This is the sixth in a series of blogs focused on getting the most from your marketing fulfillment program, with insights drawn from an Amware-sponsored Mighty Guide titled 8 Experts on Marketing Fulfillment. Download the eBook here.
When you were little, I bet you couldn’t wait to grow up. Me, either!
Companies are the same way.
The quest for growth – whether in sales, revenues or market share – informs every business plan and every marketing initiative. A good marketing fulfillment partner can help you both achieve and sustain growth.
Marketing Fulfillment is a critical link between you and your customers. When inquiries and leads come in, you can’t afford to send the wrong information or be slow to respond. Working with an experienced fulfillment company is the best way to ensure fast, accurate turnaround.
But there are…
Two aspects to consider when choosing your fulfillment partner.
- Scalability. When you’re positioning for growth, make sure your fulfillment partner can “grow” with you. A good partner can ramp up to get you through the boom times, without charging you for services you’re not using during slower times.
As Peggy Leah Daniel, U.S. general manager for The Lotter Enterprises, an online lottery ticket purchasing platform, puts it, “When you’re dealing with quick growth, you don’t necessarily know how to correctly scale up your marketing fulfillment. We had a lot of unsuccessful launches because we didn’t have enough marketing collateral, we didn’t have enough points of presence within the retail spaces, or we didn’t have the proper training kits to give to the sales folks that went out to the retail locations. That impacts the folks who are working on the floor, and it ultimately affects your sales, too.”
Stephanie Nehmens, content marketing manager for LendingClub, a peer-to-peer loan company, agrees. “Having an outsourced relationship in place can help a business scale efficiently, saving money on overhead costs that would be associated with hiring experienced staff. That way, as your marketing needs evolve, you have the flexibility to scale in a cost-effective manner.”
- Capabilities. As your business grows, your fulfillment needs will generally change, as well. When you start out, you may only need pick and pack and bulk distribution. But, as you grow, marketing collateral and other communications usually become more sophisticated. You may want to add personalization or customize entire documents for various market segments or geographic regions. If you’re sending a number of materials, including promotional items or media like CDs, you may want to package them together in a way that makes them professional in appearance, inviting to open and convenient to share or hold on to. And you’ll certainly want to incorporate multiple communication channels into your campaigns. Make sure your fulfillment company is equipped to accommodate these changes with tools and technology like digital printing, template-based customization, custom kitting and booklets, and electronic distribution.
Brian Kemp, director of marketing and compliance technology for Nationwide insurance companies, has found working with a fulfillment provider with a wide range of capabilities especially helpful when unexpected challenges arise. “Sometimes we’ll find out that materials coming from a printer are not going to arrive on time. Our fulfillment provider can print some of those items” or use an alternative distribution method, enabling him and his team to meet demand without interruption.