Retail Marketing Explodes Using the Power of Variable Data Printing

Social diversity is celebrated in our world today and each individual’s uniqueness is recognized. In a retail market where consumers can access products to suit their very own individual tastes, they resent anything that feels mass marketed. Retailers are collecting vast amounts of customer data from the web on past buying behavior and interests so it has become easier and easier to target the right customer. Group segmentation is becoming a thing of the past. Consumers are expecting personalized pieces that are specifically relevant to their needs and interests.

Data Elements

Elements of customer purchasing behavior that are being tracked include items that have been purchased, timing of purchases, how often an item is purchased, brand loyalty, method of purchase, and place of purchase. Using this powerful information, customization can be formed around related offerings, repeat purchasing and location.

Using this information to customize mailers is called Variable Data Printing (VDP) and has proven to be effective in improving reader response. The potential for the use of VDP is only limited by the imagination of the retailer and their designer.

Defining Variables

Because VDP software can produce each piece to contain different content and graphics, it is just as economical to print small runs as it is to print large ones. ROI can be improved simply due to using shorter runs matching consumer data to the campaign goals. In other words, only send pieces to customers that the data shows have been interested in the product or service instead of blanketing a market. Collected information can be stored in a database, and the data can be used to trigger different campaigns with separate URLs, client data and targeted content.

Obviously, text is one element that can be varied. But graphics and photos can change from piece to piece as well. The rules controlling the content can be very sophisticated including mathematical data that results in unique tables, charts and graphs.

Print Runs

Since VDP is faster and more economical in itself, ROI can be improved by printing on demand, printing only the exact number of pieces needed, and printing addresses right on the piece eliminating the need for labels or hand addressing. Test-marketing a piece is simpler too. Small runs of an untried campaign can be printed and time allowed before printing a larger run so that the response can be assessed.

Personalized URLs

Personalized URLs (PURLs) can be included which can lead to a webpage that will obtain more information from the customer, allowing you to refine your marketing campaigns even further. More data can be gathered using contests, questionnaires and online order forms. Follow-up print pieces can be triggered based on the rules created in the VDP software. The possibilities truly are limited.

There is no more powerful way to capture someone’s attention than by saying their name. When a consumer picks up a postcard, or opens a marketing letter, and it has their own name on it, they are compelled to at least read the next line. And if it is a product they have purchased before or were researching, they will continue reading. We have stated over and over that direct mail is more effective than digital marketing because there is less competition for the consumer’s attention. T/O Printing can bring custom solutions using the power of Variable Data Printing to retailers to create fantastic, exciting material that will capture the attention of the consumer.