Responsible Marketing: Things I’ve Learned, Relearned and Unlearned
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Responsible Marketing: Things I’ve Learned, Relearned and Unlearned

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Responsible marketing is a relatively new addition to the marketing lexicon, and for some, it has one meaning only—marketing that is responsible to the environment. But that’s only part of the ...

Responsible marketing is a relatively new addition to the marketing lexicon, and for some, it has one meaning only—marketing that is responsible to the environment. But that’s only part of the story. As marketers, we also have responsibilities to our shareholders, our clients or customers, our associates, our communities and our families. And these responsibilities are not mutually exclusive. In fact, like the things that make up our environment—air, water, plants, animals—they are interdependent. This book is a way of sharing some knowledge and insights on responsible marketing. It’s designed to be read in bites—you can pick and choose whatever strikes you at the moment.

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Responsible Marketing: Things I’ve Learned, Relearned and Unlearned Responsible Marketing: Things I’ve Learned, Relearned and Unlearned Presentation Transcript

  • THINGS I’VE LEARNED, RELEARNED AND UNLEARNED BY WILLIAM ZIERCHER (REFORMED MARKETING KNOW-IT-ALL)© Copyright 2011 Gabriel Group. All rights reserved. NEXT
  • CONTENTS 3 INTRODUCTION 4 CHAPTER ONE I The One Metric That Will Always Be Important: ROI 5 CHAPTER TWO I ROI Is a Team Effort 6 CHAPTER THREE I The More You Know the Better You’ll Do 8 CHAPTER FOUR I Paying Attention to TCO—Total Cost of Ownership 10 CHAPTER FIVE I The One Totally Irreplaceable Resource 12 CHAPTER SIX I One Thing I Learned from My Mom: It’s Good to Share 14 CHAPTER SEVEN I More Wisdom from Mom: A Good Scrub Will Solve a Lot of Problems 16 CHAPTER EIGHT I Growing Green by Going Green 18 CHAPTER NINE I What’s Good for Others Is Good for You 19 FOR FURTHER EXPLORATION 20 ABOUT THE AUTHORn WILLIAM ZIERCHER RESPONSIBLE MARKETING: THINGS I’VE LEARNED, RELEARNED AND UNLEARNED PREVIOUS NEXT
  • INTRODUCTION Responsible marketing is a relatively new addition to the marketing lexicon, and for some, it has one meaning only—marketing that is responsible to the environment. But that’s only part of the story. As marketers, we also have responsibilities to our shareholders, our clients or customers, our associates, our communities and our families. And these responsibilities are not mutually exclusive. In fact, like the things that make up our environment—air, water, plants, animals—they are interdependent. This book is a way of sharing some knowledge and insights on responsible marketing. It’s designed to be read in bites—you can pick and choose whatever strikes you at the moment. I have to confess that old friends probably would not think of me as an environmentalist. But I believe strongly that the time for being responsible to all things on which we depend and which depend on us is necessary and good. After close to 30 years in the field, I am still learning, relearning and, yes, unlearning some things I was sure would never change. Including my mind.n WILLIAM ZIERCHER RESPONSIBLE MARKETING: THINGS I’VE LEARNED, RELEARNED AND UNLEARNED n 3 PREVIOUS NEXT
  • CHAPTER ONE THE ONE METRIC THAT WILL ALWAYS BE IMPORTANT: ROI If there’s one metric you can’t downplay, it’s the importance of ROI. Since we’re all in business to make money or in nonprofits to advance our missions by raising money, a favorable ROI will alwaysHOW DO YOU FIGURE ROI? be the primary goal. It is where responsibility begins. And “nice try” doesn’t cut it. Here’s the most commonly used formula: I learned that a long time ago. If I ever forget it, I will need to relearn it ASAP, or there will be some people out of work who won’t deserve it. Responsible marketing involves accountability on a (Revenue – Investment) number of fronts: shareholders or partners, employees, clients, the community and the environment. Investment Remember to include all costs But here is something I realized fully only in the last few years: Being associated with the effort. And responsible to the bottom line does not mean you have to set aside those other try to have a reasonable projection responsibilities. In fact, taking care of one means taking care of all. of the real profit, not all of whichmay be on the books immediately. With positive ROI, your company is more likely to hire and retain great employees. It’s easier to justify raises, training, and benefits. And if you deliver positive ROI on the programs you manage, you are much less likely to be looking for a job when you’d rather not. The most obvious way to improve ROI is by improving performance, often easier said than done. Another is to cut costs by aggressive shopping and pricing demands. A third is to eliminate waste. When you cut waste, you are saving money that often goes directly to the bottom line, and your efforts will benefit the environment, too. Responsible marketers address all three. n WILLIAM ZIERCHER RESPONSIBLE MARKETING: THINGS I’VE LEARNED, RELEARNED AND UNLEARNED n 4 PREVIOUS NEXT
