“In a difficult economy like this marketing budgets are tight. The only projects that get funded are the ones that can prove strong ROI. That’s why you need a way to prove to clients that your solutions will deliver.”
This quote came from a November 18 press release from Caslon & Company promoting a PODi Webinar, “Promoting the Value of Your Solution.” The seminar is designed to promote Caslon & Company’s Value Calculators, a tool for determining ROI projections from 1:1 printing jobs, which I think is a terrific idea.
But the thing that struck me in reading this was the spate of discussions I’ve had recently in which it’s become clear that proving value for a 1:1 printing campaign is the all-important first step, but it’s not enough by itself. Even the most successful 1:1 applications — in which the results are measured and recorded — are often not repeated. This is something that has proven to be extremely frustrating even for the most proactive 1:1 printing / marketing solutions providers.
Recently, I’ve been posting this question in various areas of LinkedIn. Here are some of the interesting and insightful reasons that have been shared with me.
- Clients do not follow up and verify results.
(Which leads to the question: Are printers following up to find out why clients may not be repeating? If it’s a matter of too much time and effort, are these printers letting their customers mistakenly think that repeat applications take the same time commitment as the initial deployment—and if so . . . why?
- Despite the results, the projects just take too long and are too time-consuming. Marketers like the results but just don’t want to put that much work in again.
- The sales cycle is so long that, once a project is completed, the original marketing team or individual at the company who spearheaded the project has moved on and the printer’s salesperson must start from scratch.
And thanks to Peter Wann, industry consultant, for bringing up this very overlooked but critical disconnect in the process:
- Clients may track response rates, but they don’t track conversion rates. If the client isn’t tracking the conversion rate, the results may not be tracking back to the original campaign.
This insight is particularly thought-provoking and may be one of the dark underbellies of the 1:1 (personalized) printing sales process. As with all challenges facing this marketplace, the solutions won’t be simple or easy, but they start with acknowledgement of the problem, followed by frank and open discussion.
Have your insights or experience to share? Comment on this post or log into my profile on LinkedIn and click on the Answers link and share them!