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PERSONAL bests

October 2007
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Variable Data Works Magic for Disney

BEING IN the printing industry, it’s hard not to have a skewed view of developments in the variable data marketing arena. The topic has received so much play, it’s easy to assume everyone has heard about this marketing technique and technology by now. Certainly, it has to be old hat for a marketing force such as Disney.

Until last year, however, Disney Destinations had been sending out a generic package to anyone who contacted the company for information about booking an event at one of Disney’s five resort properties. Worse yet, there was no follow- up with these prospects. The sales staff just waited for that person to initiate contact again—or not—after receiving the materials.

Disney Destinations’ marketing department decided the time had come to revamp the collateral materials and practices the company used with business-to-business prospects. It was sending out “a box of pamphlets” to every prospect, many of which didn’t apply to the given recipient. The cost of storing and printing the materials was high and, if any details changed, the materials had to be discarded and reprinted.

[ The Proposition ]

Disney Destinations had worked with New York-based Royal Impressions on a few projects before, including a customer “Welcome” mailer project, so it was comfortable teaming up with the company on a solution. Along with digital and offset printing, the marketing and graphic communications provider offers data analytics, creative, variable data and e-mail services.

Starting with the same approach used for the Welcome mailer, the event company’s manager already had a vision for a strategy and had created a mock-up of a personalized brochure. Working together, the companies developed a plan that would allow the Disney Destinations sales team to customize materials to each person who called or inquired via the Website for information about facilities for an event.

According to the plan, each prospect is to receive a full-color, 24-page booklet tailored to provide all of the information the group needs to make a decision, including the options that are appropriate for the type of event being planned. People who ask about booking a small meeting, for example, receive information only about services related to smaller venues and not larger conference facilities.

[ The Solution ]

To get the project started, contact information for dormant prospects—people who had asked for information, but who hadn’t booked an event—was used. Also included in this prospect group were people who had previously booked an event, but hadn’t booked another one in the past 12 months.
 

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