How much is your marketing budget? Research shows marketing budgets haven’t declined in five years, according to WebStrategies. In fact, this year, 85% of companies are expected to increase spending, or at the very least, maintain budget levels from the year before.
No matter what the budget, marketers must spread that money over many different channels from social media to print marketing.
To help marketers stretch their budgets, take a look at three ways marketers are wasting money and how an online storefront can provide cost saving solutions:
1. Ignoring the ROI of Print and Direct Mail and Opting for Digital Only Strategies
Social media spending has tripled since 2009, but according to a recent Forbes article, many companies say the money budgeted for things like Facebook ads has fallen short when it comes to ROI.
Social media and email marketing are important, but they don’t have the staying power of traditional methods like direct mail. A social media post has a lifespan of 18 minutes, and subscribers only pay attention to an email for 15-20 seconds. That’s it.
Although there is a larger upfront investment for print and direct mail, it can be more effective in the long run. When you send a coupon, catalog, or postcard it becomes a physical reminder of your brand and drives online actions (purchases, donations, etc.).
In fact, 92% of Millennials—who are expected to spend a whopping $200 billion annually—say direct mail is the most influential media on their purchase decisions. So those companies that have dramatically reduced or eliminated their budget for print and direct mail may be missing out on a big slice of the pie.
In addition to the cost, most marketing and creative resources are strapped for time. They’re tasked with creating and distributing multiple pieces of content per week. They tend to focus on digital strategies because they are considered quicker and easier to get out the door than print campaigns. While that may be true if you don’t have an online storefront, a digital only strategy can significantly reduce your ROI.
The Solution: Online storefronts enable you to easily create cost-effective print programs.
An online storefront allows you to create and print custom marketing materials and other communication pieces on-the-fly. A marketing manager can create an overall concept, and allow other team members to not only access the materials but customize them for their branch, store, location, etc. The storefront serves as a centralized location for staff, across many locations, allowing them to create materials that are on-point and on-brand—without using scarce marketing resources or investing in additional design time.
Online storefronts leverage some of the latest print technology including web-based templates and design tools, variable data, automated workflows and approvals, and print-on-demand orders. Plus these online solutions can be tied into production management software like Shawmut Insight, making it even easier to get your next print or direct mail campaign out the door.
2. Over-ordering marketing materials
How many old marketing brochures, banners, and trinkets do you have stockpiled in the office closet or storage room? Do you manage a list to keep track?
Every year, marketing teams over-order marketing supplies. To save money, they place one bulk order and try to use the materials throughout the year. But every year materials get wasted. Outdated marketing brochures or postcards get stockpiled in closets because marketers don’t have an accurate way to estimate the number of materials they need.
Tracking and ordering marketing materials by hand is a waste of time and money.
The Solution: An online storefront provides marketing inventory management.
With an online storefront, marketers can track how many materials they previously ordered and make adjustments accordingly. By ordering the right number of materials, you’ll save money and space in your closet. You’ll have access to detailed reports showing you exactly where your materials were shipped and who ordered them. And with Shawmut’s advanced storefront features you can fully configure the storefront around your specific business requirements. That includes inventory notifications, automatic re-order points, order limits (by quantity or cost), approval workflows, shopping cart views by user, and more.
3. Wasting Staff Time with Fulfillment and Logistics
Let’s say you’re headed to a trade show. Designing the materials is just the start. Now you have to get them printed, pick up boxes, pack the materials up without damaging them, go to the post office, and ship them to your trade show ahead of your arrival.
With so many minor details to handle, something is bound to go wrong. Instead of tying up valuable time with these logistics, why not leave it to professionals?
The Solution: Online storefronts and fulfillment services handle the logistics for you.
In addition to helping marketers create and print marketing materials as needed, an online storefront comes with fulfillment services. That means the packing and shipping are done for you. That big box of materials, including your exhibit booth, brochures, postcards and branded tablecloth, are carefully packaged and shipped to the trade show location.
Fulfillment services take the pressure off of your marketing team to handle the logistics, and lets them do what they do best—market your brand. Plus your materials will be packed and shipped by logistics specialists who know how to properly prepare each shipment and get the best rate, saving you time and money.
Get an Online Storefront for Your Brand
Ready to stop wasting your marketing budget and get help from professionals? A web-to-print storefront gives your marketing team the ability to create, order, customize, print, and ship any kind of marketing material you need—wherever and whenever you need it.
Contact Shawmut Communications Group to set up a demo of our online storefronts today.