Copyright © 2010 by G. David DoddAll rights reserved.
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to their go-to-market strategy, but 51% of the respondentsadmitted they had used marketing materials that contained outdated content.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every interaction with a potential buyer isimportant, and sales can easily be lost if prospects are provided outdated information.Therefore, the most serious problem with obsolete marketing materials may not be thewasteful spending they cause, but rather the revenues and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.