Personalised digital printing works, though perhaps not in the way that was originally intended. The marketing profession is not yet scalping databases and building profiles to target consumers as individuals with all the precision of a sniper hiding a mile from his target. They prefer still to carpet bomb with emails and SMS, believing this provides a measurable response. But personalised digital printing works.
For Wonderbly, it works to the tune of £6 million of investment to support a growing number of personalised children's books and other products. Here printed personalisation is the very point of a high perceived value product, perfectly suited to the grandparent stuck for ideas about what to buy the latest addition to the family for birthday or Christmas. It works because all relevant details are entered accurately by the purchaser.
It is not low volume stuff: more than 2.7 million books have been printed in this way, albeit in small batches. The challenge is finding other areas where the formula might apply, perhaps to adult books, perhaps to packaging of luxury products, perhaps printed maps or something else that has relevance to the owner who wants to keep it. Perhaps one day to marketing collateral.