It’s easy to see why marketers may have lost their focus on internal efficiencies during the past few years. They’ve had to deal with the effects of the Great Recession. At the same time, the explosion of new media formats has led to massive technology disruption. But to stay competitive, marketers can’t afford to drop the ball once they’ve executed their campaigns. The Chief Marketer Office (CMO) Council thinks the time has come for marketers to focus on their demand chain performance.
Demand chain encompasses activities like delivering collateral to dealers, agents or retail office locations as well as the processing of customer requests for more information. When queried on this topic, a huge majority – 80%, of marketing executives say their demand chain process needs improvement. And survey results show there is support for improving the demand chain. Thirty-eight percent say an efficient demand chain is critical to competitiveness and performance.
Why are so few marketers paying attention to demand chain as these figures show?
- Ensure that sales support materials/resources are delivered on demand 25%
- Regularly audit demand chain process 15%
The disconnect may be happening because marketers tend to focus on lead generation, campaign execution and content/creative effort. Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council, says “today’s demand chain requires a new mix of digital, direct, and retail distribution, fulfillment, measurement and tracking capabilities to maximize customer contact, conversion and interaction.”
The CMO study indicates that marketers can begin to bring the demand chain problem under control by first working with the many outside vendors that are likely playing a role in this process. Analysts recommend that marketers consider consolidating vendors engaged in the demand chain and making them more accountable. Instituting control and measurement systems would be another way to make sure that the back end of the marketing process is working as well as the very visible front end.[Source: CMO Council Study Finds Blind Spots. CMOCouncil.org. 29 Nov. 2010. Web. 7 Dec. 2010]