Three Steps to Optimize Marketing ROI
Marketing Challenge: Improve timeliness and accuracy of materials delivery, cut costs and improve cash flow.
Analysis: Company B was using outdated technology (including handwritten documents), which made it difficult to capture and make efficient use of important data for upselling and cross-selling within and among its three apparel divisions. Inaccurate invoicing was hurting its cash flow. Printing, paper and storage costs were escalating, due to inefficient production processes.
Solution: Introduce new technology to capture important data electronically at the point of origin and consolidate ordering, fulfillment and invoicing systems. Reduce printing costs and speed delivery of materials by changing formats and streamlining production and delivery processes. Enhance marketing response by including marketing messages across media and offering tiered pricing based on purchases from all three of the company's divisions.
In some cases, significant improvement resulted from a change as simple as printing on two sides of a sheet of paper instead of one, or having mailings perform double duty (e.g., inserting marketing materials into invoice envelopes). Other changes--primarily technological--were more complicated to implement, but have essentially paid for themselves through the savings generated by increased efficiency. Communication optimization initiatives reduced supply costs alone by $1 million in the first year of implementation. Personalized messages and tiered pricing also gave the company's sales a nice bump up.
If your company is looking for ways to reduce its total marketing costs, increase returns on its marketing investments and free up more working capital, talk to your fulfillment company about implementing a process like communication optimization. Properly done, it will provide your company with a "blueprint" for realizing these and other significant benefits.
David Lowndes is director of product development for Comac, a fulfillment services firm based in Milpitas, Calif. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at (512) 663-9358.