The most universal advantage of Digital Print over Analog Print (offset, flexo, screen, etc.) is it’s ability to be driven by data. While Digital Print has many other advantages, this one distinction – Data Driven Print – opens amazing new doors of possibility.
The most fundamental of these is the ability to create different versions of a product for obviously different market segments: young vs old; women vs men, skiers vs snowboarders.
Each of these distinctions offers us an opportunity to get someone excited about what we’re doing, or to turn them away. A chance to decide to embrace their uniqueness and respond to it, or to ignore these addressable differences and keep doing what we’ve always done
But as simple, and obvious, and easy as that sounds, the tendency to Do What We’ve Always Done is a huge barrier to adoption of Data Driven Print. For to effectively leverage Data Driven Print, requires one to Think Different at the point of creation. This isn’t something you can bolt on to the back of a finished project, and realize any significant value.
So, where to start?
Start with something that matters passionately to at least one person in your client’s organization – preferably with a shark-bite sized pain, something that could kill a project, product or organization if it’s not solved.
Then enlist this person as an Advocate… someone who will stand with you in the face of the difficulties ahead.
“Difficulties” you ask?
If you’re going to make a difference, of course it’s going to be hard. You and your Client Advocate will both encounter problems and challenges you didn’t see going in. But thankfully, today’s best printers have already invested in the tools and the talent – and the learning curve – to make the engineering and production almost painless. Most of your challenges are likely to be People Challenges! Enlisting the support of company leadership. Coaxing the needed data from its cautious curators. Getting people, one by one, to step just a little closer to the edge of something new – and scary-looking – with you.
But the payoff can be enormous.
Because at its core, a decision to create two versions of something instead of just one, is to recognize that your audience – your customers – are Not all the same. It’s a decision to appreciate and embrace their differences.
And everyone wants to be appreciated!