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November 2008

Print in the Mix

The Power of Personalization: Impact of Individualized Content Delivery

In March 2008, the CMO Council surveyed top marketing executives for their insights into customized content, collateral and personalized Web interaction on marketing effectiveness, customer acquisition, retention and business outcomes. The survey population consisted of more than 700 senior executives—ranging from CEO, CMO, SVP and VP of marketing—from across technology, Internet, telecommunications, media, professional services, banking/finance, retail, consumer goods and manufacturing.

The promotional material/activity tested included personalized communications such as e-mail, personalized URLs (PURLs), digital advertising, direct mail, dimensional mailers, newsletters, transpromotional documents and more.

Top Line Results

Senior executives indicate that increasing customer retention and loyalty (39.4 percent), building ROI (37.4 percent), and improving response and close rates (36.9 percent) are the three top reasons driving personalization strategies.

Respondents rate personalization activities effectiveness as follows:

Individualized e-mails and letters — 55.2 percent 

Targeted database marketing, leveraging personal profiles — 34.5 percent 

Opt-in, permission-based marketing programs  — 29.6 percent 

Variable data printing — 21.0 percent 

Print-on-demand collateral with personalized content — 17.6 percent 

Personalized URLs (PURLs) — 15.9 percent 

Transpromotional communications — 3.8 percent 

The top three metrics that marketers report using to measure the success of personalization: conversion and close rates, e-mail opening and forwarding rates, and Website traffic and page views.

From the Study

Personalized marketing techniques are still in the early stages of being integrated into most companies’ marketing campaigns and budgets. While the need for quantifiable tools for gauging effectiveness and ROI exists, marketers are also lagging on adoption due to the lack of accurate and reliable customer data sources. However, the majority of marketers who have implemented strategic personalized marketing techniques have seen decidedly greater success over traditional mass marketing approaches.

To read the complete Print in the Mix research summary and additional print market research studies, go to Print in the Mix is a free and easily accessible clearinghouse of research on print media effectiveness, published by the Printing Industry Center at RIT and made possible by a grant from The Print Council (

PIA/GATF announced that William Delgado, instructor of the Graphic Imaging Technology program at Cuyahoga Valley Career Center, Brecksville, OH, has been named the educator recipient of its 2008 Education Awards of Excellence. With 31 years teaching printing and the graphic arts, Delgado was recognized for his many outstanding contributions as an educator in the industry, which includes helping found the Ohio Graphics Education and Training Initiative in 2006, wherein three of the state’s vocational programs were upgraded and printing and graphic arts courses were approved for articulated credit.



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