Technology has made the world move exponentially faster. Unfortunately, the on-demand expectations of audiences, as well as the rapid rate at which things change, can make it difficult for marketing teams to keep up.
Marketing teams that can quickly move marketing collateral through the design, production, approval and distribution process (otherwise summarized as marketing fulfillment) benefit from:
- Seizing lucrative windows of opportunity first.
- Getting in front of prospective customers before the competition.
- Long-term strategic positioning as a market leader.
Fortunately, it’s easy to accelerate the time it takes to get marketing collateral in the hands of prospects faster. In this guide, we’ll cover how marketers can accelerate the production and distribution of marketing collateral, including:
- Why speed to market is critical in marketing.
- Solutions for expediting the approval process.
- How to get marketing collateral to sales teams faster.
- How to ensure a seamless and efficient marketing supply chain.
Why Speed to Market is Critical in Marketing
“People have plenty of different definitions for excellence in marketing — structured thinking, results-oriented, working well with the sales team, a great brand, to name a few. All of those attributes are important, but I believe that speed is the single most critical characteristic of a winning marketing team.” –Jaleh Rezaei, CEO and Founder of Mutiny
One of the biggest advantages of getting marketing collateral in the hands of target audiences quickly is the first-mover advantage. First-mover advantage refers to the momentum, brand awareness and long-term strategic benefit from when your message gets in front of prospects first.
After all, being late to the game can come with long-standing consequences, such as:
- Allowing competitors to dominate the market.
- Audiences perceiving your brand as a follower.
- Prospects view your products or services as imitations, or second-rate when compared with the market leader.
Whether launching a new product, promoting a seasonal offering or seizing new opportunities, marketers need to move fast. But manual processes, bandwidth limitations and weak links in your marketing supply chain can result in costly delays.
3 Common Causes of Marketing Collateral Delays
Here are common culprits for delays in marketing fulfillment–and their solutions.
Reason #1: Lengthy Approval Processes
Internal review and approval processes are one of the top reasons for bottlenecks and delays. If it takes your business two weeks to obtain approvals for a postcard, but your competitor only takes two days to deploy their campaign, you’ve just lost the strategic advantage–and revenue.
The solution: A marketing portal drastically reduces the bottlenecks, delays and headaches that come with lengthy approval processes.
Custom-built for your business, a marketing portal centralizes all of your marketing collateral and branded assets in an easy-to-use, web-based platform. Users have 24/7 self-service access to order, customize and distribute marketing materials with minimal oversight from the marketing department.
And don’t worry, we know that marketing teams can’t just hand off the creation of marketing materials since brand guidelines, key messaging, and legal or regulatory language must be strictly enforced.
A marketing portal solves for this by giving admins (typically members of the marketing department) enterprise-level control over:
- Who can access the portal.
- What marketing materials each user is permitted to order.
- How much can be ordered.
- Which marketing assets can be customized.
Automated approval routing speeds up the traditional approval process and the “controlled customization” capabilities within the portal allow users to order, modify and distribute the marketing materials they need with minimal oversight or resources from marketing.
>>>Related Resource: What is a Marketing Portal?
Reason #2: Marketing Collateral Isn't Getting to Sales Reps Fast Enough
If sales reps aren’t armed with the right sales tools at the right time, it can be the difference between winning and losing a deal.
For example, sales reps frequently have last-minute requests for presentations, meetings and events. While it’s crucial to equip sales reps with hyper-targeted marketing collateral, it’s not realistic for marketing teams to process a constant stream of custom design requests. Not only do custom requests drain resources, but processes for approval, development, production, and distribution can take so long that the window of opportunity has closed or been taken by a competitor.
Worse, delays impact more than just the sales department.
Multi-location businesses, franchises, distributors and other partners need marketing materials just as fast in order to effectively:
- Seize windows of opportunity, such as an HVAC company mailing postcards to homeowners in zip codes experiencing a record-breaking heat wave.
- Speak to the needs of the local market, especially when market conditions, consumer behavior or policies change. For example, during the pandemic, franchises were bombarded with requests from franchisees for updated collateral that reflected their new hours and COVID policies.
The Solution: Through the use of pre-designed and pre-approved templates in a marketing portal, users can tailor names, logos, and images to address the needs of prospects or local audiences with pinpoint precision. Pre-written and pre-approved copy can be selected from a drop-down menu to specifically address how your business solves a prospect’s pain points.
>>>Related Resource: 3 Sales Collateral Management Tips to Propel Sales
Reason #3: Weak Links in the Marketing Supply Chain
Multiple vendors for design, printing, mailing, kitting, fulfillment and shipping create weak links in your marketing supply chain. Weak links in the marketing supply chain create the perfect storm for significant delays.
Fast print production and distribution times are critical for keeping your business top-of-mind and staying ahead of competitors. But coordinating the deployment of a print marketing campaign with multiple vendors requires time and resources. Additionally, there’s little-to-no room for error, so a small hiccup can quickly create delays that require additional time and money to fix.
The Solution: Find a printer that does more than just printing. By consolidating vendors and working with an all-in-one marketing fulfillment partner that specializes in speed to market, you’ll streamline the entire process and prevent delays from weak links in your marketing supply chain. Not only will delays be avoided, but a marketing fulfillment partner with in-house print, mail and distribution capabilities will substantially expedite speed to market by:
- Reducing the number of vendors in the supply chain.
- Sending marketing assets directly to prospects and target audiences.
- Ensuring ready-to-ship marketing materials are always in-stock and ready for same-day fulfillment.
- Equipping sales reps with what they need, when they need it.
>>>Related Resource: Benefits of an All-in-One Marketing Fulfillment Partner
Move Marketing Collateral Faster With Jet Mail
While the speed of business isn’t going to slow down, the team of marketing fulfillment experts at Jet Mail make it easy for marketing teams to keep up.
At Jet Mail, we specialize in providing custom solutions for businesses looking to expedite delivery times and accelerate speed to market. With a state-of-the-art print shop, commercial mail house and 80,000 sq. ft. fulfillment center all under one roof, only Jet Mail can ensure your marketing collateral gets in the hands of prospects fast, seamlessly and first.
Contact us today to learn more about how our speed-centric technology and infrastructure can help your business move marketing collateral at jet speed.