David Ashton

Sometimes, the power of personalization goes beyond the direct sale. A little ingenuity can go a long way. Let’s look at the way one automotive manufacturer combined 1:1 printing with creative marketing to boost its sales significantly.

Buick wanted to boost sales of its vehicles, so it came up with a creative idea. It mailed a series of personalized direct mail pieces that allowed consumers to “design” their own cars. The goal was to get prospective car buyers emotionally invested in the brand and thinking about their ideal vehicle even before they were ready to actually purchase a car.

For the campaign, Buick targeted both current and former Buick owners, as well as owners of competitive makes of vehicles. Over a series of direct mail pieces, Buick asked for feedback on what recipients were looking for. The final brochure incorporated this feedback, including preferred model and features.

While this program started out as “consumer research,” ultimately, Buick sold 20,000 automobiles and acquired $494 million in sales revenue.

The beauty of this campaign is that, long before making any kind of direct sales pitch, Buick used personalized printing to draw consumers in and get them engaged with the brand. They asked questions, valued their feedback, and created a sense of “pre-ownership” during the design process. The sales pitch at the end was made to a well-groomed audience.

This is the value of using personalized printing to engage and speak directly to an audience. You won’t always sell 20,000 automobiles, but done right, you can engage your audience, deepen customer loyalty, and create an atmosphere in which your marketing messages are well received.

Sometimes 1:1 printing isn’t about the direct sale. As Buick found out, sometimes it’s about a long-term courtship, and it can be well worth the wait.


Linemark is a privately-owned and operated printing & communications company headquartered within close proximity of the Washington DC / Baltimore Metro areas (Upper Marlboro, MD). Linemark is one of the fastest growing companies in the region within the communications industry. Operating 24 hours a day from a 90,000sq ft facility, the intensely customer focused company delivers solid and innovative solutions to their client base of associations, corporations and non-profit organizations.

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