CDIC employs Digimaster for VDP jobs that deliver amazing returns
Press release from the issuing company
January 29, 2004 -- Frank McPherson, president and founder of Toronto-based Custom Data Imaging Corp. (CDIC), opened the doors to his print shop specializing exclusively in variable data printing jobs in April 1999.
“We opened on April Fool’s Day,” McPherson recalled. “I think some people thought I was a bit foolish to focus the business on such a small niche.”
McPherson is having the last laugh. Renowned as one of the industry’s top 50 most influential people in printing — not to mention his seats on both the GATF advisory board and the Digital Printing Council — he recognized the business opportunity variable data printing provided and seized it. CDIC has been profitable since its inception.
“Before going into business with me, my wife Sylvia used to work for a financial organization and she was looking for a variable data solution,” McPherson said. “The printers who served the institution’s account at the time told her that none was available. I gave her a book on digital printing one weekend and we decided to start a business focusing exclusively on VDP.”
Heidelberg drives VDP campaigns
Today, Heidelberg and its Digimaster 9110 print system are playing a key role in helping CDIC’s team of professional database marketers, printers and designers specialize in a wide range of VDP mailings for financial institutions and mutual-fund companies as well as automotive, insurance and retail businesses.
McPherson said he purchased the Digimaster system because he needed a device that could handle very complex documents, including sophisticated documentation featuring as many as 100 variable fields and multiple types of variable data pages on a wide variety of paper stocks.
“At CDIC, we help businesses develop one-to-one relationships with their customers,” McPherson observed. “The Digimaster print system is enabling us to do that by providing an array of printed materials that help our customers communicate better with their clients by understanding and specifically targeting their needs.”
McPherson recognized years ago that employing variable data in direct marketing would lead to a substantially higher rate of return compared to mass mailings. Campaigns employing the Digimaster print system have yielded impressive returns on investment — especially in a number of automotive-industry applications.
“We worked with a group of car dealerships looking to reach out to customers who had not called on their service department over a long period of time,” McPherson recalled. “After sending out 120,000 customized mailings specifically focused on the service departments, the dealership experienced a 17-percent increase in business among those dormant customers. The ROI on the job, in some cases, was 4,000 percent.”
In another campaign that CDIC produces in the fall and spring of each year, car dealerships highlight specific products and services to drive consumers into their service bays. “Some of the dealerships experienced responses of up to 25 percent, compared to just two-and-a-half percent through standard direct mail.”
McPherson noted that he uses a hybrid approach for these and other retail campaigns, offset printing the document’s shell at Maracle Press — CDIC’s sister company — and overprinting the pieces on the Digimaster 9110 print system. In fact, McPherson observed that the hybrid approach — sometimes employing three different print devices — enables his one-stop-shop to produce successful campaigns more cost-effectively for its customers.
He added that when marketing wealth-building and asset-management products, financial institutions need to present the information creatively and clearly — both of which are made possible with the Digimaster system and variable data printing.
“The mutual-fund statements we help our customers create include charts and graphs to help the customer better understand how his or her money is being invested,” he said. “When you make it personalized, relevant and graphically appealing to them, chances increase that the customer will invest more and respond more positively to your communications.”
Tremendous Heidelberg service
When it comes to service response on the Digimaster print system, McPherson said Heidelberg has been outstanding. “Heidelberg’s responsiveness to the very few service calls we’ve made in nearly two years has been prompt and extremely helpful; the uptime is the highest among any equipment we have in the shop,” McPherson said. “The print system’s reliability and quality are outstanding.”
As McPherson and CDIC look to the future, he thinks more and more businesses will experience the impressive results that variable data printing provides.
“We’ll continue to try to push the envelope and educate our customers about the benefits of variable data printing,” he said. “The impressive ROI is no April Fool’s joke.”
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