  • CHAPTER TWO ROI IS A TEAM EFFORT I suppose there are a few marketing success stories that spring from a single, individual stroke of brilliance, but in my experience far more result from collaboration—collaboration with consumers, agencies, vendors, franchisees, distributors, retailers and most importantly, especially in B-to-B situations, sales. I came up through sales, so I have a bias, but I am totally convinced that sales and marketing have to play as a team. One supports the other, marketing by facilitating sales, sales by providing marketing with input “from the ground.” It should be one of the marketer’s key objectives to make life as easy as possible for the sales force, because their fates are intertwined. That involves not just developing good materials, but making them timely, easy to get, and easy to customize. Sales management needs to distill input from the sales force and feed it back to marketing. The information gained from day-to-day input from customers is critical to the development of new products and services, as well as to the building of the right sales. I have never known a sale to be made while a salesperson was scrounging around trying to get his or her hands on the right brochures. What I Relearn Every Day n Nothing happens until somebody sells something. n Anything that diverts a salesperson from selling reduces ROI.n WILLIAM ZIERCHER RESPONSIBLE MARKETING: THINGS I’VE LEARNED, RELEARNED AND UNLEARNED n 5 PREVIOUS NEXT
  • CHAPTER THREE THE MORE YOU KNOW THE BETTER YOU’LL DO Today’s marketing executive reminds me of those old-time one-man-band acts, playing five or six instruments at once, and trying to keep everything going at a nice, harmonious pace. It was so much easier back when I started out—and I am not THAT old. There was mass media and direct. Print and broadcast. Network and spot. Now the marketing executive has all those cards to play, plus web, email, mobile, social media and whatever tomorrow will bring. It is his or her responsibility to put them all in play, keep them working together, and to be able to justify the company’s investment in each of them. That requires constant measurement and analysis of every effort and its effect on profitability. Welcome to the world of analytics. This is an area that has grown, has become infinitely more complex and yet, thanks to our friend the microchip, has become more accurate than ever before. In my early direct response days, we were proud of our ability to measure response. Sure those ad guys were creative, but when they figured out they failed, their client was on its way into the tank. We knew what succeeded and when, down to the last block group. But we didn’t know at what point the consumer sent our mailing piece to the wastebasket. And we still don’t. But we know where he clicks on the website, and how long he stays. And if he puts something in the shopping cart and then abandons it.n WILLIAM ZIERCHER RESPONSIBLE MARKETING: THINGS I’VE LEARNED, RELEARNED AND UNLEARNED n 6 PREVIOUS NEXT
  • CHAPTER THREE By analyzing her actions, we can spot the consumer who is heading for the other brand, and head her off before she gets out of the fold. We know which donors have more to give than they are giving to us, and when we’re not getting our fair share of the business buyer’s wallet. We know when our email is opened, and when it is bounced. We can measure and analyzeAn organization’s ability the click-throughs and actions.to learn, and translate We can monitor social media to see what our fans (and those not so friendly) are saying about our latest product release, searching for keywords that indicate “for” or “against.”that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate If we are not taking advantage of those capabilities, we are either leaving money on the table or throwing it away. Neither one is terribly responsible.competitive advantage. Jack Welch What I’ve Learned n Nobody except a gambler would roll the dice for millions of dollars based on a gut hunch. And responsible marketing managers are not gamblers. What I Am Always Learning n There’s always something new to measure, and some new tool that will do it. n WILLIAM ZIERCHER RESPONSIBLE MARKETING: THINGS I’VE LEARNED, RELEARNED AND UNLEARNED n 7 PREVIOUS NEXT
