It used to be that, in order to create powerful 1:1 print campaigns, you had to be a combination marketing wiz and database master. But as these applications have developed, software developers and print service providers are working to make this technology accessible to everyone, whether created offline or accessed through the Internet. It requires a little upfront work, but especially for long-term applications, it can have a big payoff.
Here’s how it works.
You brainstorm an application—ideally something that will run on a weekly, monthly or other program basis—and work with us to set up the rules, develop layouts (including areas of variability) and pre-approve content, such as text blocks, images and databases.
When it comes time to deploy, one of two things can happen. If the application is Internet-based, individual users log in, make selections about what they want to include and then click “OK.” If the application is not Internet-based, they can work directly with us to make the necessary tweaks.
These applications are analogous to ordering a book from, say, Amazon.com. The technology behind the searching, selection and ordering is extremely complex. But all users have to do is know how to click.
Similar applications are being developed for small businesses and other marketers who might not have data of their own. They create the piece and then click a link to database companies like USA Data to select and purchase data.
Creation versus Usage.
Although each campaign will have slightly different elements, each will have the same two over-arching characteristics:
The person using the application isn’t necessarily the same person who designs it. In advance, someone else sets up the
rules for the campaign, pre-defines the templates and pre-approves and uploads any re-usable assets. Rules include whether you want to allow users to upload their own assets, such as a realtor uploading pictures of her most recent home sales.
The order process is straightforward and simple so that all the user has to do is fill out basic information. This could be as simple as inputting a ZIP code or as complex as selecting the products and promotional messaging for a personalized catalog. Once selected, the elements are flowed in, the rules applied and the piece automatically produced and shipped to the right location.
It’s all about simplifying the process.