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Maintaining Brand Integrity Across Multiple Locations

Learn how national marketing leaders can maintain brand integrity when their business has locations and marketers across the country or the world.

As a national brand leader overseeing marketing and customer-relationship-building efforts for a business with multiple locations — across the region, the country or the world — one of the biggest challenges is ensuring local marketing leaders are able to personalize campaigns to their individual audiences without jeopardizing the integrity of the brand.

Research from Ocean Tomo finds that brand value is worth about 17 percent of business value, meaning that protecting that value is critical to keep customers engaged and loyal. And that’s especially true today, when customers have more choice than ever before, no matter what they want to purchase. For example, Mavenlink’s 2019 State of the Services Economy survey reports that 70 percent of professional services executives saw increased competition in the last 12 months, while 85 percent noted that client expectations are increasing. So, it stands to reason that, to stay ahead in this crowded marketplace, brand leaders have to ensure their marketing initiatives stand out from the crowd, providing real value to clients and potential clients and showcasing the best of the brand at every touchpoint.

But companies with multiple locations have to manage sales reps and marketing leaders who are in charge of promoting their brand locally. With so many cooks in the kitchen, how can national marketing leaders ensure the message and customer experience stay consistent from location to location?

Multi-Location Brand Integrity Boils Down to Brand Control

Every location is an extension of the same brand, but with individual leaders at the helm, it’s common to come up against varying perspectives about local marketing. Unfortunately, these differing opinions don’t always lead to marketing campaigns that meet national standards or buoy the brand’s power.

Sometimes, the struggle for control isn’t about local marketers’ differences in opinions but about national brand leaders’ inability to oversee every detail of every local marketing campaign. After all, there are only so many hours in a day, and it’s not unreasonable for a local marketer to go ahead and print new brochures without approval if he’s in a hurry and knows the national team is busy. That’s fine if the local marketer has access to the latest design and messaging and adheres to personalization guidelines and brand standards. But if he pulls last year’s brochure and prints a thousand copies of last year’s promotions, with an old, low-res logo and mismatched fonts…well, that starts to dilute that brand value and undo the work you’ve put in to build a recognizable, respected and, most importantly, trusted brand for prospects and customers.

When you get down to it, there are five real obstacles to brand control that most national marketing leaders are facing:

  1. Decentralized Asset Management: Do you know which versions of the brand assets local marketers are using? Are they actually using the new materials you sent to everyone, or did those get buried somewhere on their hard drive and never seen again?
  2. Lack of Visibility: When you, the national brand leader, don’t know what each local marketer is accessing, creating and ordering, it’s impossible to ensure their campaigns are meeting brand standards. When something goes wrong, you won’t know until it’s too late to stop it.
  3. Lack of Approval: Connected with visibility is approval — not just seeing but actually reviewing assets local marketers create and personalize, and giving them your stamp of approval before they go out into the world. That’s the only way to be truly confident the brand value is protected.
  4. Disconnected Print and Fulfillment:Creating and approving assets isn’t the only point of control for national marketers. Do you know who your local leaders are using for printing and fulfillment? Are they using approved vendors or trying to save a buck by going with a lower-quality printer (or worse, printing from their own in-office printers). Even if the design standards are perfectly met, a low-quality printed product can have a huge negative impact on brand value.
  5. Lack of Inventory and Expense Tracking: Whether you’re missing opportunities due to inventory shortage or wasting money overprinting, throwing out unused materials and storing excess stock, lack of visibility into inventory and expenses may lead to costly holes and redundancies in local marketing efforts.

So, How Can Local Marketers Take Back Control?

At first glance, overcoming all these challenges may sound like a recipe for overloading national marketers’ plates with tedious micromanagement tasks. But with the right systems in place, that doesn’t have to be the case at all.

The key is putting systems in place to centralize and automate as much local marketing support — and national oversight — as possible. Start by centralizing assets and materials on a single system so nobody has to rely on digging up the latest email attachment. Instead, local marketers can simply log in and grab the most up-to-date collateral at a moment’s notice. Use that same system to rein in rogue collateral design by providing branded campaign templates they can use to create personalized local campaigns (and submit them for easy approval) without stepping outside of brand guidelines.

And, to control fulfillment processes and print quality, allow local leadership to order approved materials on demand, placing orders from trusted vendors and fulfillment partners with just a few clicks in the centralized system. This ensures potential customers in every location see the same, high-quality collateral, while national leaders can have quick visibility into order quantities, budget and inventory.

As national brand leaders know, branding consistency and quality are critical for building and maintaining relationships with new and existing clients. By taking back control of local marketing efforts through streamlined processes and centralized systems, national brand leaders can rest assured their brand value is protected while empowering local marketers to create and implement quality campaigns efficiently and autonomously.

