Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Reduce the Hidden Costs of Marketing Materials

B2B marketers are understandably concerned about the performance of their campaigns and programs.  After all, the primary job of B2B marketing is to generate a sufficient number of qualified leads so that company sales will grow.  Plus, all of the recent emphasis on marketing ROI has increased the pressures on marketers to justify the investments they make in marketing efforts.

Obviously, marketers need to monitor and improve the performance of marketing campaigns.  But it's equally important to focus on the efficiency of marketing operations.  One area of marketing operations that offers huge opportunities for improvement in most companies relates to the management of marketing materials (marketing collateral, promotional items, and point-of-sale materials).

The issue here isn't the direct production costs of marketing materials, although that's obviously important.  What I'm talking about in this post is the cost of procuring, managing, and distributing marketing materials.  Research shows that over half of the real total spending on marketing materials can be attributed to obsolescence waste and to activities like procurement, storage, inventory management, and distribution.

This aspect of marketing is now receiving much more attention for a very simple reason.  The dollars saved by reducing these indirect, and often "invisible," materials costs can be redeployed to fund revenue-generating campaigns and programs.

The good news is that we now have the tools to reduce these costs and dramatically increase the efficiency of the supply chain for marketing materials.  These tools are usually called marketing asset management solutions, and if they're not yet on your radar, they should be.

In an upcoming post, I'll describe how marketing asset management solutions work and how they can improve the productivity of your marketing operations.

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