An in-sourcing discussion.

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Brand Planner:  “So tell me about the best marketing decisions you made recently?”

CEO: “Oh that’s easy. Instead of paying for all of our printed pieces to outside suppliers, I leased a high speed color copier. It trims, collates, prints on both sides and saved us lots of money compared to previous years. It’s huge. I had to install some new air-conditioning and we pay for the toner on a per-piece basis, but the ongoing savings are wonderful.”

Brand Planner:  “Okay. Any other strategic moves?”

CEO: “Well after we paid and outside firm a friend recommended to design a logo — which was wonderful by the way — we used the firm to do some direct mail. It was very expensive and didn’t really pay for itself, so I decided to build an in-house marketing department. We have a creative manager, a junior designer, copywriter, web manager, and three coders.  One of them even developed an i-Pad app that Apple approved.  We’ve been dabbling with someone to direct the department, but is hasn’t always worked out; we want things to remain fluid. Our head of sales and top product people are pretty good at that stuff, so they lend a hand.”    

Brand Planner: “What has been the return on this in-house strategy?”

CEO: “Oh we’re saving lots of money. You know what it would cost to have all those people working for us at an agency?”

Brand Planner: “How have consumers responded? ”

CEO: “Our sales are off a couple percent, but that’s not the marketing department’s fault. The sales team needs a kick in the pants.”

Brand Planner:  “Have you has any marketing campaigns of which you are really proud this year? Anything that has activated your customers and prospects? ”

CEO: “Our magician ad is amazing; it won a readership award in one of the trade pubs. And everyone loves our promotional calendar.  Did I mention we hired a content strategist?”