To learn more about how national brand leaders can empower effective local marketing, we invite you to browse our in-depth e-book. And when you’re ready to take action to regain control and protect brand integrity, contact us today to learn how OneTouchPoint can help.

How to Bridge the Local Marketing Gap Between Franchisors and Franchisees

Franchisors need their local marketers to be self-sufficient, but franchisees are looking for more support from HQ.

When it comes to local marketing responsibilities, franchisors and franchisees are feeling a little tension. Franchisors and their national marketing teams are dedicated to protecting the quality and consistency of brand collateral and messaging. But they also really need local marketers — franchisees — to be self-sufficient in creating and producing their own materials. After all, according to the CMO Council, 53 percent of national marketers lack the resources and bandwidth they need to handle local marketing on top of their global responsibilities.

And yet, franchisees aren’t always marketing gurus, themselves, and many of them expect guidance from their brands’ national marketing teams. In fact, LocalVox reports that 64 percent of franchisees are disappointed with the marketing support they receive.

So, neither side is particularly happy. Franchisees need more support, and franchisors need a way to provide that support — and protect the brand — without overextending their already maxed-out to-do lists.

One of the most impactful ways franchisors have been able to achieve this balance is by outsourcing print marketing efforts to a single-source solution vendor that can partner with local and national marketers to streamline campaign creation and ensure consistent branding. When a company finds the right partner for the job, the impact can be enormous.

Three Ways Outsourcing Your Marketing Supply Chain Can Bridge the Gap

In short, outsourcing marketing supply chain management gives franchisees the support they need launch campaigns more efficiently and reach more audiences — without franchisors feeling the need to micromanage or sacrifice other key initiatives to make time for local marketers.

1. Centralized Collateral

The first step in executing any marketing campaign is creating collateral. And, when you’ve got marketing reps all over the country creating their own collateral (even if you’ve given them clear branding guidelines), this is also where you run the biggest risk of diluting your brand with off-key messaging and visuals. And yet, the last thing a franchisor wants is to be fielding requests from franchisees every time someone needs the latest copy of a flyer, updating materials with a single franchise’s contact informationor providing an up-to-date banner for a local event.

But what if there was a centralized, digital location where franchisees could access the latest collateral — all approved by the franchisors — and customize it to their particular audiences’ needs (within brand guidelines) before placing a print order? Outsourcing print marketing efforts to a single-source partner can provide just that, meaning headquarters can rest assured the brand was in good hands and franchisees can have the support they need to feel confident in their own marketing capabilities.

2. Trusted Printing & Distribution Facilities

Franchisors don’t have time to be the guardians of the collateral, nor do they have the time to manage every franchisee’s print orders. But again, leaving franchisees to find and contract with their own printers is liable to lead to questionable collateral quality — a printer may struggle with grand format printing or high volumes or tight deadlines — and lapses in brand consistency.

Your marketing supply chain manager can solve that problem, too, giving franchisees access to a trusted printer and distributor that can bring those HQ-approved designs to life and ensure they get where they need to go, when they need to get there, every single time. As a franchisor, partnering with a trusted vendor to give your franchisees the authority to outsource production and distribution to an approved team of pros is like giving them superpowers. From printing (in any format, from business cards and banners to flyers and floor stickers) to kitting and shipping to franchise locations or mailing directly to customers, your print marketing partnership takes plenty of the logistical burden off local and national marketers’ shoulders.

3. Powerful Business Insights

Another powerful thing the right partner can take off a franchisor’s to-do list is tracking. Traditionally, HQ teams have to track down franchisees’ reports to know which marketing campaigns are effective (or not), how much budget has been used, how much of any piece of collateral is in stock, etc. Reliance on so many moving pieces often leads to inaccuracies and gaps in the data, making it difficult to track marketing progress at any given time.

However, by centralizing order processing and handing off the legwork to a trusted partner, franchisors can take advantage of near-real-time tracking of key metrics the help both national and local marketers reduce waste, control budgets and make savvy investments in proven marketing strategies.

For franchisors and national marketers managing a growing list of franchisees, outsourcing marketing supply chain management can have significant local and national benefits. From the brand security to the time and resources both franchisors and franchisees get back to focus on critical business strategy, contracting with a trusted vendor to handle marketing execution has the potential to do great things for a franchisor’s national brand, local sales and bottom line.

To learn more about whether OneTouchPoint is the right single-source marketing solution for your organization, 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.

