Making It Personal Digitial Printing Allows Marketers to Indiv
On the other hand, the cost-per-unit of digital printing can be an advantage when printing low quantities. Because digital printing eliminates film and plates, a large portion of your pre-press production charges are eliminated. In addition, a customized campaign is well worth the money when you consider the cost of acquiring a new customer is far greater than the cost of keeping an existing one. With these campaigns, response rates are typically much higher and offset the additional cost.
Of course, for prospecting or rolling out huge marketing campaigns, or for marketers without effective databases, it is still probably smarter to market the old fashioned, non-variable way.
CASE Study—Novartis Seeds
Novartis Seeds provides a good example of how and when to use variable printing successfully. Before its "Your Choices for 1998" campaign, the company had several goals: First, Novartis sells through dealers and wanted to get dealers to sell more of their products. Second, they wanted to decrease "haul back," a term which describes the common practice of farmers changing their minds about what they are planting and returning the seeds they had purchased. These returns can be as high as 20 percent of initial sales. Third, the company wanted to increase sales at the expense of the other brands.
Working with its agency, Relationship Marketing, Novartis decided to use customized mailings to help achieve these goals. "Farmers are extremely relationship-oriented and demand very personalized attention," says Jim Lewis, president of Relationship Marketing.
After a farmer placed an order, the next step was getting information from the dealer—what seeds the farmers ordered and what other products that farmer could use.
Using this data combined with basic information gleaned about each farmer (such as the type of farm, the location of the farm and what equipment was used), customized brochures were created using Agfa's Chromapress digital printing system.