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Do you understand what data merge can do?

Once upon a time, when marketing was straightforward and predictable, mass marketing was ‘the thing’. The wider you sprayed your market fertiliser, the more you could hope to harvest. Now the tables have turned and the discerning prospect expects to be spoken to personally. Fail to do so and you may not be heard.

An area of massive untapped potential is data merge in printed marketing – otherwise known as variable data, mail merge, personalisation and a few other names. Yes we’ve all grown to expect our name to be littered throughout marketing materials. But data merge offers far more than that.

With effective data merge, you don’t just address your prospect by name, you address their personal needs specifically.

Firstly, lots more advanced use of data merge within text is possible. Key sentences or paragraphs can be tailored to specific customers or prospects, simply by identifying the buyer type of each recipient within your data. With your data thus segmented, you simply identify the points in your marketing piece where text should vary, create the alternative texts, and assign them accordingly. Data merge will do the rest during your print run. This enables the copy within your marketing to be laser-focused on specific needs and have far greater impact as a result.

Secondly, data merge can do more than just merge variable text. It can handle images and graphic elements as well. This means that even the images within your marketing materials can vary according to recipient. It might be images of a product that the prospect has previously expressed interest in, or images that reflect the prevailing preferences of the buyer type. Graphics such as logos can also vary throughout the print run, to enable the most relevant brand to be promoted to the prospect.

We have a vision of a world where tactile marketing is predominantly personalised in the same way as online marketing tends to be. Forward-thinking companies will segment their target customers carefully and systematically and then craft their marketing messages according to each segment, integrating those tailored messages into their marketing via data merge. The most advanced will identify the preferences of each individual and tailor their messages accordingly.

We believe that if tactile marketing is properly personalised, it has more impact than its digital equivalent. A physical item in hand, speaking directly to the recipient, is power itself. This will be the prime role of printed marketing in the future and the successful brand managers will be those that capitalise on this.

Giftpac gifts support all types of data merge and offer high levels of tactile impact. Discuss the opportunities with our sales advisors.

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