(This blog post is part 1 of a 3 part series)
For graphic communications clients, going beyond direct mail campaigns to add emails, purls, SMS, and social media messaging may be a necessity if they are to remain relevant in this industry. The question is, how does a graphic communications client become a marketing services provider? Many in the graphic communications space called themselves marketing service providers (MSPs) and, when that didn’t work, they relabeled their offerings as something else in the hopes that people weren’t focusing the first time.
But now, times and capabilities have finally caught up to the promise.
In my travels, I’ve seen many mid- to large-size graphic communications shops add services that provide true value to their clients. I’ve even seen many larger shops add creative agencies in-house.
But have even these evolving MSPs truly differentiated themselves by adding these multi-channel marketing services? Ask yourself these questions:
1. “Has my relationship with this client been elevated to a point where I have successfully locked out my competition?”
2. “Have I transformed or advanced my role as a trusted advisor to this client?”
3. Perhaps most importantly, “Have I escalated my level of contact with my clients into the CMO or brand owner suite? In other words, “Does my client’s CMO know who I am and what value I deliver?
This last question is the lynchpin of the entire argument for becoming an MSP. Why? Let’s look at who the CMO (or appropriate marketing executive) is and what his or her priorities are.
The CMO is:
1. Owner of PR voice, brand identity and brand color
2. Responsible for marketing budget and ROMI (Return on Marketing Investment)
3. Responsible for creation and execution of an annual or seasonal marketing calendar
4. Responsible for development of all work flows for all marketing tactics, defining the “how and when” for every single tactic used (direct mail, publications, trade shows, billboards, TV, radio, social media, etc.)
5. Responsible for general brand air cover and call to action for existing and new product launches.
What can you do as a marketing services provider to impact a CMO? The average tenure for a CMO in the U.S. is just a short 22 months. By providing this decision-maker with new tools to make him and his department more productive, with analytics that not only report on current performance of strategy but also provide predictive analytics, you stand a good chance of helping the CMO extend his tenure significantly. That’s a meaningful, tangible benefit that will propel you to true trusted advisor status.