Destination marketing organizations and tour operators increasingly rely on their marketing fulfillment providers to enable marketing execution at reduced cost. Gartner Research explained the underlying reason for this in its CIO / CMO Partnership Survey highlighting the shift in IT application ownership to the marketing function. Web-based fulfillment applications provide destination marketers direct access to an array of powerful tools that save time, cut cost and increase campaign effectiveness. Here are 9 ways destination marketers create value working directly with their fulfillment provider:
- Email & Direct Mail Integration: Using both email and direct mail together helps reach a wider audience of people than either method alone. However, destination marketers need help managing integrated campaigns and analyzing their results. Fulfillment providers can offer tools to visualize, execute and measure campaigns that coordinate email and direct-mail outreach.
- Campaign Execution: Once travel marketers construct their campaigns, the actual execution of that campaign can be a time-drain if done internally, or a cash-drain if done by an agency (billable hours spent on non-creative functions). Third party fulfillment partners specialize in execution, keeping your organization’s time focused on core activities, with per-usage pricing schemes that lead to more predictable costs.
- Lead Capture & List Management: Prospective travelers come from many sources – web forms, emails, phone calls, previous customers/visitors, and purchased lists. Travel marketers need a centralized list management capability to manage campaigns efficiently.
- Time to Market: Travel and tourism marketers rely on their fulfillment providers’ expertise in kitting and shipping to reduce the time it takes to fulfill orders to travel agents, field sales reps and prospective travelers. Variable data enrollment kits or welcome packets can be a logistical headache, as batch size can fluctuate with high peak demand levels. And as always, marketers must seek to balance the need to deliver the right information to each individual recipient while also upholding tight deadlines and quick deployment schedules.
- Managed Print Production: Using templates to create and order new materials and automatically printing routine materials using low stock re-print points saves time and money. Web applications eliminate one-off requests for more collateral. They also provide a “system of record” for all requests made and built in re-order controls to help manage budgets.
- Internal Communication: Destination and tour marketing teams can use fulfillment web applications to improve direct communication among their front line staff, corporate marketing and vendors. Fulfillment web applications provide the transparency marketers need into key organizational functions, including: Production of marketing campaigns, establishment of fulfillment procedures, distribution of materials throughout the organization and to consumers, analysis of results, and monitoring of costs.
- Data Collection and Analysis: Some marketing fulfillment providers can provide online data monitoring and analysis, providing access to reports on materials usage, campaign effectiveness, branch or personnel usage, cost tracking and accountability, inventory control, demand planning and more.
- Managed Assets: Marketing teams have an array of ever-changing marketing materials, both digital and physical. Having a central platform to track and manage all digital and physical assets is essential to managing costs and budgets, especially as campaigns evolve and needs change. Managing inventory and quickly distributing new items across disparate groups is also essential to productivity and customer service.
- Information Requests: Responding to incoming information requests can be another time-drain on your marketing team. Marketing fulfillment providers will work with destination marketers to automate direct mailing responses – for travel maps, brochures, magazines, travel kits, and more – as well as assist in managing the digital files available across web platforms for download, in order to ensure consistency.
To schedule a free Excelsior Integrated assessment of your fulfillment operations, please click below. Assessments include analysis of existing fulfillment operations, gaps in process relative to best practices, recommendations for improvement, estimated cost savings, and more.