VDP: Debunking Urban Legends
• We don’t have the sophisticated data to leverage variable information (VI) printing, which is digital printing’s real value.
In reality, many of the most effective one-to-one marketing pieces make creative use of the most basic data sets. Color name-only personalization has been shown to boost response rates by 135 percent over a comparable static black-and-white piece (source: Romano and Broudy).
And simple personalization has proven effective outside the lab, as well. For example, Pantone Inc. recently promoted its Spyder2 color monitor calibration device with the company’s first personalized direct marketing campaign, using data points for name, title, company, address and industry served. The hook: photographs of extravagantly tattooed models under a headline, “Nobody touches my color but the pros,” and PANTONE Matching System chips positioned as if for a live job. Greetings were personalized, copy was customized for photographers or creatives and, when multiple pieces were sent to the same company, three different layouts were rotated to generate interest.
The result: an 81 percent increase in sales over the previous year’s promotion. “It accomplished what I was trying to do better than anything I’ve done in the past,” says Doris Brown, vice president of marketing at Pantone.
Similarly, Lorraine Press worked with H Theory, both of Salt Lake City, to create its first variable information piece to invite customers and prospects to an open house showcasing its new digital color press. The invitation incorporated a flipbook animation of a magician conjuring up the recipient’s name. Fifty percent of the invitees attended (150 out of 300), and the piece also won industry awards.
“The open house was a grand success,” says Robert Miller, president of Lorraine Press. “Everyone wanted to know how we did the flipbooks.”
Pantone and Lorraine Press are not alone in achieving such stellar results. Today’s vanguard digital presses, breadth of paper technologies and professionals who know how to apply them to generate business results, are busting urban myths about digital color printing every day.