Raster Digital Media Launches One-To-One Direct Mail Program for Toyota
Press release from the issuing company
WOBURN, MA, February 25, 2002 — Indigo N.V. says that the variable data capabilities of its powerful Digital Offset Color presses will help drive a new national one-to-one marketing campaign being launched this month by Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) USA.
Based on a successful two-year pilot program that involved regional car dealerships, the new "intelligent" direct mail campaign created by Salt Lake City-based Rastar Digital Media, Inc. uses Indigo’s advanced digital variable imaging technology to customize letters and service offers sent to current and prospective Toyota/Lexus customers across the country, based on CRM data.
According to Rastar President Kevin Despain, the remarkable quality of the color brochures and other materials printed on the company's Indigo UltraStream 2000 digital press is another important part of the campaign, which also includes techniques to reach and retain customers unresponsive to traditional mailers.
"The quality has definitely been noticed by Toyota marketing, there's no question," said Despain. "Speed and quality. They'd played around with toner-based variable printing but they never considered color variable seriously until we showed them Indigo digital color printing. It played a key role in getting the pilot program off the ground."
Long a leading digital prepress specialist, the 100-employee Rastar Digital Media has successfully transformed itself into a sophisticated database marketing company over the past few years, Despain points out, and now offers full-fledged target marketing capabilities, including data-mining.
"We can put together an entire solution, from strategy through creative content and messaging development, that’s combined with and driven by customer databases," he says. "We’ve built our own CRM database tool, so we drive one-to-one communications out of that process through print. We also have a dynamic e-mail equivalent that drives people from print to the web, and vice versa, so we're multi-channeled in terms of our deliverable. And we fulfill everything, all the way through presort mail, inserting and postage."
For the Toyota Motor Sales corporation, which includes both the Toyota and Lexus product lines, Rastar developed a CRM strategy to improve customer retention and drive additional service into the dozen or so dealerships that participated in the two-year pilot. Specific offers were created for specific customers based on their circumstances or transactional histories, then differentiated further based on customer response, or lack of it.
"Even when they don't respond, they're actually communicating the fact that they don't want to talk to you," Despain notes. "When we change the intelligence in the letter, we've been able to get even hard-core inactive customers to respond because we are speaking to them intelligently. The process becomes increasingly intelligent over time, depending on the person's feedback or interaction with a particular dealer. And we’ve created a massive amount of content based on different scenarios, so that each customer gets the appropriate message."
In February and April, Rastar will begin delivering between four and six of these targeted messages per year to individual customers at approximately 1,500 Toyota and Lexus dealerships across the U.S. With an average customer base of 15,000 to 20,000 – and at least one as high as 150,000 – the total volume will be staggering, Despain admits. "This could be one of the most significant one-to-one marketing communications strategies that's ever been attempted with color variable data," he says. "It's absolutely huge."
To handle this massive workload, Rastar is evaluating additional Indigo presses for their arsenal, which today includes an Indigo UltraStream and an Indigo TurboStream Digital Offset Color press. "As we ramp up for this opportunity, there will be several potential Indigo configurations to support it," says Despain. "For anything that's really demanding in terms of quality, it's got to be in the Indigo environment to make it work."
The company’s leadership in providing full-service digital communication solutions has also led to the development of similar programs for a variety of other businesses, he adds, including the largest supplier of employee recognition programs in the country (O.C. Tanner), which also happens to be the supplier of Olympic medals for the 2002 Salt Lake Games. Meanwhile, Rastar Digital Media itself is expanding, with plans to combine its two buildings near Salt Lake City International Airport into a single facility of 75,000 square feet.
"Personalization is the future, and Rastar is at the vanguard of what will soon be a necessity, not an option," says Ron Kukla, Indigo America’s Vice President of Sales. "As printing jobs get smaller and more specialized, there’s been a strong upswing in customers who choose Indigo digital presses as much for variable data as for fast, on-demand, offset-quality printing."
"We've been working for years trying to prove to corporations that variable data has a significant role to play in their marketing communications," agrees Kevin Despain. "And as a result of the model we've created for Toyota, we expect to see a tremendous growth curve over the next couple of years. The big news is this is a win for us, it's a win for Indigo, and it's a win for the whole color variable data movement."
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