6 Ways to Incorporate Variable Data into Your Marketing Programs

Last week we discussed how brands are breaking through clutter with the use of variable data. Variable data printing (VDP) can be considered a fancy term for personalized printing. It allows personalization without slowing down the production process. These days, personalization and fast production time are two of the most elusive things a marketer looks for in a campaign.

We’ve talked about how to combine print and digital in your marketing campaigns, and the same goes for how you get your marketing campaigns to stores. It’s so effective and yet still so underutilized! Digital print tactics are your friend. Here are six ways you can incorporate variable data via digitized print strategies.  

Localized Marketing

Like we mentioned in this post, it’s important to understand that the “point” of your point-of-purchase is to make a sale right then and there. Snag a purchase and your P.O.P. has done its job. Use variable data to print location-specific information on each printed piece. Maybe it’s a webpage that’s custom to that city, or a coupon code that’s only valid at that particular store; it’s up to you because it’s variable!

Store Specific Kits

Ever worry about sending all stores the same kit and having half of it go to waste because it doesn’t apply to all stores? With variable data you can understand exactly what signs need to go to what location and have your supplier use it when they create kits. This is especially helpful when you have hundreds or thousands of locations that all need different combinations of collateral. Using data this way eliminates headaches and wallet-aches.


Packaging and Labeling

Use variable data on product packaging and labeling. Expiration dates, product size, and lot numbers are all great examples of variable data used on packaging and labels. For the past few years, the Coca Cola Company has used VDP on HP Indigo digital presses to make their packaging stand out among the rest by printing thousands of unique first names on their cans. What can you do to your packaging or labels that creates a unique brand encounter?

Navigation & Wayfinding

Speaking of packaging, combine packaging VDP with in-store signage to help shoppers locate products on the shelf. For example, if you’re selling a TV, print a locator button (numbers or letters) on the television’s packaging. Next, work with your retailer to print product-specific signage that includes a matching locator button, which they then use to locate the merchandise box. This is a shopper-friendly use of VDP and will promote easy shelf navigation in a brick and mortar environment.

Help Your Field Team

You don’t just have to help your shoppers, you can also use variable print to help store teams set up signage. By doing a little extra work up front with variable data printing, you can help them connect the dots quickly when they receive new displays. For example, Kroger creates signage inserts with variable data that instructs installers to put each insert in the proper promotional display. 

Game Pieces

Variable data is the brains behind brand sweepstakes promotions and contests. Variable content in peel & reveal game pieces or scratch-offs range from a unique string of numbers to PIN numbers to barcodes that can be used for giveaway purposes, such as a free song download or a cash prize. Learn more about game pieces here.


However you decide to use variable data in your next campaign, Imagine! can help. Come to us with your idea, or let us help you brainstorm your next great personalized marketing experience!