Medtronic needed a better way to send product samples to their prospects. As an international company with substantial marketing reach, Medtronic recognized the importance of a physical component as part of great multi-channel marketing, but lacked the systems to fully take advantage of the opportunity at scale.
Medtronic’s campaign included a sample of their incontinence products that field reps sent to prospects. To get the samples in their prospects’ hands, Medtronic field reps took orders from distributors and then shipped those orders to the end user, wasting the rep’s valuable time.
Sample fulfillment required bulk shipments to be sent to multiple manufacturing and fulfillment centers where they were broken down, separated and repackaged multiple times. Medtronic faced a very long turnaround and the additional handling drove up the cost of shipping each item, which impacted their ROI.
While Medtronic used a marketing automation platform, sending product samples was a completely separate endeavor. They wanted a solution that integrated with existing systems, while improving overall ROI and reporting. Medtronic chose the PFL solution that integrated directly into their marketing automation platform.
With PFL, product samples were controlled and triggered just like any other component of a digital campaign. The PFL platform included automatic tracking, delivery alerts and reporting to give Medtronic the sort of deep data insight that was previously only available to digital channels.
Each time a prospect requested a sample online, an incontinence product was triggered from within Medtronic’s marketing automation platform. This notified PFL who would then pick, package and ship the product directly to the prospect. The package was sent via FedEx, with full tracking capabilities that notified Medtronic field reps within moments of delivery, allowing for a perfectly timed follow-up.
Medtronic’s new approach streamlined a process that previously required a multitude of different touch points, draining them of both time and money. As Jeff Cowles, Global Marketing Operations Manager of Medtronic points out, “We had valuable people spending a fifth of their time packing boxes instead of marketing or selling.” By handling all the packaging and fulfillment, PFL freed Medtronic employees from manual processes that bogged them down. The new process also slashed Medtronic’s turnaround time. “A huge highlight for us was being able to say that we reduced turnaround time by 89% while also reducing the costs,” said Cowles. This made a major difference in the overall customer experience. Before, prospects were sometimes waiting so long for their sample that when it finally showed up, they didn’t associate the package with Medtronic. This was an obvious win for the Medtronic brand – who wants to be associated with a slow product?