What to Do With Your Data
The Xplor Document University’s educational road show came to Philadelphia in November, and IPG attended the one-day seminar. Though rain and traffic took a toll on attendance levels, the five speakers gave interesting and thought-provoking presentations.
Pat McGrew, Kodak’s evangelist for data-driven communication, delved into one variable data dilemma in a session called “You Have Data. Now What?” She noted that, to create relevant communications materials, you have to interpret and analyze the data you have, and even augment it by buying additional data. Otherwise you can get an inaccurate picture of the person you’re marketing to. For example, she said, when people do their Christmas shopping on Amazon.com, they may later get offers for products they have no interest in, based on those gift purchases.
She also noted that using people’s personal information can backfire when your message verges into “creepiness,” making it apparent that you know too much about them. When your mailing says “We noticed this about you and want to offer you this product,” the consumer will likely be put off. Instead, she said, aim for serendipitous offers that seem like they just happen to fit your interests.
She also noted some of the problems with QR Codes. Often marketers who use them don’t supply any information on the page telling readers what to do with them. And too often, when people do correctly use their smart phones to scan the QR Code, they are directed to a Web site that is not very helpful or relevant. This only teaches them to ignore QR codes the next time they see them.
“Make sure there’s a payoff,” she stressed.
As printers focus on the ever improving quality of digital printing, Robert Raus, Jr., of Riso, approached the topic from a different point of view when he noted that not every digital print needs to be “offset quality.” Would you frame copies of your phone bill or bank statement, he asked. For items like these, “pleasing color” is all that’s really required.
Bob has served as editor of In-plant Impressions since October of 1994. Prior to that he served for three years as managing editor of Printing Impressions, a commercial printing publication. Mr. Neubauer is very active in the U.S. in-plant industry. He attends all the major in-plant conferences and has visited nearly 170 in-plant operations around the world. He has given presentations to numerous in-plant groups in the U.S., Canada and Australia, including the Association of College and University Printers and the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association. He also coordinates the annual In-Print contest, co-sponsored by IPMA and In-plant Impressions.