Study Findings Hold Promise For Distributors Willing To Evolve

In its fourth-quarter 2015 Digital Marketing Services Benchmark, market research and consulting firm Technology Business Research, Inc. (TBR) highlighted how service providers with portfolios spanning the customer life cycle are best positioned to capture marketers’ entire spend.

TBR’s study revealed that vendors offering industry expertise, experience with a complete line of marketing services, and flexible pricing are positioned to win in the digital marketing services market. It says that revenue cycle opportunities, particularly around creative and interactive services, create an entry point for larger engagements. These opportunities attract vendors to invest in a complete line of marketing capabilities and industry expertise to address key business transformation challenges.

While TBR’s research focused on the digital marketing services sector, it holds lessons for the promotional products market as well. Danny Rosin, co-owner of distributor Brand Fuel, drew a number of parallels from the findings. He says, “When TBR talks about service providers, it is interesting to look at whether or not promotional products distributors are actually offering services. Distributors should be looking to create differentiation in the value and, importantly, retain or even grow margins on opportunities. At Brand Fuel, our four categories that allow us to do fairly well with our margin integrity are technology solutions, creative services, fulfillment and product design.”

“Those distributors willing to evolve into those types of spaces, versus just selling product, will be able to retain and strengthen their business. It is apparent through this study that there is revenue share available even with large clients. What we’re seeing in the procurement space is that procurement in terms of price is definitely first and foremost, but I think there are more and more companies getting hip to adding the creative component to a proposal. It doesn’t all have to be weighted on price, and that the creative approach is part of the decision-making process with some of the large opportunities out there. This study is promising for those willing to evolve,” Rosin says.

filed under industry-news | march-2016
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Comments (3)
Jim Franklyn, InkHead
March 24, 2016

Excellent piece, and in the world where online distributors are thrown into the mix we would add "Speed Kills" to the Big Four Danny Rosin mentions!

Bert Williams, Williams and Associates
March 24, 2016

I've been saying this for 39 years. This isn't today's news. I was taught this concept in the beginning back then by Russ Woodlief, Glen Holt, Ray Morgan, Bob Collins, Paige Millard, Jim Smith, Cliff Quicksell, Steve Slack, et al. It was true back then and it's true now. Good article. Wish more people would ascribe to it's main points. It seems that there are those who now refer to our industry as "promos". They might as well say "trash and trinkets".

Unless we, ourselves, reward those who are creative and innovative in our industry by acknowledging the amazing promotions/marketing that's being done by some companies we will always be lumped in the shadow of this being a chotsky business.
Urban Dictionary:
Chotskies. Generally useless crap of little or no value. Similar to knick-knacks, popularized in Wierd-Al Yancovichs eBay song.

Bruce Perryman
March 24, 2016

Great insight. Frank Cespedes, alluded to margin opportunities a few years ago at NALC in Boston. Rather than evolve I would go with Change or die!

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