Best Practices in Marketing Fulfillment: 5 Steps to Better Kitting

By: In: Marketing Production and Fulfillment On: Oct 09, 2014

“Kitting” is marketing fulfillment lingo for compiling a number of items into one cohesive package, instead of shipping individual items separately. Kits are a good way to package promotional or instructional literature, enrollment materials, and information for new members, investors, dealers or sales representatives, among others.

It’s not uncommon for a kit to be the first tangible contact someone has with your company.

Since you never get a second chance to make a good first impression, it’s important to make sure your kit is attractive and relevant. Toward that end, here are a few tips Iron Mountain has developed during more than four decades in the marketing fulfillment industry.

1. Tailor your content.In a culture where more is often considered better, your first impulse may be to put every piece of literature you have into your kit. But pieces that don’t speak directly to the recipient’s needs and interests will simply end up in the trash. In addition to wasting valuable marketing dollars, you may create the impression that you’re not customer-focused. Choose content that responds to direct requests, answers questions and moves recipients a step closer to the desired action (e.g., a sale, an application or an enrollment).

2. Think beyond the box. Instead of a plain cardboard box or envelope, create packaging that will stand out when it hits your recipient’s desk or mailbox. Consider using an unusual size, shape or material for the outer package, or imprint it with teaser copy and inviting graphics. The contents themselves can be attractively contained in an embossed or printed pocket folder, spiral- or perfect-bound booklet, binder or custom case.

3. Decide whether to preassemble or assemble on demand. Bulk assembly saves money if you use a large number of a particular kit – e.g., for trade shows or recruiting fairs. On-demand kitting is the way to go if you want to target content and customize materials for smaller groups. You can also use digital printing to add personalization and customized text and images, for true one-on-one marketing.

4. Respond quickly. In today’s content-driven world, people do a lot of research on their own. By the time they request information from you, they could be close to the point of purchase. If you don’t deliver pronto, your competitor may get there first.

5. Fulfill accurately. It takes coordination to assemble and deliver an effective kit in a timely fashion. Are all of the kit’s components in stock – preferably in one location? If you’re planning to customize materials, do you have access to quality digital printing equipment? Do you have the space and trained staff to accurately pick, pack, assemble and ship your kit the same day they get the order? Can you get the best rates and service from all of the major shippers?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, you may want to consider outsourcing your kitting. Fulfillment companies are set up to receive, store, assemble and ship your materials in the most cost-efficient manner. Most can handle your digital printing needs, as well. Your fulfillment partner will keep tabs on your inventory, so you’re never out of stock; track and report on every order, and advise you on ways to improve materials, packaging and delivery in order to optimize your results.

In summary, today’s business environment is hectic, noisy, and crowded. If you want your brand to stand out, your communications need to be relevant, well organized and inviting. A quality kit, fulfilled quickly and accurately, can help you achieve all of those ends and position your company favorably in the mind of the recipient.

Do you have questions about fulfillment service? Read additional Knowledge Center stories on this subject, or contact Iron Mountain’s Fulfillment Services team. You’ll be connected with a knowledgeable product and services specialist who can address your specific challenges.

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About the author

Jeremy Suratt

Jeremy is responsible for both product and field marketing for Iron Mountain Fulfillment Services. He has been with Iron Mountain since 2011 and has held several roles in solutions marketing, working with services spanning from collateral pick-pack-and-ship to digital print to data archiving. Jeremy has over 15 years of experience managing and marketing products at leading software and services companies. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from Tufts University. Follow Jeremy on Twitter @jeremysuratt