3 Ways Franchisors Can Protect Their Brands’ Reputations — Without Having to Micromanage Franchisees

3 Ways Franchisors Can Protect Their Brands’ Reputations — Without Having to Micromanage Franchisees

As a franchisor, your marketing needs are higher than ever. Customers demand frequent, omnichannel experiences with the brands they patronize, and they expect those experiences to be the same across every channel and every location. And it’s not just the demands that are higher than ever — so are the stakes. No matter what product or service they are looking for, customers have more options than ever before, and Salesforce reports that, if their branding expectations aren’t met, 73 percent will take their business elsewhere.

So, for franchisors in charge of global marketing efforts, protecting brand quality and ensuring consistent communications from every franchise and across every channel is tantamount to the brand’s continued growth and success. But as the brand grows, so do the challenges of protecting it. While the corporate team may be perfectly able to oversee local marketing efforts at the beginning — with just a handful of franchisees to support — that effort becomes more immense as the business expands, and franchisors quickly find themselves spending all their time micromanaging local marketing instead of tackling the high-value, big-picture and growth-driving initiatives they should be focusing on.

Today’s franchise marketing leaders need better ways to empower local marketing and protect their brands — without having to add hours to the day or sacrifice business-critical initiatives.

Here are a few suggestions for streamlining your to-do list and getting back to what matters.

1. Turn Your Franchisees into CMOs

Your franchisees are likely savvy business owners—after all, you wouldn’t have allowed them to buy a franchise if they weren’t—but they probably aren’t natural marketing geniuses, and that’s ok. By setting up the right systems early on, you can empower them to create, customize and execute top-notch (and corporate-sanctioned!) marketing campaigns with minimal effort, ensuring your carefully curated branding and messaging remains consistent.

Start by migrating all the latest assets to one digital location that approved users have access to 24/7. If the corporate-approved holiday open house invitation is available at franchisees’ fingertips, they won’t be tempted make their own — and you won’t have to field dozens of requests to send it to individual owners. And if they have access to predesigned window clings, they’re much more likely to use them to step up their marketing game.

Ensuring everyone has access to the same collateral is a critical first step, but remember that consumers demand personalization in their brand engagement. In fact, research has shown that up to 50 percent of target audiences ignore brand messages if they’re not localized. That means that, at a minimum, they’re looking for their native language, local jargon and cultural references. So once you’re assured every piece of marketing collateral is current, relevant and on-brand, be sure franchisees can easily and quickly personalize and localize those assets, within corporate parameters, for their particular consumers.

And finally, give them access to a trusted printing partner to take yet another load off your shoulders.

2. Spend More Time Driving Growth and Less Time Packing and Mailing Collateral

Managing national and local print orders may have made sense at the beginning of the business, but here again, growth (or even the anticipation of growth) requires more efficient systems.

Identify a trusted printing and distribution partner that can handle on-demand and bulk printing for all your assets — both the traditional, small-format collateral and the special, grand-format items. And even better, choose a partner who can handle packing, kitting and mailing to specific franchises for you, as well.

Using this partner for national marketing campaigns, and giving franchisees access for local initiatives, will not only save the time you once spent managing, ordering, packing and shipping orders; it will also save the worries about whether your customers’ information is secure, whether your collateral is on-brand, personalized and printed correctly and whether it will make it where it needs to go. (As a bonus, you’ll likely see cost savings from special USPS deals businesses can’t get on their own.)

3. Make Micromanagement a Breeze

Let’s be honest: as a franchisor and business owner, you’ll never be completely hands-off, and you shouldn’t be! You’re the one making the strategic marketing decisions that drive your brand’s growth and evolution. But there’s one more tool that will make your job as “micromanager” so much easier.

What are the KPIs you’re tracking from your franchisees? They likely include expenses, asset stock, ROI and more. And how are you tracking those KPIs? Early in the brand’s life, relying on franchisee reporting may be sufficient, but as the number of franchises grows, it becomes all but impossible to both track down all those reports and format them in a way that gives you the at-a-glance insights you need to make smart high-level marketing decisions.

You need a system that will automate those tracking efforts for franchisees, taking the reporting burden off their shoulders and aggregating data in a way that gives you visibility into each franchise’s marketing initiatives and progress at any given moment.

This always-on, consolidated view will make it worlds easier for you, the franchisor, to keep track of everything you need to see and intervene when you need to — without feeling like you’re constantly breathing down franchisees’ necks.

As a franchisor, your brand’s reputation is your number-one priority, but as your business grows, it can feel impossible to stay in control of local brand initiatives. To learn more about how to streamline local marketing efforts — and save you time and headaches — we invite you to contact OneTouchPoint today to learn about our end-to-end print marketing support capabilities. Our experts will provide insight and ideas to deliver phenomenal results at a great price.

