As brand leaders put the finishing touches on their 2022 marketing strategies, there’s one question to consider carefully: What is the plan for maintaining brand integrity across every channel and every location?
When there are multiple cooks in the marketing kitchen — and they’re creating and executing campaigns across print and digital channels or for audiences in different geographic areas — maintaining consistent design, messaging, and quality can be a steep challenge. This is particularly true for brands whose products and services are sold in multiple locations and/or by multiple partners, dealer networks and representatives (franchises, multi-branch retailers and service providers, brands sold through distribution networks, etc.), with local marketers spearheading campaigns to reach their own unique audiences.
The Stakes for Brand Control
Why is consistency from channel to channel and location to location so important? It comes down to building consumers’ trust and nurturing those relationships from potential buyers to full-blown evangelists. And the stakes for this effort are high. A key consideration for consumers’ deciding which company to buy from is their experience with the brand. They expect to interact with brands they patronize across multiple channels and in multiple formats, and they want those interactions to be consistent; otherwise, Salesforce reports, 73 percent say they’ll take their business elsewhere. Creating consistency across every communication and channel is difficult on its own. But add a few dozen local marketing reps, franchise owners, or distributors to oversee, and it can begin to feel unmanageable.
The Challenge for Marketing Leaders
Most franchise owners, local store managers, or distributors are chosen because they know the brand inside out, know their audiences, and know-how to run a business. But they may not be the marketing experts the global brand leaders wish they were. They’re focused on their expertise — running the business, making the sale, etc. — and may not have the time, energy, or inclination to become marketing whizzes on top of their core responsibilities. That means, if these global leaders don’t want to risk diluting the brand with mixed messaging, design improvisations, or poor-quality execution, they’re forced into overseeing and managing marketing at each location – taking up precious time and team bandwidth that could be focused on strategic marketing efforts that drive ROI, not tactical, day-to-day marketing operations.
Except that, with so many other, higher-level things to focus on, all this micromanaging leads to frustration, burnout, delays, lost sales opportunities and, often, the same brand dilution they were trying so hard to avoid.
The Solution: Through Channel Marketing Automation
If local reps and other brand partners don’t want to be marketers, and corporate marketing leaders don’t want to be managing each location’s efforts 1-on-1, then both the brand and its partners need a solution that can bridge the gap between corporate marketing initiatives and local partners’ needs. The right solution would empower retailers, distributors, franchisees, and branch managers to create and execute localized marketing campaigns without investing significant time or effort and without direct input from corporate.
A through-channel marketing automation (TCMA) platform is designed to do just that.
These solutions, also known as distributed marketing platforms, are designed to help brands centralize their marketing efforts, by creating a repository for preapproved collateral and giving local reps easy access to campaign management resources such as print production, fulfillment and digital marketing support. All without requiring the involvement of global brand leadership.
These platforms provide the same support local marketers once needed from the corporate team, saving both parties significant time, effort, and frustration — and ensuring every marketer can reach their local audience through every channel without compromising brand integrity. As Forrester puts it in a recent overview:
“The through-channel marketing automation market is growing because more B2B marketing professionals see distributed and local marketing as key to influencing new buyers. They are placing trust in TCMA providers to act as strategic partners, allowing them to broaden their reach and influence customers in new ways.”
Benefits of Through-Channel Marketing Automation
The right TCMA platform, according to another Forrester report, accomplishes three things:
- “Provide robust support for all the channels their buyers rely on.”
- “Meet buyers’ demand for personalized, contextual engagement.”
- “Accommodate their partners’ capabilities and proclivities.”
In other words, the right TCMA platform will make it easy for national marketers to maintain up-to-date content and for local reps to use to find, customize, and produce the collateral they need. It will streamline workflows and approval processes for both digital and print marketing; empower local marketers to develop, customize, and execute campaigns autonomously; and provide national marketers with full transparency into budgets, campaign performance, and more.
The ultimate result: a sharper and more consistent brand that delivers customers the dependable interactions they’re looking for — whether they’re in the Northeast or the Southwest and whether they’re encountering the brand on their smartphone or in their mailbox.
Does Your Marketing Strategy Include Through-Channel Marketing Automation?
Through-Channel Marketing Automation is a powerful way for businesses to fulfill local marketing needs without diminishing brand integrity or overpowering their leadership’s core agendas with support requirements. OneTouchPoint’s U.Connect is a TCMA platform that provides our clients with a centralized marketing hub and full-service support. This empowers 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 or request a quote on your next project. Our experts will provide insight and ideas to deliver phenomenal results at a great price.