VDP Software Adoption Rates are High

Posted on by Dave Erlandson | No Comments »

Caslon has surveyed the marketplace to learn about adoption rates of VDP software for direct mail. Except for the In-Plant segment, adoption rates in North America can’t get much higher. Most of the larger companies have multiple VDP software packages.

The data from the survey is sorted by 4 segments in the production digital printing market: Commercial printers with more than 10 employees, Quick/Small Commercial printers, Digital Printers, and In-Plants. In our research we find that the profile of Quick printers and Commercial printers with 10 or less employees is very similar, so we group them together into one segment. Companies that we call Digital Printers are companies that focus on creating business based on digital printing technology and they generally have little or no offset capabilities in house. The often provide solutions, especially marketing solutions.

VDP adoption

The results show adoption rates of VPD software at over 90% in the three print-for-pay categories. Adoption rates for In-Plants have edged up to about 50%. Traditionally In-Plants have not been big producers of direct mail as that work, if done in their organization, was typically outsourced. Savvy In-Plants looking to add more value are starting to take on that work.

Next we asked about personalization beyond just name and salutation as this is where response rates jump and real value is added. As expected Digital Printers are leading the pack with roughly 30% of their direct mail volume being highly personalized and In-Plants have the lowest percentage at ~10%. Almost by definition, Digital Printers are the companies that led the charge to become marketing service providers and really take advantage of personalization.

Personalization QR codes

Another aspect of personalization that is growing for high volume operations is the use of color image personalization. The adoption of high speed color inkjet presses for high volume direct mail is enabling color image personalization and the early, anecdotal results indicate recipients are responding well.

Looking at barriers to personalization the main barrier has always been access to data. However, there is another significant barrier as well and that is managing the workflow for large scale personalized campaigns. Managing offers, data, compliance, and production schedules gets immensely more complicated when deeper personalization is used.

Finally we thought we’d see what is going on with QR codes as this technology has been pretty quiet lately. Survey results show levels of usage below 10% in all segments, ranging from 0.5% for In-Plants up to 9% for Digital Printers. While the QR code is ubiquitous on packaging its value in direct mail campaigns seems to be limited.

Over 250 case studies highlighting the use of personalization in direct mail can be found at www.podi.org



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