Optimize Your Marketing Communications for Efficiency, Effectiveness and Compliance

Topics: Marketing Fulfillment: Best Practices

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In today’s competitive global economy, marketing professionals are facing growing pressure to reduce costs while at the same time improving return on their investments. Iron Mountain has developed a strategy that marketing professionals can employ to address these changes. We call it Communications Optimization.

The three principal goals of Communications Optimization are:

  • Increasing the effectiveness of your communication process
  • Increasing the efficiency of your communication process
  • Ensuring compliance to privacy and security rules and regulations

Communications Optimization begins with a comprehensive analysis of existing marketing communications materials to assess how well they are meeting business objectives, sales goals, and reaching target audiences. Taking the time to carefully assess what you currently have and how well it’s working for you, gives you a solid roadmap for moving forward with the most effective marketing materials.

Next, based on your analysis, take a look at the marketing materials you are planning on offering. Does the copy need updating? Should you consider a redesign? What is your competition doing?

Finally, evaluate your production process. Which options will provide you with the best, most cost-effective results? Does traditional offset printing make the most sense, or would digital, print on demand (POD) make more sense and be more cost-effective?

In its simplest form, Communication Optimization consists of evaluating your marketing materials for their suitability for conversion to digital POD. The primary objective here is to increase the efficiency of the communication. In other words, reduce the total costs associated with the communication including printing, storage, insurance, etc. Factors to consider include:

  • Quantity in stock
  • Usage history
  • Expected life and future usage
  • Format
  • Production options
  • Objective of communication

The goal is to select those pieces suitable for POD based upon expected future usage and format. The usage history can be used to predict future usage. The two main factors when selecting candidate documents for digital POD are cost and convenience.

The following characteristics should be considered:

  • Objective of communication Complex documents with annual usage under 1,000 pieces
  • Simple documents with annual usage under 5,000 pieces
  • Documents with unknown usage patterns and/or frequent changes
  • Documents which have reached the end of high usage but which need to be retained for reference
  • Documents about to enter back-order status

Where cost is the primary consideration, a simple, single color, one or two page document with annual usage of below 5,000 is the ideal digital POD candidate. The use of a small number of pre-printed shells provides the ability to add color to a POD document with a small cost increase.

Where convenience is the primary consideration, almost any document can be converted to digital POD. In the case of a color document, this would require conversion of the document to black only. Here also, pre-printed shells can be used to add some color.

A more comprehensive evaluation consists of looking at the various client communication streams with the joint objectives of increasing effectiveness and efficiency of the communication. Take, for example, increasing the level of personalization of a sales package. Studies show, on average, a 30% increase in response rates to a personalized sales package. Instead of sending all prospects the same sales package, each response is tailored to a specific prospect including personalization of text, variable content, etc. To achieve this level of personalization, digital POD is required.

For this type of evaluation, the following factors should be considered:

  • Documents about to enter back-order status
  • Usage volume and life
  • Target Audience and Purpose
  • Personalization requirements including variable text and content
  • Delivery method(s)
  • Design constraints
  • Production options
  • Best Practices
  • Competitors’ methods of communication
  • Cost optimization

A key outcome of this type of evaluation will be the choice of the most appropriate production technique for each piece.

Iron Mountain Fulfillment Services’ offers a Communications Optimization solution that can help you produce your organization’s marketing materials in the most efficient and effective manner. For more information contact us at 866.563.4637.