Marketing – on brand, on demand

Written by Jason Groom
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Originally published
January 9 2015,
May 27 2020

Getting your products and services developed, tested, approved, launched and to market that’s the hard bit, right? Getting your marketing collateral and promotional stuff created should be simple, surely? You’d think so, but with news that some Fortune 100 companies need a 4-month lead time for PoS, and up to 6 months plus for packaging, well that’s when reality bites.

There’s a myriad of reasons for it. Large organisations can mean complex supply chains, workflows and layers of “approvers”, all adding to the marketer’s headache and the sales team’s frustration. While Lean Manufacturing processes are the norm, the application of Lean to marketing production hasn’t until now been seen as the answer to these woes. But just look how it, in the form of a “brand marketing portal”, can help;-

1) Validating input
Amends, revisions and proofing are one of the major causes of delay and late delivery. So a standardised means of inputting data and information can result in the hours of resource, chasing and weeks added to each project being slashed - along with the not insignificant fees from agencies and production partners! A simple form or database facilitates allowed changes and/or free text, while set-in-stone elements (think branding, colour, fonts and even statutory declarations, etc.) are never up for discussion.

2) Streamlining the approval process
A “get it out there quickly” approach can result in more stakeholders than is necessary approving a piece. But a properly constructed brand marketing portal, built to ensure that only those authorised and needing to create, amend and approve do so, means that unnecessary steps are eliminated and the workflow automated to minimise delays.

3) Eliminating redundancies
Analysing who does what – those tasks performed by the marketers, comms staff, and agency or production partners – flags up redundant inputs or repetition not just in approval but also in project management and meeting attendance. Even when such tasks take only a couple of minutes, this all adds up to a significant amount of time, resource and energy.

4) Focussing on what’s important
Which collateral is deemed to be the most important? Determining which of your materials are critical to growth, and which are just routine, repeatable elements, allows you to allocate approvals and workflows accordingly. Any non-critical media that does not deliver a return should require little or no attention from marketing leadership in a large business. Using a brand marketing portal to apply this will free up marketing resource to execute more efficiently on high-value activities.

5) Going digital
Moving files around on removable media, even hard copy proofs or printouts, totally flies in the face of Lean.
A brand marketing portal worth its salt will store, manage and transmit assets and files in a digital format thereby driving efficiency and accuracy and, inevitably, generating cost-savings. But even more importantly, delivering a speed to market which provides that desired competitive edge.

6) Removing communication “roadblocks”
Making your collateral production slick reduces, even eliminates, the hold ups caused by over-complication and red tape. A portal ensures compliance, and that results in trust. When those with the necessary expertise are identified and authorised, and those not qualified or required removed from the production chain, the “inception to delivery” process becomes a straight-line, rather than an uphill winding journey.

In this digital age, speed at which materials are both created and deployed can drive increased sales. Agility is the name of the game and a branded marketing portal a major player in it.

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