Inner Working

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Inner Working Marketing Solutions

InnerWorkings is known for its customer-centric approach and has received industry recognition for its innovation and outstanding work in marketing execution for different global brands. They help Fortune 500 companies deliver consistent brand experiences in markets around the globe through their VALO® technology.

Value Proposition

  • According to InnerWorkings CEO, Rich Stoddart, their value proposition is "in their expertise as the first line of defense for the brand using proprietary technology and knowledge of the supply chain to drive transparency, brand consistency, and efficiencies in the marketing operation of large global corporations."
  • InnerWorking Marketing Solutions (INWK) is a leader in a large, fragmented addressable market where they provide marketing materials, POS, Direct Mail and Packaging. Large corporations also outsource their non-core business functions to INWK so that they can focus on their core competencies.
  • INWK is known for its unique ability to drive value for clients by lowering costs through its comprehensive suite of services and its global supplier network.
  • They regularly receive revenue from long term contracts, a large account of sales, and sales from their diverse blue-chip clients.
  • InnerWorkings has a scalable business model which aligns with client interests. They have a global platform and are increasing their category and industry vertical expertise and have a total of 8 service offerings and serve more than 40 countries.
  • InnerWorkings also recently announced a strategic alliance with KPMG LLP, in order to help clients “create the most impact from their marketing spend through technology and services designed to increase efficiencies, improve consistency and drive savings.”
  • Combining the strengths of KPMG’s vast experience with InnerWorking’s global marketing execution capabilities will give their clients greater value in the future. This adds to their value proposition of cost savings, which can significantly impact their clients' bottom line.
  • InnerWorkings value proposition includes driving value to help brands thrive. It helps leading brands make "data-driven decisions that streamline processes, leverage buying at scale, lower costs, shorten time to market and improve ROI."

CUSTOMER LANDSCAPE

  • INWK procures marketing materials for corporate clients in several industries, including "retail, financial services, hospitality, consumer packaged goods, non-profits, healthcare, food and beverage, broadcasting and cable and transportation."
  • Their clients also include manufacturers that outsource jobs to them because they do not have the capabilities to complete orders.
  • Its blue-chip client base is diverse and includes John Deere, P&G, Unilever, Gannett, Reckitt Benckiser, Adidas, Coca-Cola, Mondelez, AstraZeneca, Columbia, Dyson, L'Oreal, Jaguar, and several others.

Overall customer perceptions

  • INWK is known for its customer-centric focus, which they use to satisfy different customer demographics.
  • They have received industry recognition for their innovation and outstanding work in marketing execution for different global brands.
  • They have won several prestigious awards, including "Best in Show" for the Penfolds’ Global Travel Retail Gifting Range in 2016.
  • For the second consecutive year, they were also awarded "Supplier of the Year" by Edrington Group, a global Scotch whisky and premium spirits company.
  • InnerWorkings was also presented with the ‘Gold Award’ for its luxury packaging for the third year in a row.
  • In 2017, they were perceived as being the ‘best of the best’ and have also received similar recognition in the highest supplier award categories from long-time clients, such as Advanced Auto Parts and John Deere.
  • Customers perceive them to be highly flexible and innovative in their approach to the different challenges that are presented to them. They are also said to be "very open and easy to work with," dependable, and are known to deliver on promises.
  • They are generally recognized for their consistent high level of creativity, quality, and service.
  • In 2017, InnerWorkings signed new client contracts totaling "$130 million of annual revenue at full run-rate." They are expanding existing accounts and have also signed new client contracts in January 2018. This continued growth suggests that many of their customers perceive InnerWorkings positively.

STRENGTHS

  • InnerWorkings is a global leader in marketing execution, they leverage their technology and data to help their clients "reduce overhead costs, redeploy internal resources and obtain favorable pricing and service terms."
  • They have the ability to "track individual transactions and provide customized reports detailing procurement activity on an enterprise-wide basis," giving their clients control and greater visibility of their marketing materials expenditures.
  • They aim to "capitalize on the trends impacting the marketing supply chain and the movement towards outsourcing of non-core business functions by leveraging their propriety technology, deep domain expertise, extensive supplier network and purchasing power."

Weaknesses

  • According to InnerWorkings' CEO, Rich Stoddart, their business is not adequately scalable from a staffing perspective.
  • Their operations have become too decentralized to be efficient, causing a lack of consistency.
  • Currently, they are developing a plan to address these issues and have engaged third-party resources to provide their expertise and support.
  • Part of their plan includes improvements to "operational processes, realigning underperforming operations, centralizing certain functions, better utilizing real estate, and rewiring the way they do business."
  • They are making investments in order to improve operational discipline and allow more standardized processes and automation to improve their products and services.

