience, this can be time consuming, but will pay off in the long run as you will be able to target by more parameters (and ensure you don’t send out an email with a ‘Dear XXX’ at the top. It happens…)

5. Don’t overdo it

While personalisation helps build up customers’ trust, don’t go too far. Overdoing it can impose on people’s privacy and end up with them unsubscribing or opting out of your marketing altogether.

Successfully targeted customer communications are always going to be more effective than generic campaigns, instantly catching your customers’ attention and making them feel valued, which in turn builds up a trust and makes them more likely to purchase from you or use your services in the future.

Flight Centre and MatrixCMS

One of the big benefits of MatrixCMS is how it lets you personalise your print marketing in order to target markets. By automating the production process, it frees up your time so you can plan more effective, personalised, segmented campaigns which will help engage more customers. MatrixCMS also allows for easy production of personalised, bespoke catalogues and brochures depending on very specific customer segments and needs.

For example, independent travel retailer Flight Centre use MatrixCMS to create bespoke travel itineraries for customers. Using our solution, their travel experts are able to create a tailored booklet for each customer that includes not only a full detailed itinerary but all the destination artwork and photography associated with their travel options. This is a fully automated process that is completed in about 20 seconds and is all done via a web browser.

Want to know more? Call 0161 804 185 or email To keep up with all the latest news and blogs, follow us on Twitter @matrixtweets or ‘like’ us on Facebook.

Smithers Pira white paper.

** Red Eye, ‘Getting your personalisation off the ground.’

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