Mailing & Fulfillment — Five Steps to Become an MSP

• Marketing Requirements,

• Creative,

• Print,

• Mail,

• Fulfillment,

• Telemarketing,

• Data Collection and Management.

Simply stated, the marketing value chain identifies the support elements of each and every marketing initiative completed by marketing departments. There are two keys to note in the chain.

First, print is the first element after the creative process is completed. (Printers have always been the first outside vendor in the chain, which was the reason I kept looking over my shoulder for them to take control of the fulfillment industry.)

Second, every program has data collection and management as the foundation of the initiative. It is also assumed that companies that can offer all marketing support services in the chain have a better chance of competing for the business. The obvious advantages to offering complete services are reduced time to market and reduced costs, as well as marketing personnel only having to deal with one vendor, one contact and issue one PO for the entire job.

The primary benefit to the printer is account control. Every print order is subject to competitive pressure, but it is very difficult to find a true one-stop marketing services shop.

However, it may be that this approach to the MSP answer is too limited in scope. Jonathan Margulies, director at the Winterberry Group, recently presented an enlarged marketing services value chain shown above. This new chain provides a broader scope of services required by marketing organizations and increases the types and amount of services that could potentially be offered.

The model also includes some of the services we have been pulled into by our clients in the past several years, including variable printing, e-mail blasts and personalized URLs with landing pages. This new and expansive model has creative, strategic, data management and customer support elements new to the value chain model. Margulies advises to stay close to your core competency as you add new services, which is consistent with my original value chain model.

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