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Finding the Full Potential of Variable-Data Printing

(October 2015) posted on Tue Oct 20, 2015

Personalized and printable, Big Data isn’t just for the tech geeks.

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By Mark A. Coudray

Another very popular application is to mass print the static portions of the file and then personalize with VDP as appropriate, using a hybrid of screen and digital printing. Take yard signs you might produce for a high school’s spirit campaign. The school’s basic colors and graphics would be the static part of the sign; each individual sport, club, or other interest would be the variable-data element, customized for each student. In the old days, we would have called this a name drop and produced each variation with a separate pass on a screen-printing press.

Why Use VDP?
One of the main reasons to use VDP goes beyond the graphics or the message – it has to do with relevancy. If you can personalize your graphics, you’ll create a much greater connection and engagement with the viewer or audience. The more intimately you reach your target, the higher the conversion and loyalty will be for your offer. This doesn’t mean you have to be selling something. Your goal could be building community loyalty, as in a school, group, or charitable organization.

Here’s another, more important reason to use VDP: tracking. The old-school approach to printing was to push your message to the masses, cross your fingers, and hope you got a profitable response. There was no way to attribute a customer’s specific sale to their print spend – it was all guesswork.

Digital publishing has changed that. The customer’s perception of advertising has been changed from an expense to an investment. This is hugely important because it finally has created the link between the print spend and ROI. The higher the customers’ return, the more you can charge them. This negates the bidding process, RFQs, and all the other nonproductive efforts that were driven by the old business model. VDP allows us to create tailored images and content that can be directly traced to the purchase.


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