Here’s a disturbing statistic. According to research done by Sirius Decisions, somewhere between 60 and 70 percent of a typical company’s marketing collateral is never used by their sales people.
Yikes! That’s a lot of wasted budget!
There are several reasons this can happen, but one of the most common is that your sales team thinks your materials are irrelevant. In other words, your beautiful, expensive collateral just doesn’t get the job done because it doesn’t answer your prospects’ questions or reflect their needs and interests. There’s no effort to personalize the marketing materials.
Consequently, according to the American Marketing Association, sales personnel spend as much as 40 percent of their time going rogue – creating their own content, instead of selling.
Yikes! That’s a lot of wasted salary and talent!
So what’s the fix?
If you want it boiled down to one word, that word is personalization.
Not personalization as in adding “Dear Joe” to your emails or letters. That’s fine, as far as it goes. But I’m talking about a deeper dive here, as in seeing things from your customer’s point of view and using customer data to tailor content to match what your recipients want at their particular stage of the buying journey.
I know, I know… it sounds hard. But there are technologies that can make at least some aspects of it easier – specifically, online customization capabilities and digital printing.
Start here with your marketing personalization program
First, you’ll need a template-based, digital repository of the collateral you want to be able to change up. (Your marketing fulfillment provider should be able to help you create the templates.) Within each template, you decide which areas can be customized by adding or subtracting copy or images and which should remain inviolate – like the size, color and placement of your logo and company information, or any required disclaimers or fine print.
You’ll also need to develop a library of pre-approved text and graphics, from which your sales team can choose to create the piece they want to send or deliver to a prospect. When personalizing marketing materials, you should do so with sales input, as well as your customer data, to ensure that you have copy to address informational needs for a range of buying decision-makers at various stages in the sales process.
Ready, set, create
Once all of this is in place, your sales people can create the pieces they want for the situation at hand with a few clicks of a mouse. In addition to focusing copy on a particular issue or need, they may want to change images to match buyer demographics. For example, for a campaign aimed at seniors a photo of two millennials might not be the best choice. Once sales is satisfied with what they’ve created, they place their order and your fulfillment provider prints and sends it to them or directly to their intended recipient.
The beauty of this technology is that it allows sales people to create more relevant marketing materials without violating any of your company’s brand standards or – heaven forbid – stepping outside the bounds of regulatory compliance. No more rogue marketing materials!
Remember, if all your materials talk about is your company or your product and its features, you’re talking to yourself. Your prospects are already looking elsewhere. So, if you haven’t tried this kind of marketing collateral personalization yet, look into it. It’s surprisingly affordable and easy to do.
If your marketing fulfillment provider doesn’t offer this capability, look into Amware. We have all the solutions you need to make your marketing messages and campaigns more personal, more relevant and more effective.
And, if you haven’t already done so, download our eBook on why your marketing fulfillment sucks to learn about other ways to get more bang from your marketing bucks.