For multi-location brands like franchises, nationwide retailers or service providers, it can seem like the requests for new marketing collateral never stop coming. The store manager in Austin needs a point-of-sale poster to advertise an upcoming local promotion, while the Midwest sales rep wants a leave-behind flyer highlighting this season’s new products, and the corporate marketing team needs to advertise the same new products via social media graphics.
With all these requests coming in at once, it may seem like the easiest option is to forward them on to your in-house design team—or the handful of trusted freelancers who know your brand standards inside and out and turn the collateral around quickly.
Here’s the catch, though: every “quick design request” takes away from the time the design experts’ have to work on bigger, more strategic projects for your brand. (And, in the case of freelance designers, each request means spending money to have your designer basically recreate something she’s already spent her time—and your money—creating.) The designers get frustrated with the onslaught of distractions, the delays start to pile up (tempting local marketers to DIY their own collateral, to varying results), and before you know it, all those “easy” requests have cost more in lost opportunities and clean-up efforts than they were worth.
Let’s take a look at a few of the hidden costs of all these piecemeal marketing collateral design requests—and a better alternative.
Drawbacks of Piecemeal Marketing Collateral Design
As with any informal—or missing—business process, asking the designers to field random, one-off request from every local marketer (and the corporate team, too) will inevitably lead to inefficiencies and delays as the design team triages and juggles all these similar-but-not-quite-identical projects. As the “quick turns” pile up, so does the potential for errors, dropped balls, and missed deadlines. All of this creates opportunity cost as marketers are left without the simple collateral they need for local campaigns—and larger design initiatives are put on hold in favor of the small stuff.
When a designer—or several different designers—are tasked with customizing content for every local marketer, no matter how skilled they are, they’re all but guaranteed to introduce inconsistencies. Alternatively, local marketers who are anxious about getting their collateral ready on time may decide to take it upon themselves to become designers, creating their own materials that may or may not align to brand standards or quality benchmarks, ultimately leading to mismatched marketing campaigns from location to location or channel to channel.
However they happen, these inconsistencies in brand messaging and design compromise brand integrity and customer experience—diluting customer trust and risking valued long-term relationships.
In many highly regulated industries—such as healthcare, finance, or alcohol and beverage—the stakes are even higher when it comes to potential branding inefficiencies. In these industries, there are specific messaging requirements and promotional regulations that may vary from state to state. Designers and local marketing reps likely aren’t well-versed in these requirements, so asking them to take on that compliance burden—no matter how detail-oriented and meticulous they are—is putting the company at risk not only of customer dissatisfaction but of potentially devastating legal ramifications as well.
Instead, Empower Local Marketers with Through-Channel Marketing Automation
So, how can far-flung brands ensure every rep and marketer has the collateral they need without the cost of burdening individual contributors with every request? Relief—not to mention watertight brand integrity and legal compliance—comes in the form of a through-channel marketing automation (TCMA) platform.
TCMA platforms, like OneTouchPoint’s U.Connect, are SaaS solutions designed to centralize brands’ distributed marketing efforts, enabling retailers, distributors, agents, franchisees, and any other local brand representatives to quickly access approved marketing collateral and resources twenty-four-seven.
With access to pre-approved collateral templates for every channel, local marketers have everything they need at their fingertips to create and then order what they need, have it produced on-demand (or kitted from the warehouse), then shipped directly to them – enabling them to easily launch local print and digital marketing campaigns that both align with national strategy and speak directly to their unique audiences. And all without burdening designers or jeopardizing brand integrity.
This is all made even easier with the use of modular content, which is content that’s been divided into the smallest possible preapproved “blocks” that local marketers can localize and customize into any number of assets with very little effort and, more importantly, no actual design work. These include text blocks (think: disclaimers, value statements, and product descriptions), and visuals (think: product shots, brand approved images, partner logos, and infographics). In conjunction with the TCMA’s asset hub, modular content goes a long way to ensure global brand consistency while still giving users the flexibility to create relevant promotional assets in local markets.
When every marketer is empowered to create easy-to-approve, compliant collateral at the drop of a hat, brands can save significant time, money, and risk on outsourcing everyday content creation—freeing up their creative teams to work on the big-picture strategic initiatives that will really drive growth.
And that’s just one of many benefits of through-channel marketing automation.
OneTouchPoint’s TCMA platform, U.Connect, empowers our clients to accomplish their loftiest multichannel marketing goals, starting with collateral design and going much, much further. We pride ourselves on providing our partners with a centralized marketing hub and full-service support that enables reps at every level to create and launch powerful marketing campaigns that build brand awareness and drive growth at every turn. To learn more about how OneTouchPoint helps brands grow with through-channel marketing automation, we invite you to contact us to talk with our experts about how OneTouchPoint can deliver phenomenal results at a great price.