The Franchisor's Secret to Streamlining Local Marketing Management

Franchisors often have to micromanage every franchisee’s local marketing efforts. Learn to streamline franchise marketing and enhance your brand.

For national marketing leaders, managing franchisees’ and local reps’ marketing efforts can be a near-full-time job. And that’s on top of their actual, everyday responsibilities. The franchisor or CMO is responsible not only for national marketing initiatives, but for providing localized marketing support, managing inventory, orders and budgets and ensuring local reps have up-to-date materials — all in an effort to grow the business while protecting brand integrity.

And, of course, as the business grows, adding more and more franchises to manage, this job becomes more and more difficult. It’s no wonder the CMO Council reports that 53 percent of national marketers lack the resources and bandwidth they need for local marketing — while LocalVox reports that 64 percent of franchisees are disappointed with the marketing support they receive.

But, for successful franchises, quality, effective, uniform local marketing is a must. After all, today’s customers have higher demands for their interactions with brands than ever before, demanding frequent, consistent, omnichannel experiences. And if those demands aren’t met, they also have more options than ever. Salesforce reports that 76 percent of consumers say it’s easier than ever to take their business elsewhere, and 73 percent will do it if their brand engagement expectations aren’t met.

So, the stakes are high, but for a national marketer managing a growing list of franchisees, the to-do list is simply too long. What’s the solution?

National brands need a way to consolidate their marketing assets, budget allocation efforts and campaign tracking, empowering franchisees to develop, execute and track their own print marketing campaigns. In short, they need a turnkey solution that minimizes corporate oversight and optimizes customer experiences with every franchise location.

OneTouchPoint offers that turnkey solution, acting as the savvy franchisor’s secret to effortless local marketing. We help leading franchise marketers empower franchisees to create localized experiences that maintain brand consistency and quality while balancing design spend, simplifying operations and tracking the success of every tactic and every campaign.

Let’s take a look at just a few of the ways OneTouchPoint makes franchisors’ lives easier.

Controlling Brand Integrity & Powering Local Store Marketing through Centralized Assets

When local marketers don’t have easy access to the latest collateral, that puts brand quality at risk. They either have to reach out to the national organization every time they need a document (leaving national marketers drowning in collateral requests) or, rather than wait, they’ll simply make their own. Either leads to significant wasted time, and the latter dilutes the customer experience by ruining brand consistency.

But OneTouchPoint’s U.Connect platform provides sprawling franchise businesses with a centralized, digital hub where the national team can store the latest and greatest collateral, providing easy access for local marketers who may need anything from flyers to floor stickers. And what’s more, the platform gives franchisees the power to customize that collateral — within corporate parameters — with details that are relevant to their particular audiences.

No longer are local marketers “winging it” or swamping corporate with collateral requests. Now every franchisee has the power to develop and execute their own, brand-consistent campaigns that speak to local potential customers.

High-Quality Bulk & Print-on-Demand with Kitting & Mailing Support

Additionally, OneTouchPoint functions as a single-source partner for all things print. Whether a franchisee needs five thousand brochures or a single banner, local marketers an order exactly what they need, when they need it, and we’ll take care of it at our full-scale, commercial printing facilities. Even better, we also handle kitting, assembly and distribution to local stores or directly to prospective customers from our seven facilities across the country.

We know that marketing campaigns are time-sensitive initiatives, and it’s our goal to help local marketers execute their campaigns efficiently to stay ahead of customer conversations. By providing franchisees with access to a trusted vendor for printing and mailing needs, corporate can take a load off — rest assured every local rep is receiving consistent, high-quality collateral.

Up-to-Date Insights to Drive Smart Business Decisions

Transparency and visibility are critical to inform savvy business decisions, but with franchises and reps spread across the country using their own reporting systems, it can be nearly impossible for corporate to track which tactics are successful and which ones may not be worth the investment. Not to mention collateral quantities or budget spend.

But OneTouchPoint eases that burden, as well, providing real-time tracking of key metrics that help national and local marketers reduce waste, control budgets (and easily handle chargebacks) and design marketing campaigns based on strategies that have proven to be effective.

If you’re a franchisor or national franchise marketing leader looking to optimize operations, empower franchisees to create stand-out marketing campaigns and streamline budgets, OneTouchPoint is ready to help you bring your brand in lockstep with your business. Our commercial print power and national presence allow you to leverage scale/economies of scale for lower printing and shipping costs while powering consistently flawless brand engagements with your end consumer, whether in the store or on their doorstep.

To learn more about how OneTouchPoint can help you reduce waste, increase margin and enable your teams and partners for success, we invite you to contact us today!

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