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    Product Bundling – A Key Marketing Strategy

    Many Advantage features are born from the minds of marketers---not only from our clients, but also from our internal experts. One simple reason is the need for publishers to stay competitive in today’s market by implementing increasingly sophisticated marketing campaigns. One area guided by marketers that has seen quite a bit of development in the last several years is product bundling (known in the Advantage software context as packages). Advantage has supported bundling for 15+ years, but today there are about 10 different flavors available. You might be thinking: isn’t a bundle just a bunch of products? What could distinguish one from the other? Consider the following three use cases:

    The customer can choose from the print version of a magazine, the digital version, or a bundle …



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    Advantage Software: Improving the Flow of Streams of Orders

    Advantage’s OrderStream Framework Breaks the Log Jam of Order Upload

    While Advantage is a customer-centric system, order transactions are a central component of the customer profile. Getting orders processed quickly and efficiently is paramount, and the flexibility to accept order transactions from a variety of sources is a critical component of the system. Our clients take orders from sources such as eCommerce sites, trade shows, phone calls, postcards, mobile applications, agents, lockboxes, SMS, and other third-parties. To accommodate these sources, Advantage offers three basic types of input---through the application’s user interface, through the use of the Software Development Kit (SDK), and through file uploads. Over its history, Advantage has consistently been the market leader …



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    Preview of Some Advantage Features Coming This Fall

    These are just some of the new Advantage features that will be available in the fall of 2015. Contact your Advantage account manager for more information.

    Autocomplete Feature: An optional autocomplete feature is available (triggered at the user level), whereby Advantage will suggest values for validated fields based on what the user has typed in to that point.  Under this feature, the more the user types, the narrower the list of possible matches (the user can arrow up and down to see the possible matches). At any time, the user can stop and select one of the suggested values.

    Separate “Promote by Phone” Flags: You can now expose and use separate “promote by” flags on each of the three telephone numbers on the customer address record. (The fourth telephone number field is dedicated …



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    Dan's Blog: Why do businesses "flock" to trendy technology, even when it doesn't meet their needs?

     On a recent trip to England, a group of us took a hike up a hill past a flock of sheep.  Sheep are so charming:  pleasant to see on the side of a hill, not terribly wild or boisterous, and very compliant when it is time to get their wool sheared.  At one point, the farmer pulled up to a corner of the very large field the sheep were occupying and they started bleating and running toward the truck.  They clearly were trained that this was feeding time, and responded with the enthusiasm of my 19-year-old son under similar circumstances.  This was, without meaning to sound too trite...so stick with me here...an example of when it's a good idea to follow the flock.  However, we all know that sheep are, in fact, too compliant for their own good, and can walk willingly to be slaughtered.  That' …



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    European Advantage Users Group meets in London

     

    The 2015 European Advantage User Group meeting was held 15 April at the conveniently located London Paddington Hilton.  Attending were 33 clients representing 12 companies from England, France, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Belgium and Portugal.  AdvantageCS was itself “multi-national,” with staff from England and France as well as the United States.

    Dan Heffernan, VP of Sales and Product Direction, led the day and kicked it off with an overview presentation of AdvantageCS news and the roadmap looking ahead.  He highlighted our three newest clients, including Talentum from Finland, who had three representatives at the conference.

    One (of many) entertaining images that Dan showed in his Prezi presentation was a pair of blue jeans, indicating a recent dress code change at the AdvantageCS …



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    Preview of Advantage Features Coming This Summer

    There are some exciting new features coming your way this summer in Advantage. Here are just a few--contact your Advantage account manager for more information.

    Streamlined Customer Information Maintenance: Customer and address maintenance via the SVCCTM view and Customer Lookup dialog has been significantly enhanced. Replacing the static, tabbed entry dialog is an approach using Advantage scripts. You can reduce the entry fields to just those required for your business---as well as take advantage of other script entry features such as open/close/require, user-definable field captions, and customizable presentation.

    ARPCAR Reorganization: The ARPCAR view has been changed from a list frame of credits and debits that satisfy your search criteria to top-pane list frame and bottom-pane …



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    Dan's Blog: The Gift of Criticism

    Recently, my wife needed to go back to a doctor's office where she'd had some minor surgery done some months earlier.  She was in pain and was concerned about infection.  She called the office to find out when they could see her but was met with the proverbial "please leave a message" announcement, rather than being answered by a human.  Instead of leaving a message and sitting by the phone for the rest of the morning, she decided to drive to the office and see them face-to-face and ask in person for a last-minute appointment.  I decided to join her so we could chat on the way.

    When we walked into the office, I knew we were going to have a less-than-pleasant customer service experience.  It was written all over the face of the receptionist.  She was cool, aloof, and lacking in compassion. …



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    Continuity Programs in Advantage

    Did you know that Advantage offers continuity programs for your books and products? A continuity series allows customers to purchase a set of related products that are released to them sequentially over a period of time.  Continuity programs give you the opportunity to periodically remind customers of your brand; the customer gets more exposure to your content and they get to “belong” to a club.  Throw in some premiums and it’s a recipe for happy, loyal customers.

    You can set up a continuity program using the Book Club functionality or the Standing Order program.

    Here’s how Book Club works. Customers join a club (they become members) by responding to your offers to join, or you can select people and automatically add them.  Alternatively, you directly add them as part of an order (for …



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    Dan's Blog: Invite Us Over for Dinner and We'll Look at Your Leaky Faucet

       

    How many of us have ever dreamed of having a chiropractor in the family?  Or a carpenter?  Or a mechanic?  As it turns out that neither my wife nor I are any of these things, I have often mused at how nice it would be if one of our offspring would fall in love with such a person.  I can just imagine inviting the kids over for dinner and just mentioning a drippy faucet we have in a sink upstairs to the now-fed plumber and hearing those magical words, "Why don't I go and have a look?"

    Perhaps others of us wish we had a computer expert in the family.  Most of my colleagues with aging parents become the de facto helpdesk for their parents' computer issues.  When I go visit my father and watch him at his computer, I am sometimes amazed at the habits humans form which cause us to do …



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    Sunny Florida Site of 2015 AUG Conference

    Have you registered yet for the 2015 Advantage User Group conference (February 11-13 in Lake Buena Vista)?  Based on years of feedback from attendees, it’s pretty much a given that you’ll come away with valuable ideas you can implement in your company and new or renewed friendships with your peers from publishing companies around the world.

    This year’s focus is on optimizing your use of Advantage and adjusting to a rapidly changing environment.  The agenda is action-packed with presentations, panel discussions and roundtables full of useful information and interesting viewpoints. And there will be ample opportunity to relax and socialize with your fellow Advantage users.

    Dates: February 11-13, 2015

    Location: Holiday Inn – Lake Buena Vista,  1805 Hotel Plaza Blvd.,  Lake Buena Vista, …



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