Tuesday, August 9, 2011

How Marketing Asset Management Improves Marketing Results

A growing number of companies are implementing marketing asset management solutions to improve marketing productivity.  MAM solutions combine technology tools, manufacturing capabilities, and services to streamline many of the processes relating to the procurement, management, and distribution of marketing materials.  They can also provide a powerful platform for creating and executing advertising and marketing programs, particularly direct mail and e-mail marketing campaigns.

Most discussions about marketing asset management solutions focus on how they can reduce costs and improve the efficiency of the marketing supply chain.  However, MAM solutions can also improve the effectiveness of marketing activities and programs in three major ways.

Less Use of Obsolete Materials

The obsolescence of marketing materials is a big problem for many companies.  In a recent survey by the CMO Council, 40% of respondents said they waste 20% or more of their marketing materials because of obsolescence.

The direct financial costs of obsolescence waste are bad enough, but the consequences of using obsolete marketing materials can be even worse.  In a highly competitive business environment, sales can easily be lost if prospects are provided outdated information.  And unfortunately, the use of obsolete materials is all too common.  In the CMO Council survey, 51% of marketers admitted they had sent materials to customers or prospects that contained outdated content.

Marketing asset management solutions reduce the use of obsolete materials by combining "virtual warehousing," on-demand manufacturing, and rapid fulfillment to eliminate the underlying causes of obsolescence.  With a marketing asset management solution, materials are stored in digital form so they can be easily and quickly updated, and MAM solution providers manufacture most materials on an as-ordered basis, so there is no need to maintain inventories that can become obsolete.

More Relevant Marketing Materials

Marketing asset management solutions also improve marketing effectiveness by enabling the creation and use of more relevant marketing materials.  Marketers have long known that customizing materials for specific audiences will make them more relevant and effective.  Unfortunately, however, using customized materials has usually forced marketers to choose between losing control of the brand and incurring excessive costs.

MAM solutions make customization easy and cost effective while simultaneously enabling corporate marketers to keep control of brand messaging and brand presentation.  The key to this controlled customization is user-friendly templates that identify what components of a marketing item can be customized and provide a set of pre-approved customization options.

Simplified Distributed Marketing

The third way that MAM solutions boost marketing results is by making it easy to create and execute effective marketing campaigns and programs in distributed marketing environments.

Distributed marketing  refers to a marketing model in which both a central marketing department and "local entities" perform marketing activities.  The defining characteristic of a distributed marketing model is that the local marketing entities have some degree of autonomy from the "home office."  When the local entities are franchisees, resellers, or other independent channel partners, they may have complete marketing independence.  A big challenge, therefore, is to persuade channel partners to market as aggressively as they should.

MAM solutions boost results in distributed marketing organizations by enabling local marketing partners to customize marketing programs to fit their specific needs and by making it simple for local marketing partners to create and execute those programs.

I've just published a white paper that describes these benefits in more detail.  If you'd like to review this paper, send me an e-mail at ddodd(at)pointbalance(dot)com.

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