Versioned, personalized, customized — what are the differences between these types of catalog segmentation and printing techniques?
The following definitions are courtesy of Heidelberg, which manufactures and sells the NexPress 2100 digital color press that makes these types of printing possible.
1. Versioned printing allows you to print multiple short runs of different catalog versions that follow a common design/layout. That is, you can incorporate some unique content or language for specific audiences while still staying with the common look and feel of your catalog, according to Heidelberg.
With this type of digital printing, you can economically target your messages and offers to specific segments of your housefile — more so than you can using offset printing.
Possible uses in a catalog: Versioned information can include a store location printed on catalogs based on a recipient’s ZIP code. Or it can encompass language variations for catalogers serving various countries in one campaign. And if you’ve always wanted to test different cover imagery or printed offers for different segments of your housefile — that is, if you want to move beyond dot whacks or inkjetting — versioning may be the level of digital color printing for you.
2. Personalized printing entails seamlessly integrating specific details, such as the recipient’s name and/or address, into the actual copy of your catalog. This usually is seen on the front and back covers of catalogs.
For example, in a recent campaign, the NFL Shop catalog put the recipient’s last name on a football jersey pictured on the back cover (right). You also can put the recipient’s name in a headline (see Blair Shoppe cover, pg. 31), as well as in body copy, thus capturing his or her attention.
Heidelberg officials note that with their special Adobe Acrobat plug-in, users can more easily identify which elements in the project are to be personalized. And its PPML/VDX, an open exchange format for variable data printing, enables soft proofing of any individual document with the personalization elements in place.