Most providers of web-to-print solutions know that online collateral management systems can help many companies save money.  By automating the procurement, production, and distribution of marketing collateral materials, and by producing materials on an as-needed basis, collateral management systems can enable companies to reduce obsolescence and streamline collateral management operations.

But it's not always easy to convince potential clients that significant cost savings are really possible.  Part of the problem is that most corporate marketers don't have a complete and accurate picture of what they are really spending on marketing collateral documents and other marketing materials.  It's fairly easy for marketers to identify what they're spending with outside suppliers such as agencies, designers and printers,  but this level of visibility does not exist for many other collateral-related costs.

This creates a challenge for W2P solution providers because until corporate marketers see what they're actually spending to obtain and use marketeing materials, they aren't likely to give an automated collateral management system consideration.

I've uploaded a brief article to that discusses the "invisible" costs of marketing materials and describes how marketers can make these costs visible.  Having an accurate picture of these costs will give marketers a strong incentive to boost the efficiency of their collateral management operations and make the value of an online collateral management clear.

The article can be accessed here.