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November 2007

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Subscribe to Advertising & Marketing Review!
Contact Ken Custer at 303-277-9840.
by Jerry Sexton

Last month, did you think your name was printed on the back cover of every copy of Advertising and Marketing Review? Just for a minute? Many of you who are subscribers to Advertising and Marketing Review magazine saw the September issue with the back page having on it

You experienced a variable data marketing campaign conducted by Advertising and Marketing Review magazine and PGM Integrated (the company paying for the ad). We did an integrated marketing campaign to provide personalized messaging for the reader of the magazine as well as to the web site they were directed to. A campaign of this nature consists of four major components – 1. database 2. concept 3. printed piece and 4. the web site.

The database of names that Advertising and Marketing Review uses for mailing was used for the campaign. Over 3,000 magazines were published with 2803 personalized for the individual reader. The database of names was cleaned up by PGM Integrated so that the names were consistent for all recipients.

With the intended target audience very media savvy, in a brainstorming session between PGM Integrated personnel it was decided to come up with a creative way of doing the ad campaign. Instead of an ad personalized with just your name or a photo on it, they decided to create a web site hat would peak someone’s curiosity to go visit and personalized for the individual magazine subscriber. The web site domain name was registered by PGM Integrated and hosted on a local server.

PGM Integrated developed the layout and the database components. The printer handled the database integration with their variable data printers. It simply took the person’s first name and last name from the database and integrated it into the ad with the web site address.

The web site was created with a simple PGM Integrated message that stated “All we're trying to do is demonstrate our expertise in creating personalized communications through advertising, marketing, public relations, online marketing and video production.” This appeared on a web site personalized for the individual who logged on. It had the look and feel of the PGM Integrated main web site -- but we could track each person coming to the main web site. Not just the domain name that they were entering – but the name of the actual person.

The results were pretty surprising.

First one person called Ken Custer, Editor of Advertising and Marketing Review and complained about Ken printing his name on the back of every magazine. He didn’t think it was very amusing and Ken had to explain to him that he only had one magazine with his name on it. When he was explained the process – he understood it.

Several direct marketing companies called PGM Integrated and asked for proposals for implementation of similar campaigns for their clients.

More than 6% of you went to your name-specific site and received a customized message. Much better than the typical 1-2% response rate on a postcard campaign. Why was the campaign so successful? First, by including each person’s own name in an unusual way on the publication, your curiosity was piqued. PGM’s message broke through the clutter and grabbed your attention. We know this as numerous Presidents of Ad Agencies in town were calling us up to talk to us and compliment us on the campaign.

But most important we knew the names of every individual who came to the site. We also knew they told other people in their company to take a look as their names were now presented to us as well on the web site. Also when they clicked on the web site navigation we were given that information too on the PGM Integrated web site analytics. We were able to track what pages they went to and how long they viewed the pages.

We didn’t do this as a “big brother tracking you” experiment. Rather we were doing it so that we could see how effective these new tools are for generating leads for a company and how you can create personalized messages in print and online integrated campaigns. Further experiments allowed us to create personalized photos and flash animations as well.

When one looks at the statistics of higher conversions for personalized direct mail campaigns over traditional direct mail campaigns and personalized web site messaging – it is only a matter of time till you will want to do something as well.

Jerry Sexton is President of PGM Integrated, where “Creativity meets Technology” for innovative advertising, marketing, PR and interactive solutions. A retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, and a former co-owner of Digital Metropolis, he has extensive experience on the integration of new digital technologies online and in the workplace. He can be reached at 720-875-2234 or at HYPERLINK ""

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