Today’s marketing leaders are facing two major sources of pressure that may make them think twice about the wisdom of creating physical marketing collateral — from printed brochures and flyers to displays, signage and other direct-to-consumer or POS/POP materials. The first is cost: with margins tighter than ever, the costs of producing, distributing, and storing inventory start to seem steeper than the returns. The second is environmental sustainability: the materials waste associated with print marketing often gives the more traditional approach a bad rap. Industry studies have shown that up to 30% of marketing collateral is thrown away, or sitting in a warehouse collecting dust and monthly fees.
But savvy marketers know that those tangible materials audiences can touch and feel and keep are critical drivers of brand awareness, reputation, and trust. And if done right, marketing materials production doesn’t have to bust the budget or create an outsized impact on the environment.
This is where on-demand production comes in. With the right marketing execution partner, companies can shift away from overly large print runs and collateral orders and save money, reduce waste, and increase ROI by producing exactly what they need, when they need it.
Reduced Materials Waste
A significant source of materials waste in print marketing comes from overprinting materials. Sometimes that’s because marketers are overestimating their quantity needs in order to provide a little buffer so they don’t have to wait around for a second production round. Often, it’s because printers have high minimums and/or production costs are so high that large, national-scale volumes are required to justify the pricing.
This is the first and most obvious reason to embrace on-demand production. When you work with a marketing execution partner (like OneTouchPoint) that offers flexible print runs and cost-effective on-demand and just-in-time production, you no longer need to deal with sky-high minimums or print extras “just in case.” Whether you need 2,500 pieces a month from now or 50 pieces next week, printing exactly what you need, when you need it means minimizing wasted materials and wasted money.
At OneTouchPoint, our inventory management services are designed to help our clients minimize waste by providing twenty-four/seven transparency into what’s in the warehouse (no need to print new brochures when you’ve got boxes on the shelf already) and providing detailed reports on what marketing assets are currently going unused. We work with clients to deplete their obsolete materials, but more importantly, we use this information to help guide clients to begin embracing on-demand materials production whenever possible by showing them exactly how much they could reduce both their spending and their environmental impact by eliminating the wasted space and materials.
With bulk ordering, it’s almost impossible to customize material based on geography or any other criteria. But when you take advantage of print-on-demand, it’s much more feasible to tailor materials to recipients, both to increase engagement and to stay on top of local regulations and ordinances. For example, in heavily regulated industries like adult beverage, it’s important to tailor coupon content and functionality based on state-by-state promotional laws. Regionalized marketing speaks volumes to a consumer when you tailor your promotion to their lifestyle. Consider a football-themed case sleeves customized with the team colors for each region. While large-scale orders make this kind of customization cost-prohibitive, when you’re working with a marketing execution partner who can produce those materials in low quantities with reasonable per-unit prices — case sleeves in quantities as low as 25 per order, or coupons in batches of 500 — then personalization is an easy choice. (And we’re confident it will pay off: McKinsey reports that personalization can reduce customer acquisition costs by up to 50 percent and increase marketing spend efficiency by up to 30 percent.)
The benefits — cost savings, sustainability, and ROI — of on-demand production are clear. Here at OneTouchPoint, we pride ourselves on supporting our customers as they make that shift. We provide businesses with easy, quality, cost-effective on-demand printing capabilities for mailing materials, signage, kits, and more — and with our recent acquisition of IRG, we’re thrilled to offer even more robust on-demand technology and execution support. If your company is ready to make the shift, we invite you to contact us to learn more, or request a quote on your next project. Our experts will provide insight and ideas to deliver phenomenal results at a great price.