November 13, 2003 -- Over 400 participants visited the "Dialog Forum" organized by Heidelberg in the four countries Germany, Austria, Poland and the United Arab Emirates. Held under the motto "Dynamics of Direct Mailing", the event gave participants from printshops, agencies and media service providers the opportunity to learn about the very latest developments in direct marketing with print media. "Nowadays direct marketing is an integral part of a company's communication plans. Around a third of company advertising budgets was spent on direct marketing last year. This means that the budget for direct marketing has more than doubled in the last eight years," said Marco Russ from Michael Conrad & Leo Burnett GmbH, describing the continuing trend toward direct marketing, as he spoke at the start of the main event in Heidelberg.
The Forum at the Print Media Academy Heidelberg focussed on applications relating to variable data printing, for instance from Saab Deutschland, on the ability to personalize adverts in magazines, and on tools enabling digital printing to be managed more efficiently. The Frankfurt-based agency etronixx presented the software package dps ONE which allows potential customers to request customized brochures online and companies to generate mailings using stored customer profiles.
The Schober Information Group also showcased its principle of "intelligent addresses" which enables addresses to be evaluated according to their potential and risk.
Almost all speakers pointed out that up-to-date customer databases are crucial for successful direct marketing.
Visitors also heard that, aside from personalized mailings, finishing also plays an important role when it comes to response rates. "A mailing's success is decided by a combination of factors - the level of personalization, the graphic design and the creativity of the finishing," explained Thomas Hagen from Heidelberg Postpress.
"We are very happy with positive response to the second - and first ever international - "Heidelberg Dialog Forum". It has been shown that direct marketing can only maintain its success if it exploits the opportunities for dialog between businesses and their customers and uses the knowledge gained from this exchange to improve customer communication even further," said Dr. Stefanie Jensen, Head of Marketing Concepts & Communication at Heidelberg, who is responsible for the Forum.
The last event in the series takes place from December 3 - 4, 2003 in Moscow.
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