For multilocation brands that field both corporate and local marketing teams, the variety of voices, needs, and perspectives involved can start to make things seem, well, crowded. With the corporate team juggling requests from every local marketer, local marketers vying for attention from corporate, and everybody overextended, it’s easy to feel like maybe there are too many cooks in the marketing kitchen.
Is this feeling familiar? Let’s take a look at the signs that something needs to change—and then we’ll show you how you can solve the problem.
When that “too many cooks” feeling starts to creep up, it’s likely because everyone’s got too much on their plates, and they’re trying to shovel things off their plates as quickly as possible. Here’s what that might look like:
A never-ending stream of “quick requests” as local reps ping corporate to resend the latest version of the holiday sale flier or the updated regulatory language. Or as they reach out to the in-house or freelance design team for one-off collateral requests that are, more often than not, just slightly revised iterations of previously created materials.
As these requests pile up—in marketing leadership’s inboxes or in designers’—they start to feel less like quick and easy tasks and more like an avalanche, taking away from the time, energy, and resources required for bigger strategic initiatives.
Slipping brand standards as local brand representatives take collateral matters into their own hands. When a local rep needs that social media banner quickly, it may be more efficient to create it himself than to wait for brand leadership to get around to sending the latest version. When a franchise owner wants to announce a sale, it’s likely easier to write the promo copy herself than to sift through the mess of files on her desktop for that corporate-approved language.
While these local marketers have only the best intentions in mind and are more than likely trying to adhere to brand standards, the result of this DIY approach is inconsistent design and messaging across channels, campaigns, and/or regions. Diluting the brand like this erodes customer trust and, in the cases of highly regulated industries like healthcare, finance, or alcohol & beverage, it can cause serious legal problems as well.
Tensions between local and corporate marketers as the two groups forget they’re on the same team. If local marketers are feeling unsupported, they’re likely to resent the national team for ignoring or neglecting their needs. If corporate is feeling like they’re having to hold local marketers’ hands at the expense of more strategic efforts, that’s going to lead to resentment, too.
If any of these frustrations apply to your marketing organization, read on to learn how to go from “too many cooks in the kitchen” to Michelin Star marketing.
The Solution: Empower Local Marketing
Here’s the reality: if your marketing teams aren’t operating at peak, it’s probably not because there are too many cooks—it’s more likely the kitchen that needs an overhaul. The source of all the issues we’ve described above (and many more) is a lack of systems in place to empower local marketers to create stand-out campaigns spanning traditional, social, and digital channels—without risking brand integrity and without constant input from leadership.
The solution, then, is to streamline brand management and empower local marketers. These steps will get you started:
- Make approved marketing assets easily available in a central brand hub.
- Centralize internal communication to be sure everyone’s on the same page about strategy, messaging, and other key updates.
- Set up modular content to enable marketers to customize campaigns without sidestepping brand or messaging guidelines.
- Automate workflows to make collateral approval easy and efficient.
- Give brand representatives and channel partners access to a corporate-approved print and production vendor.
That’s just for starters, but you can see the pattern. The easier and more efficient it is for local marketers to do what they need to do—and do it in accordance to brand standards and regulations—the more that once-crowded marketing “kitchen” can operate like a well-oiled machine.
All these changes may sound like a tall order, but you don’t have to do it alone. The right through-channel marketing automation (TCMA) platform is the perfect partner to centralize and automate local marketing effort. You can learn more about it here, but the bottom line is that TCMA a is a powerful way for businesses to meet customer engagement demands without diminishing brand integrity or overloading their own plates with manual marketing support requirements.
At OneTouchPoint, our U.Connect platform provides our partners with a centralized marketing hub and full-service support that empowers reps at every level to create and launch powerful marketing campaigns that build brand awareness and drive growth at every turn. Peruse our website to learn more, and when you’re ready, contact us to discover whether OneTouchPoint is the right marketing execution partner for your organization.