Individualising marketing communications
Marketing needs to be targeted, become more consumer-centric and focus on the individual, rather than a mass mailing, hit and miss approach. This is according to Craig Green, electronic print manager for Point, a print management solutions company, who points out that consumers are relentlessly bombarded with information and communication demanding their attention.
"This gives rise to one-to-one marketing, in which the consumer feels that they have been personally chosen for a specific offer, which has been specifically developed just for them," he explains.
Knowledge of the client is required to achieve effective one-to-one marketing, including simple address information as well as more focused information like buying patterns, product specific choices or income information.
"This is the variable data required for one-to-one communication. Various fields in the data are marked to personalise the message to the recipient. It is generally accepted that the more personalised the offer, the better the response. Handing out leaflets at a traffic light has very limited response, whereas a fully personalised, full colour letter or email will achieve a far higher response. Printing a name and address on a generic pre-printed form has a lower response rate than a colour, fully personalised letter."
Because of need to capture the attention of the recipient in a very short space of time, the more precise the variable data is, the greater the success of the one-to-one marketing or communication campaign is likely to be.
The company offers a web portal through which clients can customise and personalise their campaigns to appeal to individual consumers. This is done through a streamlined online process, where artwork, developed by the client or its agency, is tagged so that the fields that are to be personalised are marked. These fields will vary from recipient to recipient. The tagged artwork is uploaded to a website and then the client can upload a data file, which the backend system uses to personalise each individual communication.
"The simple storefront and shopping basket arrangement allows the customer to proof its campaign prior to submitting for distribution. The package allows the communication to be emailed, printed or sent to a personalised URL or website. The personalisation can be multi-faceted, for example a different picture can be integrated based on gender, a group of letters can be signed by a unique individual or QR codes (barcode) can point recipients to unique websites," he concludes.