Once upon a time, the term “marketing collateral” referred to fairly simple assets. Catalogues, fliers, brochures, and maybe the occasional postcard. Today, though, as customers expect highly curated experiences with brands on every front—digital, print, in-store—the term has come to mean so much more. Sure, it still means catalogues and brochures, but it also means social media posts, email newsletters and offers, branded packaging, in-store materials ranging from window clings and floor stickers to shelf-talkers and POS signage. It means assets that are tailored to customers’ experiences with the brand and their geographic locations. It means (with apologies to Michelle Yeoh) everything everywhere all at once.
And yet, with the demands for marketing collateral higher than ever, corporate marketing teams are also stretched thinner than ever in terms of budget, time, and human power. So, how can marketers bring their asset production processes up to speed without overloading their already full plates? The answer lies in a through-channel marketing automation (TCMA) platform.
Four Ways Through-Channel Marketing Automation Can Help Modernize Your Marketing Collateral
A TCMA platform is a SaaS solution that can help your corporate marketing team centralize distributed marketing efforts, enabling retailers, distributors, agents, franchisees, and any other local brand representatives or channel partners to quickly access approved marketing collateral and resources twenty-four-seven. Let’s look at just a few ways it can streamline marketing efforts to meet today’s collateral needs with ease.
More than likely, whether they’re sales reps, franchisees, or store managers, there are multiple players in the marketing ring, each with their own collateral needs. But as that ring gets bigger—and as the collateral needs become more complicated—it can be difficult to ensure they have the most up-to-date version of every asset. There are only so many times a corporate marketer can re-send the latest postcard designs, only so deep a local rep can dig through Google Drive, and only so many repetitive one-off requests the design team can handle .
But, with the right TCMA platform, corporate can centralize all of those marketing assets, making the latest—and only the latest—preapproved files easily available, anytime, to anyone who needs them. This way, the corporate team doesn’t need to spend their valuable time holding reps’ hands, and reps won’t be tempted to start from scratch (jeopardizing brand integrity in the process) when they can’t find what they want.
While there should never be a reason for local marketers to reinvent the wheel, the truth is that they do often need to customize assets for their specific audiences, with details like retail store addresses, local offerings, and sometimes even regional lingo. Here again, the right TCMA platform can help, offering modular content that makes it easy for regional marketers to put together the assets they need without deviating from approved language, messaging, or design.
Modular content is content that’s been divided into the smallest possible reusable components that can be rearranged into any number of assets for any channel. This includes text blocks like disclaimers, value statements, or product descriptions, as well as visuals like product shots, videos, or infographics. Each module is pre-approved to meet design, style, and legal standards, and then distributed via the TCMA’s asset hub so that anybody with a hand in marketing campaign creation has easy access whenever they need it.
Print Quality Control
With far-flung marketing teams, maintaining print quality can be another significant challenge. If corporate handles all ordering and budget tracking through a single printer, this ensures consistent print quality, but it also adds a layer of micromanaging and back-and-forth nobody has time for. But if local marketers are left to choose their own production vendors, that introduces the risk of low quality materials and/or exorbitant expenses.
What if, through the very same TCMA platform where local marketers access and customize collateral, they could place their own orders with the single, corporate-approved printer? This would eliminate the back-and-forth of corporate having to handle print requests while ensuring quality printing and production on everything business cards to product displays to swag bags. (And, with expense tracking and chargeback capabilities, it’s easy to enable all of this without blowing the budget.)
Finally, with robust reporting capabilities, the right TCMA platform can help minimize wasted materials and money through real-time inventory tracking. By enabling marketers to make savvy printing decisions based on quantities needed in the past—not to mention existing materials that may be collecting dust in the warehouse—the TCMA platform can help minimize overspending (on both unnecessary collateral and unnecessary storage!) and wasted materials. Pair that with your print partner’s print-on-demand capabilities, and you’ll have your inventory—and your budget—under control in no time.
Modern-day demands on marketers are higher than ever, and still climbing. But the right through-channel marketing automation platform, it’s easy to meet those demands with standout marketing collateral that delights customers on every platform. At OneTouchPoint, we’re dedicated to providing our clients with a world-class through-channel marketing automation platform that powers brand communications across every channel, for every customer.
To learn more about how OneTouchPoint can help you deliver a seamless, multichannel brand experience, we invite you to contact us today or request a quote on your next project. Our experts will provide insight and ideas to deliver phenomenal results at a great price.