Achieve Relevancy and Resonance with Personalization
The undisputed, attention-getting power of personalization has been bottled and sold by marketers for quite some time, and as new technologies take center stage, it grows ever more potent. As direct mailers move beyond the moniker-laden postscript and salutation, today’s marketing message is defined by more customer-specific communication. James Michelson—a principal at marketing and technology firm JFM Concepts—maintains, “The key to personalization is more than just the name. It’s everything that corresponds to that person’s demographic.” Such targeted information can include where a prospect lives, what kind of car they drive, even their past experiences—and it’s being used to great success in direct mail thanks to variable data printing (VDP). Because a marketer can change text, graphics or both to speak to a prospect on an individual level, VDP makes true one-to-one marketing a reality. Wondering how to make this technology effectively work for you? Read on for examples of how marketers used VDP to achieve relevancy and resonance with their audience.
1. Map it out. Our country certainly is separated by geographic borders, but even more so by regional ideologies (red state/blue state, anyone?). VDP presents the opportunity to speak to customers on the basis of their specific spot on the map, a tactic Shelby Hansard, a sales manager for Contemporary Communications Inc., a Wichita, Ka.-based direct mail agency, uses for one of his automotive clients. He sends direct mail pieces that not only talk to people specifically about the car they currently own, but also about the city in which they live and others around the area who have made a similar purchase. Hansard uses VDP to include regional testimonials which, he says, adds a little more honesty and integrity to each package. The idea, notes Hansard, is to speak to customers by region, because if you live in Washington state, receiving a testimonial from someone in Florida might not make as much of an impact as one from Oregon. He adds, “almost every time it works and raises response.”