  • CHAPTER FOUR PAYING ATTENTION TO TCO …TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP When I started my career selling envelopes, and then direct mail, we ALWAYS over-ordered consumables, usually by about 10 percent…less on really large quantities. This wasn’t gouging… there was a real concern. If you ran short, it was expensive to go back on press…and production could not promise to hit the quantity mark right on. So “overs” made sense. In some areas, “overs” are still a necessary part of doing business. In processing for mail, there can be spoilage on imaging and inserting equipment, even in the best-run shops. But “over” thinking became a habit, and it can be an expensive one. Here’s why: It costs money to ship, store and account for all that extra paper. And mountains of unused paper can accumulate seemingly overnight. A bit of relearning about TCO Technology clients of my company initially taught me the meaning of the letters “TCO”—total cost of ownership, including software, training, upgrades, etc. At first, it didn’t occur to me that TCO was important to printed materials. But then one day, I walked through our warehouse, and looked at all the paper clients had stored there—for months on end. If your department produces sales sheets, brochures, trade show materials, I’d bet good money that you would find all kinds of ancient history on your warehouse shelves. If it were only gathering dust, no big deal, but the costs mount—ching! ching!! ching!!!—with every month those materials sit.n WILLIAM ZIERCHER RESPONSIBLE MARKETING: THINGS I’VE LEARNED, RELEARNED AND UNLEARNED n 8 PREVIOUS NEXT
  • CHAPTER FOUR Before you know it, the total cost of ownership of those overprinted and probably obsolete materials is twice what you paid the printer. Seriously! And that cost could be critically wounding your ROI. Not good. With the advent of capable, high-quality digital imaging systems there’s an economical way to print only what you need when you need it. This won’t work if you need a million pieces or even 100,000, but it’s great for quantities of, say, 100 or 1,000 or even 2,000, which are expensive to put on press. What I’ve Learned n The TCO of many printed materials is double the original cost. That can seriously undermine the ROI you thought you had. What I’ve Unlearned n Old print-buying habits. “Over-thinking” can be a costly problem.n WILLIAM ZIERCHER RESPONSIBLE MARKETING: THINGS I’VE LEARNED, RELEARNED AND UNLEARNED n 9 PREVIOUS NEXT
  • CHAPTER FIVE THE ONE TOTALLY IRREPLACEABLE RESOURCE There’s a lot of talk about conserving natural resources, and that’s a good thing. But there’s one resource that is totally irreplaceable, and that is time. We often overlook the time people waste by working inefficiently…looking for things, duplicating efforts, straightening out accounting snafus and such. These things went on all the time; they were often part of the process. It happened in my own company, and I still see clients—I’ll never tell who they are—who are even more serious time wasters. Now there are systems to help them manage their digital assets better. Forget all the costly time-wasting double and triple efforts. Set up an effective Digital Asset Management (DAM) system. With it, you’ll get… n An instantly accessible repository for the constantly growing collection of digital files every marketing department accumulates—logos, brochure files, sales sheet files, ad files, videos, commercials, you name it n A fulfillment system, capable of accepting orders, initiating production, tracking production and shipping or mailing, and then billing them all with just a couple of clicks n A system for customizing printed or electronic materials—a real time saver for companies who franchise, have retail stores, agents, or even just a large sales force n An inventory management system tracking usage and supplies and alerting when levels are lown WILLIAM ZIERCHER RESPONSIBLE MARKETING: THINGS I’VE LEARNED, RELEARNED AND UNLEARNED n 10 PREVIOUS NEXT
  • CHAPTER FIVE n A watchdog for branding and compliance…it won’t allow incorrect use n A truly accurate source of marketing data to feed into your analytics programs Bear in mind, these systems don’t take vacations or holidays and can be accessible from anywhere in the world. Think about the time a system like that would save your company. Just as importantly, think about the time your people are wasting now, and how much it is costing you. Then don’t get sidetracked by thinking about the cost of building and maintaining such a system, because there are ways you can have the cake and eat it, too. What I Am Constantly Relearning n There is no virtue in working hard when you make more money by working smart. n People have better things to do than fight inefficient systems.n WILLIAM ZIERCHER RESPONSIBLE MARKETING: THINGS I’VE LEARNED, RELEARNED AND UNLEARNED n 11 PREVIOUS NEXT
