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Data Management — Takin’ Care of Info

March 2007 By Erik Cagle
Senior Editor
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NAME, STREET address, city, state and ZIP code. OK, so you know where the end user lives; heck, the direct mail piece may actually end up in his/her hands. But while the piece may have made its destination, did the print buyer truly deliver with its message? And did you, the printer, help ensure that this message went to a recipient that gives a hoot about your client’s product or service?

Frankly, if your message whiffs on the intended audience count, it doesn’t matter if the mailed piece even knows how to ring the recipient’s doorbell.

“No matter how good the direct mail piece or how well we use variable data, it still fails if we’re mailing it to people who have no interest in the product or service,” notes Al Kennickell, president of Kennickell Print and Global Marketing of Savannah, GA.

“In the old days, we were asked to print a product and deliver it. We didn’t really think about how well that product or brochure did. Frankly, we didn’t care too much because we weren’t in the mix.Now, we have a vested interest in making sure that when campaigns go out in the mail, they get better than a 2 percent response rate. As a result, we’re trying to learn as much as we can about databases and data management because our success is dependent upon the results we generate for clients.”

Marketing Services

In truth, Kennickell says, his company has become a marketing services company. Management of one-to-one marketing campaigns and the beauty of personalized digital printing are all part of a day’s work for the modern print provider.

It’s all about managing data, though we’re loathe to call it database management. It’s really the information that is being coddled and manipulated; frankly printers are really only borrowing the data from their print buying customers in order to process and deliver the marketing campaign.

Enough hair splitting. What most people can agree on is the high degree of value offered by direct mail printers that have partnered with their clients, of sorts, to enable them to generate the best and most targeted print marketing campaigns possible.

At Carlsbad, CA-based Modern Postcard, value is delivered by helping customers understand and manage their data through a consultative approach. A suite of services offered by Modern Postcard enhances the client’s ability to utilize data for retaining current customers while providing knowledge that opens the door to acquiring new work, notes Keith Goodman, vice president of corporate solutions.
 

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