PIA/GATF Converge Conference — Sell VDP to Decision Makers
Thomas Edison once said something to the effect that some people do not respond to opportunity because it shows up wearing overalls and looks like work. VDP can require substantial change within an existing client or prospect organization. It’s easier to maintain the status quo. Managing the risk is the other side of the same coin of managing interdepartmental issues.
Risk in this sense is encapsulated in the following question: Is the potential payoff equal to or greater than the cost or disruption to the organization? The answer, of course, has to be yes—and getting there requires making the risk acceptable. Identifying a realistic, obtainable objective and then testing it is the best way forward. Testing can take a number of paths.
In my own experiences, I have, depending on the client, simply asked for a random slice of their database, say 10 percent, and converted it to VDP. I did this once with a college whose annual fund-raising drive was stalled at a response/participation of 3.2 percent for this particular campaign. The random 10 percent of the donor list that was personalized generated an 8.1 percent response/participation rate and an increase in average dollar given. The static 90 percent returned a 3.1 percent response. The point is that there are many variables to testing tactics and techniques.
The Bottom Line
If variable data printing is a business decision for senior executives, it is a business model for your company. If it requires that your clients do things differently, it requires that your company does, as well. One thing is for sure—it’s not about digital technology. That is not important to the client. What is important to the customer is the business intelligence captured and the metrics. The digital print engine is a means to an end. Success in the VDP market or selling it to senior executives is not accidental. It’s engineered.