  • CHAPTER SIX ONE THING I LEARNED FROM MY MOM: IT’S GOOD TO SHARE Mom was thinking about toys and cookies. I am thinking about technology resources. Making the best possible use of technology resources is a foundation principle of responsible marketing. And in many cases, the way to accomplish this is to share. The Digital Asset Management system I described in Chapter Four is a case in point. If you were to build it from scratch, it would take months—okay, years—of programming time, a small fortune in computer hardware and software licenses, plus weeks of training and retraining. Your investment always ends up being much larger than you budgeted. And it’s up to you to explain how this happened. By the time you actually got it going, it would be too small, possibly unreliable and almost certainly obsolete. This is a fast-moving world. That’s the bad news. The good news is that you don’t have to buy, you can share, paying only for what you use. There are companies who specialize in shareable resources for production, fulfillment and distribution of marketing materials (mine is one). These systems are easy and ultimately far less expensive to use. Here are some of the advantages: n You have no initial investment cost to justify or recoup. n The system is available now. n It is tested and reliable.n WILLIAM ZIERCHER RESPONSIBLE MARKETING: THINGS I’VE LEARNED, RELEARNED AND UNLEARNED n 12 PREVIOUS NEXT
  • CHAPTER SIX n It can accommodate all kinds of files, from documents to customizable brochures and sales sheets, to forms and supplies, to sound and video files for commercials and presentations. n There is minimal need for training; the system is user-friendly. n You don’t have to worry about the cost of upgrades. n It can handle your company’s growing needs easily. n Your staff time can be invested in growth instead of maintaining the status quo. n The system can be customized to your look and to your accounting needs. n You pay only for what you use. n It is usable 24/7 from anywhere, by any authorized staff member, dealer, reseller, etc. n You make the rules of access. Mom was right. What I’ve Learned n Sharing cookies is good. What I’ve Relearned n Sharing cookies is not nearly as good as sharing resources. n Never buy what you can lease. Never lease what you can rent. Never rent what you can borrow. Never borrow what you can salvage. Ian C. MacMillan, professor of entrepreneurship at Wharton’s Snider Entrepreneurial Centern WILLIAM ZIERCHER RESPONSIBLE MARKETING: THINGS I’VE LEARNED, RELEARNED AND UNLEARNED n 13 PREVIOUS NEXT
  • CHAPTER SEVEN MORE WISDOM FROM MOM: A GOOD SCRUB WILL SOLVE A LOT OF PROBLEMS Mom was thinking more about faces and floors, but her motherly wisdom extends to the world of marketing. Dirty data destroys ROI. If you contact your customers directly by mail, email, phone, text or whatever, you should become a clean freak. Recently, DM News reported that direct mailers waste more than $6 billion a year on undeliverable mail. That’s way too much money to throw away, and that’s an awful lot of trees that have given their lives for nothing. While the cost per contact of email is less than that of mail, the percentage of waste is even higher than the seven-plus percent of mail that is typically undeliverable. If you practice any form of direct contact, data cleanup is the first and usually most productive step to improving your ROI. Cleaning your data house can produce improvements that will not only make your response numbers look better but will result in financial gains that go straight to the bottom line. If the improvements result in fewer printed pieces, you’ve saved some trees. There are companies that can help you get your data in order (mine is one), and if the cleanup task seems too formidable for your internal resources, call on one of them to clean and maintain your database. Their services will be far less expensive than constantly mailing to the landfill.n WILLIAM ZIERCHER RESPONSIBLE MARKETING: THINGS I’VE LEARNED, RELEARNED AND UNLEARNED n 14 PREVIOUS NEXT
