The Secret About ‘Big Data’ Your Boss Wants You to Know

When I attended the Direct Marketing Association annual conference last fall, I could hardly turn a corner without seeing the words “Big Data” printed on something. The term “Big Data” has become THE buzzword in marketing in the last five years, but what does it really mean?

Big Data simply refers to the massive amounts of information that can be, and is being, collected from consumers online, in stores, at events and in almost every purchase/engagement session with a consumer. But while marketers love to brag about the Big Data they are collecting, many will admit that they haven’t the fondest idea of what to do with it all.

If you are looking for the secret to utilizing all this “Big Data,” you should consider Variable Data Print (VDP) on your next direct mail campaign. VDP is a form of digital printing in which elements such as text, graphics and images may be changed from one printed piece to the next.VDP allows you to accomplish true relevant marketing by using all that “Big Data” you’ve worked so hard to collect. How? VDP utilizes engineered documents with logic that leverages data to vary the text, images, graphics and offers for each recipient or for audience segments.

But does it work? That’s all we really care about; right? Recent data compiled by PODi, an association for digital printing service providers, and the Digital Printing Council has shown that the campaigns using VDP experience response rates that are, on average, 2x higher over traditional mass production direct mail campaigns. Of course, proper testing and measuring is needed to know how VDP could help your campaigns.

It’s time to stop bragging about the mass amounts of data you’ve collected and start using it for something that will generate results. If you’re not, your competitors will be once the secret gets out.

If you’d like to learn more about VDP, visit our VDP Solutions Tool at, which provides information about variable data print based on your level of need.

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