Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Your name and rep here; Graphic Arts hyper-customizes its covers

Graphic Arts magazine, a Newmarket-based business-to-business title has published an October issue in which all three covers are customized to the customer receiving them, according to a story in Media in Canada. The project was carried out for Fujifilm Canada and, in the process, the magazine produced more than 428,000 variations on its covers.

Graphic Arts is published 10 times a year and has a request and controlled circulation of 12,700 trade professionals in Canada and the United States.

Selective binding and inkjet customization are commonplaces in the industry, but this is much more sophisticated. The covers are customized based on the position of the customer, company size and type of business.

The front covers had a zipper ad for Fujifilm along the bottom, with pictures of the subscriber's local Fujifilm account representative and ad content based on whether the subscriber is a current Fujifilm customer, plus sales territory and customer status.

The inside front cover showed how the cover was generated for each recipient and the inside back cover showed the subscriber's actual Fujifilm team depending on what territory the customer was in. The back cover had ads from companies that were involved in the production, RP Graphics and Data Business Solutions, personalized with each subscriber's name and company.

Fujifilm initiated the project, bringing in industry expert Terminal Van Gogh, a marketing and database specialist, for creative, programming and production. After the creative was finished, the first step was for the magazine to provide TVG with subscription information. TVG then extracted key demographic information and overlaid the combined database with Fujifilm's own customer database.

TVG CEO David Murdoch says the process generated more than 428,000 different covers and combinations - not including names and addresses. The bottom line for marketers, he adds, is, "You no longer have to fit a square peg into a round hole."

(There was no indication of what it cost Fujifilm. An outside back cover on the magazine would normally cost $3,200.)

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