Making It Personal Digitial Printing Allows Marketers to Indiv
By Rachel McLaughlin
In this age of information, marketers are constantly trying to learn more about their customers. Over the last few years, countless time and energy has been spent on building databases, compiling as much information as possible about each and every customer—what he or she buys, how much he or she spends—as well as demographic and geographic data.
However, when it comes to using this information to create a more effective marketing campaign, direct marketers fall short of its full potential. While this information has been used to decide whom to mail to and when, the data can also be used to take a marketing effort a step further—by creating highly customized mailings.
In the past, attempting this type of sophisticated marketing was impossible with traditional printing methods. But with new technology, marketers can speak to the individual, says Will Mansfield, market development manager at the Agfa Division of Bayer. According to Mansfield, to truly market one-to-one, marketers need to look to technology for help—and its answer is digital printing.
Advances in Printing
Creating custom, one-to-one messages is impractical using traditional offset printing methods. Even with the most advanced prepress equipment, a printing press still requires a unique template—a plate or image carrier—of the document it is printing. Since each version of a document needs its own plate, the cost of producing multiple plates and changing them on press to produce a single print would amount to a prohibitive production cost.
However, recent advances in direct-to-press technologies eliminate the need for a traditional printing plate. Documents are created, imaged and output all by the same machine. Adding another version is as easy as telling your computer to print another file.
The downside of digital printing is the cost. The unit cost of printing digitally generally does not decrease with higher run quantities. Also, the direct-to-press machine is a large capital investment for any direct marketer looking to produce mailings in-house.