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Why Web to Print? Because Your Marketing Team Feels Overworked
Marketing planning is essential, but plans change due to unexpected projects dropping in your lap. Web-to-Print can help you gain control.
Is your marketing department understaffed? Critically understaffed?
If you said “no,” then I’m not sure you’re really running a marketing department!
Marketers in virtually every industry believe they’re understaffed. It comes with the territory.
Due to unexpected opportunities, special requests, and rush jobs that spring up throughout the year, no marketing department ever feels as if it’s on top of the workload. “If we just had one or two more headcount, we’d be able to bang this stuff out,” you may have heard yourself say at some point.
The thing is, you’re probably wrong. That extra headcount wouldn’t necessarily do you any good. If you’re constantly feeling understaffed, it’s highly likely that your print production processes are the real problem.
Death of a Marketing Calendar
Here’s how the year might go in a typical marketing department:
Sometime in January, the marketing team gets together to set the marketing calendar for the year. They plug in the deadlines for major campaigns. They note the dates of major trade shows and seasonal advertising opportunities.
They map out the lead times for each of these projects. And then they make sure they’ve lined up the full-time employees, freelance help, and vendors they’ll need to get it all done.
It’s usually a stretch. But at least at a high level, the marketing calendar looks realistic when it’s first released.
That’s when the real fun starts.
Just days after the calendar comes out, a sales director comes in with a rush job. There’s a major opportunity to break into a new market sector, but it will require some custom collateral. That means new creative work. Lots of calls to potential print vendors. Price comparisons. Press checks. Shipping arrangements. Document storage concerns. Basic brand management stuff.
In other words, a lot of logistical work. So, even after the creative team puts together another polished, professional-looking piece, the print production team is looking at weeks of coordination. And that’s the kind of work that takes as long as it takes, because you’re constantly at the mercy of whomever you last voicemailed.
Just finishing this kind of special request on time is a feat in itself. But it’s a feat that often diverts key marketing staff from their regularly scheduled activities.
Remember that marketing calendar you so carefully crafted back in January? The one that allowed enough lead time to meet all your deadlines throughout the year? Thanks to rush jobs, that calendar was probably useless by March—if not earlier.
When Should Web-to-Print Services Enter the Picture?
The more your marketing staff has to scramble to fulfill short-notice requests, the more they’ll feel frenzied, rushed, and overworked on all of your projects. By the end of the year, they’ll be begging for more headcount.
But you probably can’t provide it. And even if you do, your new hires won’t fix the underlying problem: the lack of a Web-to-Print storefront where requestors throughout your organization can order the marketing collateral they need.
In our next article, we’ll explore more of the consequences of this hand-to-mouth way of doing marketing and illustrate the need for Web-to-Print solutions.