Monday, June 13, 2011

How to Eliminate Obsolescence from the Marketing Supply Chain

The obsolescence of marketing materials constitutes a major problem for many companies.  The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council has said that obsolescence creates an "epidemic of waste" that undermines the development of an efficient marketing supply chain.  In a recent CMO Council survey:
  • 60% of respondents said they spend at least 20% of their total marketing budget on marketing "consumables" (primarily printed materials such as marketing collateral documents, promotional items, and point-of-sale materials).
  • 40% of respondents said they waste 20% or more of their marketing materials because of obsolescence.
Source:  Understanding the Critical Factors to Achieving Marketing Supply Chain Operational Effectiveness & Optimization (CMO Council, 2010).

Obsolete marketing materials represent a complete waste of marketing dollars.  The cost of obsolete materials is essentially an investment in marketing communications that never reach the intended audience.  A closet or storeroom or trash container filled with obsolete marketing materials is a tangible manifestation of budget funds that could have been used to support productive marketing programs.

Just as important, the use of obsolete marketing materials can adversely affect marketing effectiveness.  In the CMO Council survey cited above, 51% of respondents admitted that they had sent materials to customers or prospects that contained outdated information.  In today's business environment, every interaction with a potential buyer is important, and sales can easily be lost if prospects are provided outdated information.

A marketing asset management solution can dramatically reduce the waste created by marketing materials that become obsolete before they can be used.  These solutions consist of a suite of technologies, manufacturing capabilities, and services that automate many of the processes relating to the procurement, production, management, and distribution of marketing materials.  They reduce obsolescence by eliminating the need to purchase marketing materials in large quantities.

Marketing asset management solutions make extensive of on-demand production technologies, and these technologies enable you to acquire most marketing materials in small quantities on a cost effective basis.  And because production lead times are short, you can order materials as and when they are needed.  This eliminates the need for large inventories, which greatly reduces the possibility that marketing materials will become obsolete.

If you struggle with obsolescence, a marketing asset management solution may be just the "cure" you need for this epidemic.  To learn more about how marketing asset management solutions work, take a look at our white paper titled, Is a Marketing Asset Management Solution Right for My Company? To get a copy of this white paper, just send an e-mail request to ddodd(at)pointbalance(dot)com.

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