While the digital sphere explodes with both content and marketing options, print is still a major component of the marketer's arsenal. In fact, it is estimated that print comprises approximately 40% of a company's marketing budget.
However, most marketers will admit that managing print is a time consuming and complex process that diverts them from their core purpose in the business - building and selling brand!
While marketers focus on strategy and effective communication techniques, marketing production specialists ensure that the print and production component is managed more efficiently. By optimising print management, marketers and brand managers can spend more time on strategy and less time on execution.
The challenges faced by today's marketers are very different from those of even ten years ago. Today's teams are faced with a multitude of new digital channels through which they can communicate with target markets, they are also faced with more competitors, more demands on their creativity and resources and are dealing with more external agencies tasked with the company's creative, design and other marketing work.
A big corporate for example will have not only a number of ad agencies working across brands, but also PR companies, digital specialists, social media companies and more. Today's marketers have a host of new priorities on their plates, with managing the production elements of a campaign being just one of them. Freeing the team's resources by utilising a reputable print management partner, can only benefit an organisation.
Without a proper system in place, the print production process becomes highly complicated to manage, leading to potentially costly and time consuming mistakes.
Elements to be in place
To ensure the most successful outcome of any print process, a number of elements must be in place - the right people, the best processes and the most relevant technology. These will ensure that there is centralised management of the marketing production process, a central and easily accessible repository for all design work and company collateral, an efficient and fair process for sourcing print suppliers that most benefits the company and instant and transparent access to print data and spend.
In addition, with a series of strategies and approaches put in place, companies are assured a high level of print quality and consistency of branding across the organisation and in advertising and marketing material distributed externally to target audiences.
Not only is securing the right partner important, a number of factors are essential in getting the most from your print management process. So, here are some questions to ask from a potential marketing production partner:
- Does your potential marketing production partner demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the entire printing process - including up to date insight into what technology is currently available on the market and what is possible to produce?
- Is the party able to tailor their services to your company's specific needs?
- Do they focus primarily on increasing the overall efficiencies of your print process and not only on cost efficiency?
- Are they able to provide your company with sophisticated technology that is designed uniquely to manage print?
- Is the technology proven and easily able to produce transparent reports and audits?
By asking the right questions, securing a good print and production management partner and refocusing on what they do best, marketers can really make the most of their resources - both internally and externally.