Print Marketing & Advertising
Each year the City of Kawartha Lakes spends thousands of dollars on print advertising. From the waste calendar to the Community Guide and in-paper advertising, the City has both legislated advertising requirements as well as non-legislated.
Part of the challenge the City has faced with advertising is ensuring a consistent ‘look’ or branding of advertisements as well as ensuring departments are reaching the key demographics they need to reach.
In the fall of 2013 Process Improvement Facilitator Janine Mitchell began a Black Belt process to look at the City’s non-legislated advertising to develop a process to address those challenges.
Using a DMADV (Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, and Verify) approach the team was able to identify the Voice of the Customer as well as the Voice of the Business.
“One of our challenges was looking at all of the existing printed materials produced by different departments, how they were distributed and who was reading them,” explained Ms. Mitchell. “One of the first things we did was look at the Service Centres to look at their walk-in traffic, as well as the availability of print materials.”
Part of the DMADV process involved looking at all of the existing individual steps in the marketing and advertising process.
The results indicated 71.4% of all of the steps involved approvals, reviews and delays. In fact only 15% of the total steps in the process represented a value added component.
“One of the best aspects of Lean Six Sigma is being able to really drill down and identify costs not traditionally looked at,” explained Ms. Mitchell. “We often look at the hard costs of the things we do, but we don’t always look at the productivity costs.”
When the team examined the process and costs associated with the weekly Municipal Bulletin what they discovered is that staff spent 90.5 hours per week at a cost of $2,2440 to produce the bulletin.
Annually that works out to 4,706 hours and $127,088. All of this while the total advertising cost for the Municipal Bulletin in 2012 was $75,000.
Looking at the costs and who was involved in each process identified that non-value added activities associated with advertising and marketing represented the biggest portion of time and involved the highest costs per hour at all levels of staffing.
Next was determining what information customers were looking for and how they were looking to receive it.
Through a series of tools, surveys, interviews and website analytics, the group determined that 35% of customers wanted information on Recreation and Leisure, By-Laws, Council information and the Libraries.
How were those customers receiving the information they sought? The vast majority through the City’s website, followed by an Internet search, via email and finally through the use of print materials, specifically the Be Waste Wise Calendar and the Community Guide.
The bigger question became how those same customers wanted to receive the information. The biggest response from respondents was via email (75%), followed by the City website (59%), Internet Search (47%) and print (41%).
With the cost of non-value added components in both time and money known, as well as the customer’s preferred method of delivery and types of information, the team was able to create a new process for marketing and advertising across all City departments.
“We quickly realized we needed one central filter,” explained Ms. Mitchell. “One central point that all advertising can go through to ensure consistent messaging and branding, and to make sure departments aren’t duplicating their efforts.”
The result is a streamlined process that will save the municipality and its staff both time and money. Hard cost savings of approximately $90,000 has been identified through a reduction in some non-essential print advertising, as well as a reduction in some printed materials.
“We believe this process will not only represent a greater opportunity to ensure consistent branding across all City advertising, but make sure that the information our customers want is available when they want it, where they want it and in a format they want to receive it in,” said Ms. Mitchell.
Janine Mitchell – Process Improvement Facilitator Lance Sherk – Process Champion/Owner, Director of Economic Development Tonya Kraan – Economic Development Leslie Novis – Social Services Jenn Johnson – Community Partnerships and Programs Supervisor Angela Porteous – Public Works Environmental Launa Lewis – Financial Services Purchasing Jennifer L Johnston – Economic Development Joel Watts – CAO/Clerk’s Office Enzo Ingribelli – Public Works Fleet Management Corby Purdy – Developmental Services David E. Harding – Planning Devision Brenda Stonehouse – Subject Matter Expert, Office of Initiative Management Heather Muir – Subject Matter Expert, Manager Customer Service