PERSONAL bestsMarch 2007
Variable data has won many converts in the design and marketing communities, but the selling cycle for prospects typically still involves an education process. The easiest way to sell this marketing approach is to show a potential user how a competitor is exploiting the technique to its advantage.
If there is a prospect for which variable data should be a “no brainer” it is the company that sells through a decentralized network of sales reps, dealers or agents who will benefit from being able to order smaller quantities of marketing materials that they can customize and personalize for their prospects. Even in this case, the decision makers will better relate to a sample from their own market segment.
[ The Proposition ]
Access America, a division of World Access Service Corp., is a leading seller of travel insurance that wanted to improve the effectiveness of its sales literature. Its brochures were too bulky and full of legal language to be good marketing pieces.
This sales literature is used by travel agencies that sell Access America’s insurance. The company wanted to make it easier for agencies to order brochures and cut down on fulfillment errors. Implementing a Web-to-print solution seemed to be the answer.
One of its suppliers is Lewis Creative Technologies (LCT), a Richmond, VA-based printed and electronic communications services provider. The printer’s account manager looked at the client’s existing literature and thought that some changes were needed. After reviewing the company’s marketing efforts in general, she felt that Access America would be open to taking things to a new level.
The account manager approached the client’s print buyer and marketing director with a few suggestions about how digital printing and variable data could be useful. They were interested in the ideas that LCT presented.
Before proceeding, though, Access America decided to talk with a few other printing companies in the area to explore getting competitive bids. No other local company was able to offer the entire package of creative, programming, planning, coordinating and execution, so LCT was awarded the project.
[ The Solution ]
To give the marketing department an idea of what could be accomplished, the printer’s account manager prepared a sample brochure printed on its Xerox iGen3 digital color press.
One of LCT’s designers had taken copy from an existing Access America brochure to create the mock-up. This helped the client understand the possibilities and the actual printed brochure ended up resembling the mock-up in many aspects.