Is GPS-Tracking Important In Choosing A Leaflet Distributor?
What is leaflet distribution GPS-tracking?
And do you need it?
Many professional door-to-door leaflet distribution companies use GPS-tracking as a key selling-point, but do you need it when choosing someone to deliver your leaflets? We’d like to offer you our ‘insiders’ viewpoint- as a successful leaflet distributor that doesn’t use trackers but has in the past- to identify the key benefits and problems of GPS-tracking to help you decide.
In the leaflet distribution industry GPS-tracking uses trackers (like the one in the top image) to follow the movement of individual delivery staff when out delivering. Using GPS, the tracker locates the person at regular time-intervals (typically every 10 seconds) to an accuracy of a couple of meters, and this detail allows their movement to be tracked in real-time to individual households. On completing the delivery, this route is typically overlaid onto a satellite-image of the area and emailed to the client as a clear and ‘compelling’ record, and ‘proof’ of delivery.
The good and the bad of GPS-tracking.
GPS-tracking has effectively become ‘standard’ for the larger, wider-coverage leaflet distribution companies (with the notable exception of the Royal Mail), who cite GPS as the definitive way to guarantee delivery. Many of these companies focus on GPS above (and almost to the exclusion of) all else, and form their marketing and guarantees, and sometimes even their business names, around it. Whilst GPS-tracking offers a benefit, you should be aware that its value is easily over-emphasised, and that is not infallible or without limitations.
When choosing a leaflet delivery company for your business, the key decision factor will be trust. GPS-tracking clearly offers a level of evidence and re-assurance to help build that trust, and this is of real value. There are however, many other factors you can use to gauge trust, and we would suggest that the most important of these are:
talking to the company, questioning them, and using personal judgement;
checking feedback/reviews and, ideally, asking previous customers;
being asked to pay by invoice after delivery (or after a significant number of deliveries, of say 5 to 10 thousand), and not before delivery (especially with cash).
We believe that these 3 factors will ensure that you find a quality leaflet delivery company you can trust; and that despite the additional peace-of-mind that GPS-tracking can offer, the disadvantages of GPS may actually outweigh the benefits!
Our concern is that companies can become over-dependent on their GPS-trackers, and this can result in them overlooking the quality of their staff and delivery standards. Their reliance on trackers leads them to falsely believe that they can effectively get away with employing anyone at any pay-rate- whatever their ‘nature’- to deliver for them, and that tracking them will effectively guarantee they do the job. The problem with this is that even if the round is completed properly (i.e. fully covered), that the quality of the delivery is likely to be sub-standard- and how leaflets are posted through the doors is critical to the leaflet’s response, and can ‘make or break’ a client’s leaflet campaign!
For us, micro-managing our delivery team using trackers conflicts with our ‘culture’ and core values of honesty, integrity, and ‘ownership’ of the task- and we don’t believe is the way to get the best from our staff. For these reasons, we have stopped using trackers ourselves, and find that there is no substitute for using quality staff of integrity, trained and committed to high standards, and that reputation and results wins-over.
Is GPS-tracking important to you.
Ultimately, GPS-tracking provides a useful form of evidence of a company’s delivery, and all things being equal, you will gain extra peace-of-mind by choosing a company using tracking over one without. Please do bear in mind though, that tracking has nothing to do with the all-important ‘quality’ of delivery- and can effectively prove detrimental to this!- and that tracking is just one of a number of forms of assurance (with others being more important), and that your choice of company will ultimately rest on your overall impression and gut-feeling- and that is what business is largely about!