Digital print firm to offer DM with personal touch

A newly launched digital printing company is claiming to be the first firm to offer the region’s advertisers and marketers the opportunity to create personalised adverts and direct mail on a mass scale.

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By  Tim Addington Published  November 13, 2005

A newly launched digital printing company is claiming to be the first firm to offer the region’s advertisers and marketers the opportunity to create personalised adverts and direct mail on a mass scale. Spectrum, says it is the first in the Middle East to offer variable data printing, enabling advertisers to customise adverts and direct mailers to consumers. Marcus Doo, managing director of Spectrum said the printing process where personal details can be printed on each piece of material, means that advertisers can produce “thousands of different adverts”. He said that adverts in magazine sent out to subscribers could be specifically changed each time for their intended recipients. Personalised direct marketing is used extensively in other parts of the world, with companies such as supermarkets, banks, and airlines, sending their customers mail that has offers and information specifically created and tailored to them. “We are offering marketers, advertisers, or whoever finds the argument compelling, the opportunity to send out individual pieces of communications directly to consumers,” said Doo. “It is used for catching new clients and retaining existing ones. It is almost jarring to receive a blunt piece of direct mail from a company that you have already entered into a relationship with.” He said that response rates to conventional direct mail are around 2%, but with mail created especially for the recipient the figure shot up to 15%. The average cost per unit of using variable data printing is around AED 3 (US$0.80c), but Doo said that Spectrum would not be competing with traditional forms of printing. “One-to-one will always be more expensive than off-set lithograph printing, but the returns you get are so much higher.” He said that many regional companies, have built up data on consumers, but are not using it effectively. “If you have got data, use it,” he said. “Spectrum will enable people to be creative in ways they have never dreamed of before.” The newly formed company, which is a subsidiary of ITP, publisher of Campaign Middle East, has invested a seven-figure sum in the project. It will shortly take delivery of a Xerox Igen3 printer, the first in the region. And Doo said that people can obtain quotes for work, up load their adverts, and track its progress online if they wanted to. The company will shortly be moving into a retail outlet at the Dubai International Financial Centre, and is currently recruiting for its start-up team of seven.

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