SOURCE: Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

September 06, 2007 13:26 ET

Marketing Materials and Services Spend: Getting More Bang for Your Buck

New Study Finds That Collaboration and Standardization Are Key Elements to Shaving Marketing Costs

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - September 6, 2007) - The spend category of marketing is somewhat different from other indirect categories. Traditionally, marketers spare no expense to achieve high quality, superior service, and consistency in their marketing efforts. Marketing activities are ideally considered "revenue-generating," thus cost is not always top of mind; this is where procurement expertise, together with marketing, can develop strategies to improve control, visibility, and even performance. A new benchmark report, "Marketing Materials and Services Spend," by Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks company (NYSE: HHS), explores marketing spend and uncovers various challenges and strategies that Best-in-Class enterprises have utilized to achieve superior performance.

Aberdeen evaluated the survey responses of approximately 290 enterprises, noting that Best-in-Class companies for their higher levels of collaboration between procurement and marketing. These top-performing organizations also experience the following advantages:

--  An average of 14.7% savings on the five categories of marketing spend
    (creative/marketing services, direct mail, branded/promotional merchandise,
    printed materials, and media space), in comparison to 7.8% for all other
--  A compliance rate that is 77.5% higher than the average enterprise
    (supplier compliance to negotiated contracts, SLAs)
--  A 37% lower rate of re-orders for marketing materials in comparison to
    all other enterprises

Competitive Maturity Assessment

Survey results show that firms enjoying Best-in-Class performance shared several common characteristics, such as:

--  Sixty-seven percent of Best-in-Class organizations utilize a
    competitive bidding process for various marketing categories
--  Approximately 50% have been able to aggregate and centralize
    enterprise-wide spend on marketing materials and services
--  Sixty-four percent of Best-in-Class enterprises have established
    standardized processes and policies on procurement of marketing materials
    and services

Report Outcomes and Actions:

In addition to the specific recommendations within the report, to achieve Best-in-Class performance enterprises must:

--  Streamline procurement processes and encourage collaboration between
    procurement and marketing groups
--  Initiate the Request for Proposal (RFP) process for each category, or
    a combination of categories, depending on supplier capabilities
--  Identify current marketing suppliers and optimize this supply base to
    better understand the marketing supply chain.
--  Track savings captured and formulate a plan for realization of savings
    or reinvestment into other marketing areas
--  Consider the usage of technology and/or service provider to improve
    control and overall management of the marketing category

This report is made available due to the following underwriters: HH Print Management and ProProcure. To download a complimentary copy of the report, please visit:

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen is a leading provider of fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having benchmarked more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen™ for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to

© 2007 Aberdeen Group, Inc., a Harte-Hanks Company
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