How to streamline your marketing supply chain for better results
Stephen Cuthbert, Chief Operations Officer - Marketing Services, Ovato
Marketing isn’t the job of one person. Every campaign and project involves a range of different stakeholders, suppliers and staff, from strategists, buyers and copywriters to designers, publishers, printers and of course, brands and their customers. And it’s not just the people involved. You’re likely using a range of different platforms and processes as well, whether it’s creative production, e-commerce and inventory or printing systems.
This makes for a very complicated supply chain to deliver marketing campaigns. But in a rapidly changing media landscape, speed to market and the ability to scale for demand are essential.
Consumers want instant gratification, while a 24-hour media cycle and growing competition means brands require the ability to respond to current events and topics almost immediately.
In the retail world, you’re in a cycle of constantly updating your ERP with new stock and your website with fresh content, while customers demand quicker delivery but higher quality, more convenient service.
To successfully manage all of this complexity, you need a streamlined, efficient and responsive marketing supply chain that allows for flexibility, creativity and speed to market.
Increase productivity with a single view of marketing operations
Relying on fragmented communication across different platforms and teams is fruitless when you’ve got so much going on. There are emails and spreadsheets flying back-and-forth, urgent phone conversations that go unrecorded, and everyone is looking at different sources, trying to get the images, files or information they need.
Managing all advertising and marketing content from a centralised platform is essential. An end-to-end production solution will facilitate every step of the offer definition and creative process. This includes managing briefs and layouts, images, offers, copy, concepts, design, proofs, revisions and annotations – all the way through to distribution for print and online channels.
Your teams will find more productive hours in the day to spend on creative and critical tasks, such as quality control or supporting the overall channel mix. With staff not chasing material back-and-forth and with everyone working in the one system, you will greatly reduce needless duplication and excessive correction cycles.
Reduce time on manual tasks to improve creativity
Making these technical details and marketing processes more efficient opens up a range of new opportunities for creativity. With a platform that brings teams together and minimises manual processes - such as updating product information, images and copy, through to automated page builds, collaborative proofing and website content distribution - that time can be focused towards innovation and creative input instead.
And as customer experience (CX) becomes the key differentiator for brands, overtaking both price and product, innovative ideas and creative solutions are more important than ever. As last year’s KPMG retail report shows, it’s essential that “digital and physical touchpoints work together seamlessly”, with retailers exploring the likes of artificial intelligence, personalisation and chatbots to meet customer expectations. The good news is, there’s more time to put towards ideation, new innovations and CX strategy when staff aren’t desperately chasing deadlines or responding to last-minute requests, which offers a massive competitive edge. At the same time, a centralised platform will make it easier to connect the dots between all your different customer touchpoints for a more seamless experience.
The backbone of your marketing business
A smart content and production platform will form the backbone of your marketing operations, delivering more days into your production schedule, improving workflow and giving staff time to focus on creative problem-solving and thinking. At the end of the day, this all contributes to genuine business results. After all, three-quarters of CMOS at top-performing companies say their top reason for implementing marketing automation is to grow revenue.