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Business Observer Friday, Dec. 1, 2017 3 years ago

Beyond the blue envelope

Valpak takes top honors for Technology Project of the Year.

Despite being a company best known for its snail-mail approach to doing business — its signature blue envelopes stuffed with coupons reach approximately 37 million U.S. and Canadian households each month — St. Petersburg-based Valpak has become a leading light in the Tampa Bay region's rapidly growing tech industry.

That was confirmed Nov. 10, when the company was honored at the 14th annual Tampa Bay Tech Awards. Valpak took home the trophy for Technology Project of the Year.

What's so techy about mailing envelopes? Well, thanks to Valpak's now award-winning selective targeting project, it can work with business owners to “target consumers directly with unique messaging at the address level,” according to a statement.

That represents a seismic change from past practice, which consisted of Valpak producing envelopes filled with the same coupons and marketing materials for demographically similar groups of households numbering 10,000. Now, instead, Valpak can drill down to the individual address stratum by merging its highly specific demographic data with customer information supplied by its clients.

Valpak began to launch the fully automated selective targeting project in June, after significant amounts of testing and refinement. The initiative has produced strong results, say company officials — about 75% of all households on Valpak's mailing list now receive selectively targeted materials.

But it wasn't a simple process. The company, for example, had to make modifications to both its manufacturing equipment and processes for handling orders while it figured out how to fully implement the project. “The work ValpakĀ is doing to advance the state-of-the-art in marketing technology is a point of pride for Tampa Bay,” says Tampa Bay Tech executive director Daniel James Scott in the release. “Our community could not be prouder to celebrate and share the advancements this team is making.”

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