Executives often overlook the operational and “demand-chain” aspects of their marketing efforts, according to a report published Nov. 29 by the CMO Council.
The study, titled “Competitive Gain in the Demand Chain,” found a majority — 80% — of respondents say that their organization is not efficient or effective enough with its demand chain, including areas such as retail distribution and fulfillment. The report also found that of the 250 marketing executives who responded, 20% believe that their demand chain is under-performing and in need of improvement.
“As marketers, we’re really used to talking about the front end of the process—how we come up with the targeted creative or with the piece that gets the attention in the store—but we tend to silo and segment what happens in the rest of the process,” said Liz Miller, vice president of global programs and operations for CMO Council.
Miller pointed to the example of a direct mail piece. While marketers may work to incorporate cutting-edge 3D technology and a snappy slogan in the mailer, they are likely to assume other issues do not concern them.
“What if the mailers don’t hit on the day you need them to? This amazing experience doesn’t come through because something has broken down along this supply chain,” she said. “Marketers should understand how all of this process is coming together and how they are leveraging technology to truly understand what points along the chain could be impeded.”
While 56% of marketing executives said campaign design, development and execution are important, just 16% responded that they are focusing on production, warehousing, inventory management or delivery. Additionally, only 2% are looking to optimize the actual delivery, fulfillment or distribution of their critical marketing materials.
“Too often, we don’t know what happens after we sign off on the creative,” said Miller. “But because there’s that blind spot, there’s also incredible opportunity.”