Sprint’s Key to Success with Web-to-print? Cut ‘Em Off!

By | November 25, 2011

I recently had the opportunity to watch a Webinar moderated by Barb Pellow and paneled by Sprint and its agency Weber Associates on the topic of Web-enabled marketing supply chain management. In other words, Web-to-print. Sprint has 7,000 B2B reps and 1,000 (ish) assets in its B2B library across multiple verticals. It has to run a tight ship.

When Andrew Leatherman, partner with Weber Associates, discussed keys to success in implementing the system, he discussed stemming the tide of homemade or unauthorized customizations of branded materials, which can end up being spread throughout the organization and perpetuating error. This is a phenomenon he calls “misinformation gone viral.”

It is one of the major challenges facing large branded organizations with decentralized marketing that allow dealers, reps, distributors, retail locations, and others to create or modify their own marketing materials. The result is dilution and loss of control of the brand, not to mention perpetuation of error. It is one of the main justifications for addition or upgrading of Web-enabled marketing collateral management systems.

Mark Rexroat, director of retail communications and marketing services for Sprint, noted that one of its keys to success was, in fact, that once the library of assets was established, those rogue materials were cut off immediately.

“We used the carrot and the stick approach,” he said. “We made the tools as friendly as possible, but we also cut off the asset distribution through other channels because, at some points in time, we had upwards of five to eight different libraries of sales and marketing information.”

This amputation was combined with a companywide training program to get buy-in at all levels of the organization, from operations to sales. In the end? Sprint experienced a 722% increase in adoption of the system by its B2B reps and a 40% reduction in marketing communication expenses.

So success with Web-to-print means cutting ’em off.  In a good way, of course.

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2 thoughts on “Sprint’s Key to Success with Web-to-print? Cut ‘Em Off!

  1. John Chadis

    So…after the percentage of adoption increases and expenses are reduced, what happened? Have these changes resulted in more or less revenue than the prior approach? What was initially being measured and how have the above changes impacted those measurements?

  2. Shirley A Burns

    I would also be interested in the users’ take… while I completely understand the corporation’s concern with ‘dilution’ of brand based on the agents modifying the materials, the reality is often that the corporate branded materials just don’t cut it for the individual agents… they are often too generic and too bland. The agents know their customers’ likes, tastes, and interests; and they also have their own ‘personality’ they want to inject. Being able to modify the corporate materials with [insert agent name here] capabilities may not be sufficient customization for their needs.

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