The sales drive that focuses on any combination of client objectives—increasing marketing results, increasing sales, more accurately measuring marketing ROI and/or modernizing the marketing communications supply chain—are the predominant factors that produce the condition of competing in unchartered waters where the competition is obsolete.
Doing this well will achieve sales coups where the competition doesn’t find out about the opportunity until it’s too late to do anything about it. This tactic can even go so far as preempting the notion of an RFP/RFQ.
Technology, which has impacted every aspect of American business, has evolved slowest in marketing automation/marketing logistics. Since almost every type of mid-size and larger company has some requirement for marketing, the opportunities to acquire these sales coups are voluminous. Once a company has figured out how to thread the required capabilities together, the sky becomes the limit.
Emphasis should be placed on the business strategy to pursue and support this initiative. The lack of a plan and concentrated effort supported or driven by senior management usually means that success will die on the vine. By nature, service organizations are busy servicing clients; there’s always something to do, so that pressure can easily usurp the new strategic selling initiative. Chief executives need to support the initiative or risk exposing their companies to this emerging new competition.
Beyond the actual sales call, branding, targeting and messaging all change in this new environment. The brand commensurate with this potential is akin to a “marketing effectiveness organization,” but have no fear, there are many layers a printing organization can evolve through without risking the presumption of their “print” bread and butter.
Targeting should be directed toward senior levels of marketing and almost never go through purchasing or the print buyer. The conundrum is determining what to do when your “in” with the target company is the print buyer. Just remember, if you don’t make the migration to the marketing department, sooner or later you will eventually lose the relationship anyway to the service organization that does get through to marketing.