And you must make more than a financial investment to reap personalization’s rewards. You’ll need expert data-mining practices and marketing smarts to discern what to do with the data you find. For example, say you discover that your most-valuable customer segment is comprised of gift-buyers. The trick is to use that information in your print personalization efforts directed at those particular customers, as well as prospects that match that segment profile.
“Catalogers have become very good at data-mining,” says Patneau. “The key, however, is understanding the data they’ve discovered, not necessarily how to apply the technology, and how to do real-time or near real-time data analysis to positively impact sales on the next mailing.”
Such undertakings require more up-front work than a traditional, non-versioned catalog, as well as a greater degree of cooperation between your IT and creative staffs. Their combined goal is to craft the personalization elements (e.g., offers, pictures, copy) expected to have the most relevance for the intended recipients.
In short, personalized printing can help improve your metrics, but it requires an investment in time, money and effort.