  • CHAPTER SEVEN THINK ABOUT THIS: n You mail 1,000,000 pieces a year. If 10 percent of your database in undeliverable, a duplicate or n The TCO of each piece is $1.50 miscoded (and this is by no means uncommon), you have spent (see Chapter Four). $150,000 mailing directly to the landfill. Reducing that waste and the cost that goes with it directly improves the bottom line. n Your annual cost is $1,500,000. MOM WAS RIGHT AGAIN. What I’ve Relearned n Inaccurate, dirty data destroys ROI. That’s true in email, phone sales, direct mail and your personal sales pipeline. n Cleaning up a dirty database is a key step toward improved ROI, and one of the most productive.n WILLIAM ZIERCHER RESPONSIBLE MARKETING: THINGS I’VE LEARNED, RELEARNED AND UNLEARNED n 15 PREVIOUS NEXT
  • CHAPTER EIGHT GROWING GREEN BY GOING GREEN There is a fairly common misconception that going green—reducing your impact on the environment—is costly. While there is often an up-front cost, in the long run many environmentally sensitive steps actually protect revenue and save money, and in ways we don’t always consider. Let’s talk about producing and protecting revenue. Over the past couple of years, I have looked at a fair number of Requests for Proposal, and nearly every one has an environmental question or section: “How do you handle waste?” “Do you recycle?” “Describe the steps your company takes to protect the environment.” “Are you and your suppliers FSC certified?” FSC is the Forest Stewardship Council, which promotes the use of “farmed” trees rather than harvesting from wild forests. A few years ago, only nonprofits with environmental causes and perhaps governmental entities would have asked those questions. Now they come from insurance companies, manufacturers, banks, retailers, and the list goes on. Increasingly, businesses and consumers are looking at sound environmental practices as a baseline selection criterion for those with whom they do business. Here’s another fact: Waste creates cost in subtle ways, not just in the cost of the wasted materials. We’re paying for those landfills with tax dollars. We all moan about extra costs and taxes. Cutting out waste is a way of doing something about them. Every trashed brochure or mailing piece puts a small dent in your ROI. Added up, they can do some real damage. Cutting waste can make a remarkable improvement of 5 to 10 percent program costs…and that goes straight to the bottom line.n WILLIAM ZIERCHER RESPONSIBLE MARKETING: THINGS I’VE LEARNED, RELEARNED AND UNLEARNED n 16 PREVIOUS NEXT
  • CHAPTER EIGHT What I’ve Unlearned n The idea that “environmental” equals expensive. What I’ve Relearned n Waste not, want not.n WILLIAM ZIERCHER RESPONSIBLE MARKETING: THINGS I’VE LEARNED, RELEARNED AND UNLEARNED n 17 PREVIOUS NEXT
  • CHAPTER NINE WHAT’S GOOD FOR OTHERS IS GOOD FOR YOU Doing what is good for your company and the sales force and the environment—all worthy pursuits, no doubt about that. But responsible marketing is also good for you. When you respect and build the bottom line, you increase your own job security. Considering the environmental aspect of your activities is rewarding in itself, but it also preserves a better world for those who come after you (like our children and grandchildren). Improving the tools available to your staff encourages better performance and better job satisfaction, and they’re less likely to start looking around. By honoring your responsibility to your programs’ ROI, you will find that you get quicker, more hassle-free approval for new programs. (Just don’t go wild!) The escalator to the executive floor seems a little shorter, and if and when you go looking for a new position, it will be on your own terms. Oh, and you’ll probably make more money, too. Enough said.n WILLIAM ZIERCHER RESPONSIBLE MARKETING: THINGS I’VE LEARNED, RELEARNED AND UNLEARNED n 18 PREVIOUS NEXT
  • FOR FURTHER EXPLORATION Books Savitz, Andrew, “The Triple Bottom Line,” available at www.amazon.com Ziercher, Kyle, “Kyle’s Plain American English Guide to Digital Asset Management,” available at www.GabrielGroup.com Coming soon—“Resposible Fundraising” will be available at www.GabrielGroup.com in March 2011 Websites Forest Stewardship Council — www.fsc.org PODi, the Digital Printing Initiative — www.podi.orgn WILLIAM ZIERCHER RESPONSIBLE MARKETING: THINGS I’VE LEARNED, RELEARNED AND UNLEARNED n 19 PREVIOUS NEXT
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR William (Bill) Ziercher is Chairman of Gabriel Group in St. Louis, Missouri, a company that specializes in helping commercial and nonprofit organizations practice responsible marketing with practical, profit-producing technology solutions. Gabriel Group 3190 Rider Trail South Earth City, Missouri 63045 314.743.5700 Bill.Ziercher@GabrielGroup.com You are invited to visit the Gabriel Group website at www.GabrielGroup.com. While you’re there, be sure to visit Moe, Joe and Flo…and watch their show.FEBRUARY 2011 n WILLIAM ZIERCHER RESPONSIBLE MARKETING: THINGS I’VE LEARNED, RELEARNED AND UNLEARNED n 20 PREVIOUS