Giving consumers what they want is the goal of every marketing campaign, but it’s often hard to know how this goal is achieved. Marketing experts will tell you that consumer data is vital to generating successful campaigns. When targeting a campaign you need know as much about your audience as you can.  How is this data attained, and how does one use this data to take a campaign to various end users with consistent value?

Variable Data Printing

Variable Data Printing allows you to manipulate data so that each piece can contain different text or images.  This allows a campaign to be directed to various types of end users and targets. Targeting consumers is an explosive power that can generate high response rates for campaign efforts. The key to targeting is personalization. When you personalize a message to individuals, two things happen: 
         1. You grab their attention. 
         2. You maintain their attention by producing relevant content that’s unique to each recipient.
Targeting allows you talk with customers using text, images, and offers customized to their specific needs.  The idea is to add value to printed campaigns with the ability to relate to different customers.

How Does It Work?

Variable Data Printing can print 10,000 or 100,000 unique documents with customized messages and images for each reader.   This level of customization is vital.  Collecting this data is a combination of tailored list acquisition, customer provided information, and research data or experiments from an expert staff.  
  1. List Rental - Renting compiled lists that target attributes of people or companies that we are looking for, usually within a geographic area. 
  2. Customer Provided - Some customers are able to provide information that they have on their database about the past buying history of their clientele. 
  3. Research Data - There is data that exists for marketing experts to provide direction for campaigns.  It’s also possible to host market research experiments to provide specific data needed for customization.

Break It Down

Here’s an example scenario to help explain how this can work:  
A car dealership is looking for ways to target their campaign to existing customer preferences.  These could be colors, brand, bells and whistles, automatic transmission or manual.  Once we have this data through our data acquisition process, we outline our customers, and personalize the messages.  These messages can vary neighbor to neighbor, mother to son. 
Janet and Margie are neighbors and both are looking for a new Kia. Janet is a mid twenties, fun loving college grad looking for a convertible, while Margie is in her 30s, has a small family, and is looking for an SUV. With variable data printing, we’re able to send a mailer to Janet featuring a Kia convertible, while Margie receives a mailer with a Kia SUV. 


Personalization reflects what the customer values, not just what they want. Through customization you create customer loyalty, and guarantee quality communication. You’re able to create and build upon relationships with prospective and current customers. When Janet or Margie see that the car lot knows their specific preferences they’re more likely to contact them regarding their car search. 
When a customer reads their name on the card, along with content relevant specifically to them, they’re more likely to respond to that mail piece. If you’re not eye-catching and pertinent to a consumer then you’re likely to get put down and forgotten. 
The ROI for VDP can vary from double the normal return at the basic level to 10-15 times the return for fully variable jobs.  Naturally, this will depend on a quality message and design as well as quality of data on lists.
The role of a marketing partner is to achieve the goals and expectations for each campaign.  However, giving the customer what they want is also about making sure that a campaign reaches both pain and passion points, and appreciates that every person’s point of interest varies.  The best campaigns pinpoint to individual needs and interests.