Marketing online and offline couldn’t be more complex and competitive than it is today. Markets have fragmented and advertising mediums have splintered into hundreds of specialized niches, all requiring specialized expertise in order to achieve respectable results. Marketing channels too, are splintered and controlled by conglomerates. It’s a realm that is often beyond the average marketers view let alone their ability to control it.
Promotional marketing is generally seen as the tail end of the campaign, however if a companies overall marketing activities don’t support its objectives and timing, the results are often poor, and the promotions manager gets to take the blame for the failure.
Choosing a good marketing company to integrate these complicated promotional channels is a task in itself since many will promise exceptional marketing campaign results yet few will deliver what you expect. When they fail, will you know where the problem was or will you have to chalk it up to experience and start all over again?
Why is it that many marketing firm’s promotional programs and implementation fail? Primarily because they don’t understand this fragmentation of media. Integrated marketing is not only a buzzword. Multi-channel marketing tactics need to be developed and coordinated by a campaign manager and carried out as a systematic program. Unfortunately, there is a shortage of skilled promotional marketing experts and a limited number of marketing companies that have a national network of marketing channel partners and contacts. Integrated marketing cannot be done well by small marketing companies that arrange deals with other independents. Large marketing companies have the resources, and the network of established channel partners that ensure your products are promoted from distribution to point of sale.
Since marketing and advertising channels have become so fragmented, it is difficult for an advertiser to reach and affect a target consumer. Advertisers can no longer take access to consumers for granted and it takes a concerted effort to reach a consumer a number of different ways. Promotional marketing campaigns have to consider multiple mediums including the Internet to achieve optimal promotional and sales results. When they work together, they can register with the consumer audience, and ensure that your products are distributed to where they need to be at the right time.
We hear a lot about Internet marketing and its incredible reach, and it is excellent for communications and setting up brand awareness and purchase desire. However, for consumer goods companies, few promotional channels surpass retail store promotion. The retail store location is where the sale is made, and when your promotional program is focused to work well here, you’re likely to see things go well. A sale can be lost at the point of sale, much to the consternation of firms with weak connections and retail sales training programs. They’re unable to respond to sales rep issues and the demands of consumers, and when the consumer loses confidence or interest, they will not commit to buying the product.
Sales transactions are complex and premiums and incentives are a key part of whether your product will make it to the store shelves and receive the right sales support. Once your products leave the warehouse, they are on their own, unless a professional promotional marketing company is supporting them at the retail level.
Strong Integrated Channels
Marketing channels are complicated too, and if the connections in your network aren’t strong throughout, your sales can come to shuddering halt. Don’t think marketing channel members don’t know about your distribution vulnerabilities too. They know you’re an independent and they have their primary loyalties to bigger manufacturers and distributors. Your products may get secondary status and receive no sales support.
So what happens during fragmented promotional campaigns? Many marketing promotion campaigns are marred by poor point of sale signage, supplier communication blocks, unreliable reporting, warehouse fulfillment problems, poor sales support, poor sales training, along with high costs and outdated technology. A marketing promotion can fail many different ways and you need to understand why. When you’re spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on campaign development and distribution activities, and have committed to a particular marketing company, your company’s future is on the line.
What you need is a reliable marketing company that possesses the warehousing and database systems, fulfillment practices, and sales support network to ease distribution and communication problems.
If you’re still managing your marketing promotion campaigns in-house, you should consider outsourcing to a promotional advertising and marketing firm that offers a complete variety of support service. From campaign planning to post-sales customer support, these companies can take a burden off your hands and actually give you an edge in the retail promotions space.
Big promotional marketing companies have developed capabilities in producing creative and effective POS marketing materials, print advertising pieces, packaging, warehouse automation, and retail distribution. They can help you manage large scale orders on demanding deadlines because their state of the art electronic systems are set up to do this. They provide solutions for billing/invoicing, customized reporting, and warehouse distribution of your marketing collateral. From EDI transactions to Web-based reporting tools, they have a command of the marketing fulfillment process and can give you an excellent awareness of your marketing campaign performance. Just working with these companies once can make you a better marketing manager.
So give yourself a break and bring in the full service promotional consultants and then start seeing your marketing campaigns hit the mark. As part of a complete integrated, promotional marketing campaign, these service companies will save money, time, and reduce communication problems, and thus save your future marketing channel relationships.
If you could double the ROI on your retail promotional marketing campaign, would not it make sense to bring in a full service promotional marketing company?