Two weeks back, I wrote a post based on my phone conversation with Jacob Aizikowitz, founder and president of XMPie, who has a difference of opinion from me on whether ultra-short-run batches or “personalized” one-off projects driven from W2P portals should be considered variable data printing like 1:1, database-driven personalized jobs are.
I ended that post by asking, “Does the distinction matter?” and asked for Digital Nirvana readers’ opinions. This morning, I received a very interesting and detailed response from one reader that I think is worth sharing.
Here is what Phillipe Cardyn had to say:
I think the distinction does matter. For the record: we are XMPIE customers and use Jacob’s excellent software for both applications. But both are sold by two distinct sales teams in very different contexts and processed by different production teams to be sent to the same digital presses as described.
The ‘interaction driven’ VDP come from distributed marketing platforms: online applications that we build and market to meet the needs of a brand owner seeking to leverage the communication power of his sales and distribution channel by giving them access to ready-to-use templates. Very often, these materials are produced in multiple versions (= customized to the user ordering a particular set of documents) but not necessarily personalized (= addressing the individual recipient, potential buyer). The print jobs coming from these platforms can sometimes be batched, but the resulting batch size is often small.
Marketing, evangelizing and selling this is quite different story from the sales pitch for direct mail solutions (rules-driven VDP) where we don’t need an online application but efficient processes and services to produce the right VDP job in time (one large batch) to be mailed, handled, and shipped according to our customer’s instruction.
So yes, we use the same tools for both, but we don’t sell them to the same customers at the same price.
You’ve read both sides of this issue. What’s your experience? Does the distinction between interaction-driven (W2P) “VDP” and rules-driven VDP matter? Or are they really flip sides of the same market?