Variable Data Printing?

Published:  November 27, 2011
Variable Data Printing?

The TV’s on, the laptop’s going, and you’re listening to some music while talking on your mobile. No one said grabbing and keeping the attention of anyone in today’s media-saturated world is easy.

When it comes to advertising, random direct mail just isn’t going to work any longer, which is why many designers have turned to other fancy methods to give their clients the ability to personalise campaigns… for instance, variable data printing (for the uninitiated: VDP automates the production of personalised and relevant communication).

Is it something actually worth looking into? I corner Peter Brittliff, marketing manager of Graphic Communications Software Solutions at Fuji Xerox, to find out what’s on offer in the local variable data software closet. “There are so many VDP solutions in the market. They span the gamut from basic mail merge-type applications to software for data-driven, ‘on the fly’ marketing documents to solutions for complex, high-volume transactional print environments,” he says.

Of course, he also mentions the software that Fuji Xerox distributes – XMPie – which has versions that are compatible with Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator, allowing the creation of personalised images, plus personalised video.

“When thinking of any solution, remember: marketers need to communicate more effectively and enterprises see more need for customer communication; to do this they need customised documents for more relevance, multi-channel output and data analytics,” Brittliff advises.

Just ask the guys at D’Ieteren in Belgium. The company distributes a range of car brands, including Volkswagen. With the financial crisis hitting hard and bringing on the motivation to cut costs and improve ROI, it needed to try something a little different to attract potential car buyers, focusing on the initial decision-making phase. And so came the launch of its first personalised communication campaign (compared to its usual traditional direct marketing campaings).

D’Ieteren turned to Strategie and Xerox 1:1 Lab to find a way to reach customers at the beginning of the car buying process. Rather than just presenting the usual generic brochure, which showcased the 22 car models available, the team looked to learn enough about customers to produce a personalised brochure. This featured just three car models that would appeal, as well as details relevant to the individual’s top selection criteria, plus a customised financial proposal.

The objective of the entire personalised campaign was to get the respondents to answer a call to action to visit the nearest dealer, take a test drive and/or bring the brochure in to receive a warranty extension.

Long story short… the team designed a template for the personalised brochure that was sent to those who completed an e-survey. The outcome? From a database of 5000 respondents: 12 percent (600) of recipients took the test drive and 50 percent of those purchased a car (300), which is a conversion rate of one out of every two test drive participants, compared to the traditional conversion rate of one out of every eight. A telemarketing follow-up with all 5000, showed an 81 percent recall of the brochure. Success.

From desktop magazine.

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