TopLine Competitor Comparison (RRD, IWCO, Merkle, Epsilon, Orora, and Quad)

INNERWORKINGS

  • InnerWorkings main competitive advantage is in the Variable Print and Strategic Services segment. Their marketing services in the Variable Print segment is focused on Direct Marketing and In-Store Marketing and Displays, while their Strategic Services Segment is focused on Sourcing for Business Services.
  • InnerWorkings also serves corporate clients in a variety of industries and has a comprehensive selection of marketing and campaign services, which also puts them at a competitive advantage.
  • InnerWorkings uses VALO®, a "suite of B2B customer applications which the company uses to deploy secure, customer-branded experiences utilizing brand assets."
  • They provide marketing execution solutions in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, giving them a broad reach.
  • The overall competitive advantage INWK has over several of its competitors appears to be its larger client base and its comprehensive and diverse service offerings.
  • Their competitors, on the other hand, are variable in their marketing solutions' focus. Their biggest competitor appears to be RRD. Each competitor and their respective marketing solutions, products, and services are described below for comparison.

RRD

  • Similar to InnerWorkings, RRD mainly operates through Variable Print, Strategic Services, and International segments. Their Variable Print segment includes strategic and creative design, content and project management, list processing, eDelivery and ePresentment, data analytics, and postage optimization. Their Strategic Services segment includes logistics, sourcing, and digital and creative solutions.
  • Their main product and service offerings include "magazines, catalogs, retail inserts, books, directories, direct mail, packaging, forms, labels, manuals, statement printing, commercial and digital print, logistics services and digital and creative solutions" and they also offer outsourcing capabilities.
  • They operate in Europe, Asia, and North America.

MERKLE AND EPSILON

  • Both Merkle and Epsilon mainly operate through Strategic Services segment, with both offering Data Analytics and Insights marketing services.
  • This differs from InnerWorkings, as both Merkle and Epsilon do not appear to have a Variable Print segment. Additionally, InnerWorkings' Strategic Services segment is focused on Sourcing for Business Services and not Data Analytics and Insights.
  • Merkle is focused on understanding consumer insights. They create people-based marketing strategies through data, technology, and analytics.
  • Merkle aims to improve marketing results and shareholder value for its customers. They also create custom Adobe Experience Cloud solutions.
  • Similarly, Epsilon is also focused on people-based marketing solutions and are a leading full-service global marketing company. Their clients include Fortune 500 companies and local small businesses.
  • Epsilon identifies key insights about consumers through proprietary data assets and then applies these insights to develop creative campaigns and marketing initiatives to help clients acquire and retain new customers.
  • Epsilon makes use of an integrated multichannel SaaS marketing platform, called Agility Unite, which allows users to engage with their customers more effectively.

Orora

  • Like InnerWorkings, Orora also offers marketing services in Variable Print for In-store Marketing & Displays.
  • However, InnerWorkings competitive advantage is that their Variable Print segment includes both Direct Marketing and In-Store Marketing and Displays, while also having a Strategic Services Segment.
  • Orora's portfolio ranges from "point-of-purchase displays, to voting booths, white sample, and printed prototypes, retail displays, and pop-up displays." Their products also include stock, pop-up, and pocket displays, counter units and custom designed units.

IWCO and Quad

  • Similar to InnerWorkings, both IWCO and Quad offer Direct Marketing services in the Variable Print segment.
  • InnerWorkings competitive advantage is that their Variable Print segment also includes In-Store Marketing and Displays, and they also have a Strategic Services Segment.
  • Quad helps "marketers and content creators improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their marketing spend across offline and online media channels."
  • Quad helps clients in several industries, including retail, publishing, and healthcare and they have several digital and print and related products, services, and solutions. They have locations in North America, South America, and Europe, as well as partnerships in Asia and other parts of the world.
  • While Quad appears to have a large client base, InnerWorkings competitive advantage is in its diversified segments.
  • IWCO makes use of a Power your Marketing™ approach across all marketing channels in order to attract new customers and build loyalty.
  • IWCO's services include "multichannel marketing campaigns and postal logistics strategies for direct mail, called Mail-Gard®."
  • Finally, IWCO also offers business continuity and disaster recovery services, as well as print and mail outsourcing services.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

We reviewed several of InnerWorkings' annual reports and related industry and Investor Relation reports, press releases, case studies, and reliable media. We were able to identify information for value proposition, customer landscape and perceptions, strengths and weaknesses, as well as a topline competitor comparison for InnerWorkings, Inc. One article from 2016 was included mainly due to its relevance to customer perception and awards that InnerWorkings received, which was supported by more recent articles.
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