Why should Marketing departments in organisations that are part of regulated Industries be interested in something like the Kallik Artwork Management Solution (AMS360) (http://www.kallik.com/solutions/)?

Historically, it is true, Kallik has tended to concentrate more on the quality control and regulatory affairs departments of such firms (players in regulated industries): it’s been our mission to have dialogue with these teams about how our complete packaging and labeling solution can help them achieve consistency and efficiency across all of their activities in that area.

It’s also historically been the case that Marketing has seen itself as having very different problems from such teams in any case. Especially in the FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) and Retail sectors, Marketing has seen itself (and been perceived by the rest of the business) as less about consistency (the hallmark of the Kallik approach to labelling and content management, of course) than creativity. The emphasis has always been on articulating brand values, that is to say, by use of clever, distinctive, impactful slogans and images – less about making sure that every ‘i’ is properly dotted across all of the company’s external communications, if you like.

In a fascinating turn of events, though – one very much driven by technology – Marketing is itself changing so much that there is an increasing natural linkage between the drive to achieve consistency and efficiency in package labelling and consistency and performance in terms of product marketing drives.

Marketing Operations: why it matters

Welcome to the new era of Operational Management (sometimes also Marketing Operations http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marketing_operations). Industries of all types and in all markets face increasing pressure to use a wide range of communication channels, both print and digital.

The Internet and other digital delivery media are used, not just to throw creative messages and brand collateral at the market but to track its reception and impact. Marketing is increasingly becoming a ‘science,’ that’s to say – one characterised by extensive use of metrics to really quantify what the scope and impact of campaigns are. The CEO has stopped being impressed by the pretty colours on the new logo or the cool imagery in the Q4 ad campaign and much more focused on the proof points of the performance of the online outreach campaign, as it were.

This doesn’t mean we have stopped being interested in creativity, by the way. What we are interested in is fusing that creativity with dependable, repeatable processes and metrics to make sure it has the chance to deliver maximum impact all the way down the supply chain, delivering to the business highly granular, detailed perspectives on what is working where (and why).

Data is obviously central to this shift, which is happening at the macro level because of increased consumer use of electronic media to consume information and ecommerce to shop, too. But if Marketing is supposed to be getting more formalised and quantifiable in mainstream business, imagine how much more weight this change has in the regulated sector.

An extra aspect to this change is that with all these different communication channels coming to the fore, inconsistency in messaging across these different communication channels is becoming more and more of a risk. That’s always been potentially a peril in regulated industries but now it’s starting to be true everywhere – when people take note of the nutritional label on a chocolate bar, it’s paramount that what is printed always matches what is published online (or even in a different geography).

Meanwhile, in parallel with this basic evolution in the shape of Marketing, we have global regulation and legislation changes affecting the market environment quite radically. In sectors such as the chemical, banking, pharmaceutical, tobacco, cosmetics and medical devices industries, regulation has been King for quite some time. While regulation is also on the up in food and drink, leisure, automotive and many other areas, too, the kinds of customers – those QA and regulatory affairs teams – that Kallik has been helping for so many years in regulated industries are also getting increasingly interested in Marketing Operations, too.

A host of efficiency targets

This brings us back to our opening question: why are the Marketing teams in regulated industries starting to wake up to the potential of Kallik? Because, driven by the twin drivers of an interest in sharpening up their measurement of their Marketing activities and the increase in global regulation/compliance, they know they need to look for consistency and efficiency in their processes now as much as their colleagues have been in product labelling.

Just like their colleagues, that is to say, they too are looking for ways to

  • save time
  • avoid duplication and any and all ‘wheel reinvention initiatives’
  • share and reuse what works right across their organisations (but be able to immediately tailor it in an error-free way for local conditions)
  • log a full audit trail of changes to any work to help transparency, consistency and auditability
  • tighten the approvals process to ensure accountability and security.

It’s clear that if you can do all this (as Kallik customers have been doing for many years in regulated sectors) for packaging and labelling, there is absolutely no reason at all why you cannot also do it for brochures, leaflets, information sheets and all other Marketing collateral and literature.

And just like when their colleagues use Kallik to ensure consistency and full compliance with regulations for labelling content, these Marketing teams are also waking up to the fact that any and all changes will have justification and evidence for what happened – vital when any kind of auditing happens.

If you want to make sure your marketing collateral is fully tracked, accessible, signed off, protected and connected to a real audit trail in other words – you can (and should) be looking to the Kallik AMS360 to help you.

In practical terms, that means any product claims you make in any part of your literature can be defended and sourced to, say, a US Federal and Drug Administration or any other external third party should need arise… from the cosmetics you market to the new health food you want to offer to the ‘free from’ statement for your colour dye to that innovative new medical device you have in R&D.

A battle-tested solution

Are we claiming that companies haven’t been doing anything like this up until now? Not at all: multi nationals have been trying to do this kind of control for some time. The problem is that they tend to do so with point solutions, usually some combination of one or two products (e.g. an asset database) and a lot of home-brewed Excel (and increasingly SharePoint). This works well up to a point, but is often quite a brittle set up, isn’t integrated, scales poorly – and simply doesn’t have the legacy and expertise built into it that the Kallik AMS360 has, battle-tested as it is by so many years in field operations in regulated (labelling and artwork) industry work as it is.

Just one example of what that means on the front line: translation management. We have many customers who know by now that a French version for Canada needs to be different than the one to be offered in Francophone Africa, let alone Paris or the Swiss market. Why? Not just local trading conditions, but local regulation. That’s as much true for the marketing collateral around the product as it is for the packaging and labelling: so just think how useful it will be to look in a central repository to identify not just the right language translation of a promotion, but one that has already been safely adjusted to reflect those compliance issues, too… enabling your team to get straight on to the important job of marketing the hell out of it (and tracking the return on all that activity too)?

The verdict’s clear. Marketing teams in regulated industry organisations are beginning to use Kallik AMS360 to duplicate, in the context of a Marketing Operations oriented, data-driven push, the same kinds of efficient, transparent, quantifiable, secure and time-saving benefits their colleagues who have been using Kallik around labelling have been profiting from for some time.

This is tremendous news for Kallik as an organisation – but also, genuinely, for Marketing in regulated industries customers, who at last have a proven tool at their disposal to ease their transition to the more data and process intensive Marketing Operations world they know the Information Age has ushered in.

We’re glad to be of any help we can.

Kallik has just published a whitepaper – ‘Building Efficient and Consistent Marketing’ – which is available to download here: http://www.kallik.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Kallik-Efficient-Marketing-Whitepaper.pdf

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