7 — Smart activation: Trim the fat off key instruments to drive incremental benefit

Why does smart activation matter?

In 2014, US federal agencies spent USD 1.8 billion on printing. Simply by changing the standard font used in government documents to Garamond, the Government Printing Office could save as much as USD 400 million – the equivalent of 22 percent of the total printing budget – without even reducing the font size. This is because Garamond – a typeface that has been in use for almost 500 years and is the most popular font for book printing today – needs less ink than, for example, Century Gothic and other fonts recommended or commonly used by federal agencies. The change would not impair legibility in any way, and the USD 400 million estimate does not even include environmental benefits.1 Have we got your attention?

Effective activation is crucial to make sure brand messages and marketing campaigns get through to your target group. But why waste precious funds on a fancy font, overpriced TV channels, the wrong shows, ineffective online search terms, or leaflets half the recipients don't even look at? You can't afford any of that if you want the marketing department to act as a profit centre, rather than being a cost position. Some of the world's most experienced marketers are already doing it. Says P&G's CMO Mark Pritchard: “What makes this spending so difficult to manage is that it's a combination of thousands of activities. However, that's also what gives us confidence ...

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