How to Win Friends (in Your Marketing Department) and Influence People (in Their Audience)
As an in-plant, you’re always trying to showcase your value within your organization. It’s likely that the marketing department is the toughest to impress, even though they may have the most to gain from having a powerful print operation in-house. The key to winning them over is to understand their goals, work with them to achieve them and show how you can deliver products and services to support their needs.
So what are marketers focusing on? According to Keypoint Intelligence, enhancing the customer experience (25.9%), improving marketing ROI (31.2%) and developing better engagement with existing customers (31.6%) are popular picks for marketers’ top-three priorities. Those sound pretty obvious, but can you safely say your operation is helping them deliver on those focuses?
As a print expert, you know that the best way to reach an audience is through personalized communication targeted directly at their wants and needs. That’s why enhancing your variable data capabilities can take you far, both in engaging marketing’s audiences and in piquing marketing’s interests. Marketing departments know that data-driven, targeted campaigns enhance the customer experience; that’s why more than 61% of campaigns are targeted.
How do they know this? Why are they so committed to targeted campaigns? Simply put, because these campaigns work. Marketers — like any business people — don’t do things en masse without strong ROI incentive. With targeting, response rates go up and response times go down. Data and the analytics of data are key to reaching those customers. In fact, 81.3% of global marketers describe data as important to their efforts, while 59.3% consider it “critical.” Meanwhile, 90.2% of global marketers in that same survey say they are focused on predictive analytics and segmentation to better target and engage key audiences.
Also, as the need to improve customer experience increases, marketers told analysts at ALF Insight they plan to invest in customer relationship management (CRM, 70%), content management systems (CMS, 69%) and data analytics (67%) as the importance of improving the customer experience increases. The industry’s experts are on board. A direct line can be drawn between response improvement and ROI, but it’s worth noting that variable-data solutions combined with an online storefront also hit on marketers’ third focus: better engagement with existing customers. Operations that embrace these solutions and execute them might see big spikes in repeat orders, a key indicator of customer engagement and satisfaction.
So if you’re looking to get marketing to bring more work in-house, consider enhancing your data-driven, targeted campaign capabilities. By ramping up your variable-driven targeted campaign capabilities along with an online storefront, you will be able to partner with your marketing customers to meet their goals and yours by producing this work in-house.
If you already have an online storefront with variable data and are looking for other ways to improve, you may want to consider a multi-channel campaign solution. By providing a common look and feel to a multi-faceted marketing approach from email to print to mobile, you can ensure that marketing has the tools within your organization to reach their customers.
All of these systems provide automation to help you process those jobs efficiently and effectively. They slash turnaround times and in turn lower overall cost. Don’t be afraid to talk it over with your marketing team, or with an outside consultant who can bring a broader industry picture into the mix. There are always ways to improve operations through the technology coming into the marketplace. So, get targeted and, most importantly, get marketing projects in-house!
Debbie Pavletich is the Director of the Business Consulting Practice in the Commercial & Industrial Printing Business Group of Ricoh USA, Inc. As an in-plant print industry expert, she partners with clients to identify opportunities within their organizations to implement technologies that help minimize cost, streamline processes, increase throughput, improve operational efficiency, and strengthen and communicate business value. Her customer-centered approach and experience leading print industry teams enables her to collaboratively develop solutions that are in alignment with organizational objectives.
With more than 35 years of industry experience, Pavletich’s previous work includes managing a world-class in-plant printing department at Briggs & Stratton Corp. where she was responsible for strategic planning, finances, purchasing, capital equipment implementation, and sales and marketing initiatives. Other accomplishments include early adoption and successful deployment of leading-edge technologies, and initiating a successful sales effort to external customers.
As a subject matter specialist on in-plant operations management Pavletich has delivered presentations on a wide range of industry topics, including the value of in-plant operations, color management, work flow and the implementation of software and equipment that reduced costs, improved efficiencies, and provided additional revenue.
Pavletich has a certificate in management from Marquette University and has completed comprehensive finance coursework at the University of Chicago. She has served as Vendor Representative and International President of the IPMA (In-Plant Printing and Mailing Association), and President of the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s Board of Directors.