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How to Cure the Epidemic of Obsolescence

How to Cure the Epidemic of Obsolescence

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Published by G. David Dodd
Over 70% of companies don't track the obsolescence of marketing materials. Of those that do, 40% say they waste 20% or more of their marketing materials because of obsolescence. This article describes how to attack the growing epidemic of obsolescence.
Over 70% of companies don't track the obsolescence of marketing materials. Of those that do, 40% say they waste 20% or more of their marketing materials because of obsolescence. This article describes how to attack the growing epidemic of obsolescence.

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Published by: G. David Dodd on Oct 17, 2010
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Copyright © 2010 by G. David DoddAll rights reserved.
Marketer’s Toolkit
How to Cure the Epidemic of Obsolescence
byG. David Dodd, PrincipalPoint Balance
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 obsolescence.
This article explains how a marketing consumables management system eliminates obsolescence waste and improves marketing productivity.
Prompted by growing demands from the C-suite, marketers are aggressively workingto improve the productivity of marketing. For example, they are boosting theeffectiveness of marketing campaigns through more precise targeting and the increaseduse of personalization.Marketers are also taking steps to make marketing operations more efficient. Theyhave recognized that increasing the productivity of operational activities and processesis a powerful way to stretch marketing budgets. The equation is simple: The dollarssaved by improving the efficiency of marketing operations can be redirected to fundmore revenue-generating programs.One area of marketing operations that offers huge opportunities for improvement inmost companies relates to marketing consumables.
Marketing consumables 
arematerials such as marketing collateral documents (brochures, product sheets, etc.),promotional items, and point-of-sale displays. Most, though not all, marketingconsumables are printed materials. Research has shown that over half of the totalspending associated with marketing consumables results from product obsolescenceand from activities such as procurement, storage, fulfillment, shipping, and inventorymanagement.
Copyright © 2010 by G. David DoddAll rights reserved.
Marketer’s Toolkit
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.
The obsolescence of marketing consumables constitutes a major problem for manycompanies. The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council has said that obsolescencecreates an “epidemic of waste” that undermines the development of an optimizedmarketing supply chain. A recent survey of marketers by the CMO Council reveals thescope of the problem.
Obsolescence potentially affects a large portion of marketing budgets— 
Sixty percent of survey respondents said they spend at least 20% of their totalmarketing budget on marketing consumables, and 30% of respondents said theydevote at least 30% of their budget to such materials.
Obsolescence is an “invisible” waste in most companies— 
Seventy-threepercent of survey respondents said they do not track the obsolescence ofmarketing consumables.
Companies that do track obsolescence report large amounts of waste— 
Forty percent of respondents said they waste 20% or more of their marketingconsumables because of obsolescence, and another 30% of respondents put thelevel of obsolescence waste at between 10% and 20%.
Mapping + Tracking: The Optimized Marketing Supply Chain 
(CMO Council, 2010)
Obsolete marketing consumables represent a complete waste of precious marketingdollars. The cost of obsolete materials is essentially an investment in marketingcommunications that never reach the intended audience. That closet or storeroom ortrash container filled with obsolete marketing materials is a tangible manifestation ofbudget funds that could have been used tosupport productive marketing programs.In addition to the direct financial costs,obsolescence can have a major negative impacton marketing effectiveness. Forty-two percent ofthe respondents to the CMO Council survey saidthat fresh marketing content is critical to their go-to-market strategy, but 51% of the respondentsadmitted they had used marketing materials that contained outdated content. In today’shyper-competitive business environment, every interaction with a potential buyer isimportant, and sales can easily be lost if prospects are provided outdated information.Therefore, the most serious problem with obsolete marketing materials may not be thewasteful spending they cause, but rather the revenues and profits they place at risk.
Copyright © 2010 by G. David DoddAll rights reserved.
Marketer’s Toolkit
A marketing consumables management system reduces obsolescence by enabling companies to acquire marketing materials in small quantities as and when they are needed.
Obsolescence Is Not Inevitable
The good news for marketers is that obsolete marketing consumables are no longeran inevitable “cost of doing business.” Today, a growing number of companies are usingnew technology tools and services to dramatically reduce the obsolescence of marketingconsumables. Collectively, these tools and services constitute a marketing consumablesmanagement system (MCMS) that eliminates waste and improves the productivity of themarketing supply chain.A marketing consumables management system is a suite of technologies, services,and print production capabilities that automates the process of procuring, producing, andfulfilling orders of marketing consumables. An MCMS reduces obsolescence byeliminating the need to acquire marketing consumables in large quantities. Bycombining easy online ordering, automated pre-production workflows, and digital printingtechnologies, an MCMS enables companies toacquire marketing consumables in smallquantities on a cost-effective basis. And becauselead times are short, companies can ordermarketing consumables as and when they areneeded, rather than rely on advance forecaststhat are often inaccurate. Therefore, an MCMS eliminates the need for large physicalinventories of marketing consumables, which greatly reduces the possibility thatmaterials will become obsolete before they can be used.Here’s a brief overview of how a marketing consumables management systemworks.
The core component of an MCMS is an online catalog of the marketingconsumables that a company uses. When an authorized user needs to ordermarketing materials, he or she logs into a secure website, selects the desireditems from the catalog, specifies the desired quantity of each item, and submitsthe order.
If the user is ordering an item than can be customized, the online catalog willcontain a template for that item. The template identifies the content elementsthat can be customized, and the system provides the ability to customize the itemin allowable ways. When the user has customized the item, he or she will reviewan online proof of the customized item and then submit the order.

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