Strategic Targeting


One of the keys to direct marketing success is getting the right message to the right customer at the right time. But we know that not all customers are the same; they have different needs, desires, budgets and perspectives. With today’s technology and some planning, we can implement programs that do deliver the right messages to the right people, saving you money and helping to increase your Return on Intelligence.

How Do We Make Strategic Targeting Work?

First of all, strategic targeting can be as simple as sending one version of a similar message to customers and a different version to prospects. The variations in messages could be “Insert A” or “Insert B”, based on a status field. Optionally, the separate messages could be variable information built into data fields, which might include variable text or images. An example of the latter might be different photos for the various managers at sales outlets (e.g. Seed Dealers, Pizza Franchises etc.).

Extending Data on Files

Sometimes additional information can be added to a database to enrich the targeting capabilities. For example, through a mapping exercise we were able to correlate Corn Heat Zones in Ontario directly to communities. This did require some external computer programs, but it certainly enriched the value of the data, as we were able to then recommend seed varieties for different heat growing areas, based on the community.

If there is data that might enrich your targeting efforts, let us know. We would be pleased to analyze the situation and recommend ways that we might be able to incorporate this data into your targeting plans.

Strategic Messages

Once the different target segments have been identified, appropriate content must be prepared for each stream. Sometimes this is as simple as stating a different product code or it could be entire paragraphs of text that are being modified. For example, if you sell an ibuprofen, the content of your message would be different for consumers who:

Again, you might vary the message if survey data indicates whether sources of pain are headache, back ache or menstrual.

We have experience crafting these types of messages and we can help to prepare the right messages for the right target groups, be they consumer or business.

This type of strategic messaging can be achieved in direct mail, email and web content, and even a combination.

Generic Personalization

Sometimes, detailed personalization may not be possible, as in the case of Unaddressed Admail.

In these situations however, we can actually deploy different messages, based on demographic data that we can get from Canada Post. For example, a real estate company might want to send one message to people in apartments, to promote starter homes, while at the same time conveying a different message to those that may want to upgrade to a larger home. This type of targeting is based on knowing what demographic selects are available from Canada Post and using them accordingly.

Personalized Magazine Advertising

We have also helped companies advertising in publications to deliver targeted messages through personalized inserts in magazines. These types of projects can be hugely beneficial, helping advertisers drive results and helping publications achieve greater advertising revenues.

We should note, however, that this is a very new field and we have to carefully plan set up and coordination, as it of often requires printing the personalized inserts before the magazines actually arrive for mail preparation.

pURLs (Personalized URLs)

It might sound a little corny, but we refer to pURLs as marketing gems, as they allow us to engage people personally (and tastefully) in an online environment, using strategic messages, as discussed above. If you have never seen a pURL in use, let us know and we will send one to you.

We can include pURLs in direct mail, magazine advertising and email campaigns and we can even set up individual QR Codes for them.

Certifying Data for Variable Data Projects

As powerful as variable targeting can be, it relies heavily on good, useable data. We can help prepare and vet data for variable data projects, ensuring that all data is properly structured, and that fallback options are provided for situations where data may be missing or incomplete. You just don’t want to see Greetings such as “Dear D” or statements like “We would like the opportunity to do business with 721 Quantum Lane”, where in the latter case address data was inadvertently entered into a Company Name field.

When it comes to variable data, we can assess your data, let you know what needs to be done and do our absolute best to make you look good!

If you are a Highland Marketing customer, we appreciate your business and the confidence that you place in us.

If you are not a Highland Marketing customer, we would welcome the opportunity to get to know you better and discuss our direct mail, direct communication and integrated website development services. Simply give us a call at 1-800-422-1309.