Marketers' Constitution Tenet #5

The Marketers' Constitution sets forth what the ANA believes are ten essential "musts" of marketing for the next 100 years. These will help ensure that the industry thrives and continues to contribute to the growth of the nation's businesses -- as well as to the economic and social wellbeing of our society. Read the entire Marketers' Constitution and show your support for its tenets by digitally signing at

- - -

The fifth tenet of the Marketers' Constitution states that the marketing supply chain must become more efficient and productive. The marketing supply chain -- starting with the initial creative concept and leading to the ultimate finished advertising element -- has substantial costs associated with it in terms of cycle time, manpower, and financial resources. By making the chain more productive, marketers can shorten the time to creative execution and free human capital and financial resources for other brand-building reinvestment activities.



While there is no perfect ROI equation, "Increasing Efficiency + Growing Effectiveness" is a good place to start. Building more efficient marketing models must be a core focus of the marketing team. Some marketers have engrained core management disciplines to develop efficient marketing processes:

  • Ford, GE, Motorola and 3M have applied "Six Sigma" to their marketing processes, enabling them to save time, reallocate resources and make faster, better decisions.
  • Toyota employs Kaizen, which focuses on improving standardized activities and total quality management processes. These activities improve reliability and build quality into the overall marketing function.
  • HP and Mattel have "decoupled" creative and production, recognizing that supply chain efficiencies can be achieved when they are separately procured and managed.

In recent years, the marketing supply chain has been greatly enhanced by technology -- largely grounded in digital advancements. Often marketers do not see the "back-room" processes for commercial development, editing, trafficking and tracking executions. Digitizing these processes has substantially enhanced cycle time and overall management. However, there is still a long way to go and resources to be generated by more aggressive management.

An important area for enhancing the efficiency of the supply chain is the universal application of Ad-ID -- the digital asset coding system. Ad ID is the equivalent of a digital UPC code that has enormous opportunity for standardizing asset management across the entire ecosystem. Importantly, the macro measurement companies are supporting Ad ID as a fundamental component for improving measurement capability and enhancing cross-platform measurement opportunities.

Measurement improvement is a fundamental tenet for improving efficiency. Although our industry has made substantial gains in the past five years, much more is needed to improve decision making and freeing resources for productive investment. For example, as digital and social media have exploded in terms of use and deployment by marketers, the ecosystem needs greater capability to measure the impact of expanding media platforms.

Finally, the area that has created a great deal of controversy is marketers' expanding use of the "procurement" function. There is no question that procurement has greatly enhanced "cost management" for many marketers. However, that has been partly counter-balanced with strained relationships with agency partners and with individuals inside the marketer company. Fortunately, this is an area of consistent dialogue that will hopefully reduce tensions over time.

Overall, technology and business system improvements have paved the way for increasing marketing efficiency. However, we need to increase our focus to shorten the supply chain and become more efficient and productive -- enabling all of us to embrace the fifth tenet of the Marketers' Constitution.

Next story loading loading..