marcom synergy How to Cure the Epidemic of Obsolescence

How to Cure the Epidemic of Obsolescence
A majority of companies spend at least 20% of their marketing
budgets on marketing consumables.
• Over 70% of companies don’t track the obsolescence of
marketing consumables. Of those that do, 40% say they
waste 20% or more of their marketing consumables because of
• This article explains how a marketing asset management
solution eliminates obsolescence waste and improves
marketing productivity.
Prompted by growing demands from the C-suite, marketers are aggressively
working to improve the productivity of marketing. For example, they are boosting
the effectiveness of marketing campaigns through more precise targeting and the
increased use of personalization.
Marketers are also taking steps to make marketing operations more efficient.
They have recognized that increasing the productivity of operational activities and
processes is a powerful way to stretch marketing budgets. The equation is simple:
The dollars saved by improving the efficiency of marketing operations can be
redirected to fund more revenue-generating programs.
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One area of marketing operations that offers huge opportunities for
improvement in most companies relates to marketing consumables. Marketing
consumables are materials such as marketing collateral documents (brochures,
product sheets, etc.), promotional items, and point-of-sale displays. Most, though
not all, marketing consumables are printed materials. Research has shown that
over half of the total spending associated with marketing consumables results from
product obsolescence and from activities such as procurement, storage, fulfillment,
shipping, and inventory management.
The obsolescence of marketing consumables constitutes a major problem
for many companies. The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council has said that
obsolescence creates an “epidemic of waste” that undermines the development
of an optimized marketing supply chain. A recent survey of marketers by the CMO
Council reveals the scope of the problem.
How to Cure the Epidemic of Obsolescence
• Obsolescence potentially affects a large portion of marketing budgets—
Sixty percent of survey respondents said they spend at least 20% of their total
marketing budget on marketing consumables, and 30% of respondents said
they devote at least 30% of their budget to such materials.
• Obsolescence is an “invisible” waste in most companies—Seventy-three
percent of survey respondents said they do not track the obsolescence of
marketing consumables.
• Companies that do track obsolescence report large amounts of waste—
Forty percent of respondents said they waste 20% or more of their marketing
consumables because of obsolescence, and another 30% of respondents put
the level of obsolescence waste at between 10% and 20%.
Source: Mapping + Tracking: The Optimized Marketing Supply Chain (CMO
Council, 2010)
Obsolete marketing consumables represent a complete waste of precious
marketing dollars. The cost of obsolete materials is essentially an investment in
marketing communications that never reach the intended audience. That closet or
storeroom or trash container filled with obsolete marketing materials is a tangible
manifestation of budget funds that could have been used to support productive
marketing programs.
Obsolete materials are
a tangible manifestation
of funds that could have
been used for productive
programs. But the most
serious problem can be the
revenues and profits they
put at risk.
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In addition to the direct financial costs, obsolescence can have a major
negative impact on marketing effectiveness. Forty-two percent of the respondents
to the CMO Council survey said that fresh marketing content is critical to their goto-market strategy, but 51% of the respondents admitted they had used marketing
materials that contained outdated content. In today’s hyper-competitive business
environment, every interaction with a potential buyer is important, and sales
can easily be lost if prospects are provided outdated information. Therefore, the
most serious problem with obsolete marketing materials may not be the wasteful
spending they cause, but rather the revenues and profits they place at risk.
How to Cure the Epidemic of Obsolescence
Obsolescence Is Not Inevitable
The good news for marketers is that obsolete marketing consumables are
no longer an inevitable “cost of doing business.” Today, a growing number of
companies are using new technology tools and services to dramatically reduce
the obsolescence of marketing consumables. Collectively, these tools and services
constitute a marketing asset management solution (MAMS) that eliminates waste
and improves the productivity of the marketing supply chain.
A marketing asset
management solution
reduces obsolescence by
enabling companies to
acquire marketing materials
in small quantities as and
when they are needed.
A marketing asset management solution is a suite of technologies, services,
and print production capabilities that automates the process of procuring,
producing, and fulfilling orders of marketing consumables. An MAMS reduces
obsolescence by eliminating the need to acquire marketing consumables in
large quantities. By combining easy online ordering, automated pre-production
workflows, and digital printing technologies, an MAMS enables companies to
acquire marketing consumables in small quantities on a cost-effective basis. And
because lead times are short, companies can order marketing consumables as
and when they are needed, rather than rely on advance forecasts that are often
inaccurate. Therefore, an MAMS eliminates the need for large physical inventories
of marketing consumables, which greatly reduces the possibility that materials will
become obsolete before they can be used.
Here’s a brief overview of how a marketing asset management solution works.
• The core component of an MAMS is an online catalog of the marketing
consumables that a company uses. When an authorized user needs to order
marketing materials, he or she logs into a secure website, selects the desired
items from the catalog, specifies the desired quantity of each item, and
submits the order.
• If the user is ordering an item than can be customized, the online catalog will
contain a template for that item. The template identifies the content elements
that can be customized, and the system provides the ability to customize the
item in allowable ways. When the user has customized the item, he or she will
review an online proof of the customized item and then submit the order.
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How to Cure the Epidemic of Obsolescence
• The MAMS provider uses digital printing technology to produce the ordered
item(s) and then packages and ships the completed materials.
• In the few cases where production economics don’t allow marketing
consumables to be acquired in small quantities, a capable MAMS provider will
usually offer warehousing and real-time (or near real-time) inventory tracking
and reporting. This provides the data needed to more accurately forecast
future needs for these materials.
The obsolescence of marketing materials constitutes a significant and
unnecessary waste of marketing resources. Today, marketing asset management
solutions can greatly reduce, if not completely eliminate, obsolescence waste.
With marketing budgets under constant pressure, can you afford to be without
such a powerful solution?
If you’d like to learn more about how marketing asset management solutions
can help eliminate obsolescence waste from your marketing operations, contact
John Taylor, Vice President of Business Development, at 615-301-8628 or via
e-mail at [email protected]
About Marcom Synergy
Marcom Synergy provides today’s marketing teams with the tools they need to automate their collateral
supply process. Our online marketing asset management solution empowers marketing with the ability to
maintain control of their brand identity while providing sales partners the ability to customize marketing
materials to localize messages and increase revenues. Marcom Synergy’s platform also provides
controls to eliminate human error and overconsumption. Marcom Synergy offers a complete platform
solution in addition to full printing, mailing, fulfillment, and distribution services.
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