Imagine baking gingerbread cookies without a cookie cutter. After realizing how frustrating and tedious that endeavor would be, it’s abundantly clear that the cookie cutter is one of the fundamental tools for the craft cookie-making industry. Thanks to cookie cutters, bakers no longer have to toil for hours forming cookies into shapes like festive people made out of gingerbread or intricate shortbread concoctions emblazoned with the shapes of chess pieces. The cookie cutter not only saves time and effort, but also delivers consistent results. When it comes to the marketing profession, think of distributed marketing as a similarly useful tool, one that enables brand consistency and is a time-saver for organizations.
Distributed marketing is a model adopted by organizations that has both a central (corporate) marketing function as well as a local (distributed) marketing function. The central marketing function consists of larger corporate initiatives while the local marketing functions are produced at the smaller business level. These smaller local businesses include resellers, agents, retailers, distributors, dealers, franchisees, field marketers, or branches.
Through these channels, corporations can improve their economies of scale – cost reductions that occur when organizations increase production. When organizations increase production to meet the needs of all their channel partners, they can use the cost savings to increase profit or pass the savings onto customers and become more price competitive. Additionally, the smaller partners can gain access to larger marketing budgets while still having the opportunity to personalize marketing messages at the local level. Distributed marketing allows for an organization to maintain control over its brand, leverage local communities for marketing initiatives, and gain visibility into those marketing activities.
Why is it so important for a brand to maintain control over its messaging strategy? We’ve previously discussed the value that brand consistency brings to an organization when it comes to building trust with its consumers. Brand consistency refers to how “on-brand” all of your company’s marketing content is with respect to your brand identity and brand guidelines.
Brand consistency ensures that your brand is easily recognizable across all marketing channels, regardless of whether they are central or local. This creates a cohesive, unified experience for both existing and potential customers. The more consistent your brand messaging is, the more recognizable and reliable it is to a customer, no matter where they are. By controlling marketing messages at the corporate level, organizations can ensure that their brand identity isn’t jeopardized at the local level.
Because distributed marketing allows corporations to maintain control over their brand while still supporting customization at the local level, it ensures that consistency is prioritized. Take Baskin Robbins, for example. The specialty ice cream chain has stores that can be found in over 50 countries around the world. Through its franchised model, parent company Dunkin Donuts is able to control costs easily. Additionally, they are able to control the brand’s unique value proposition of 31 flavors, wherein customers can enjoy a different flavor every day of the month. However, Baskin Robbins franchisees are given the opportunity to support their local communities by sponsoring youth sporting events or educational programs. With distributed marketing, an organization can reach and connect with their target audience on a more localized level without compromising the brand message.
Managing brand consistency and compliance at scale can easily become overwhelming, especially with the kind of multi-channel marketing strategy required for distributed marketing. Utilizing a marketing asset management (MAM) solution can help ease this burden. First, MAM software gives users like channel partners the ability to quickly edit fields of text or create custom marketing assets thanks to dynamic templates. Additionally, this tool can enforce brand guidelines with universal updates, effectively managing outdated images, trademarks, logos, and disclaimers.
This enables content creators to customize their marketing collateral for local marketing campaigns without fear of jeopardizing brand consistency. It also allows for various distribution options. Thanks to multi-format output, users across channels can instantly access a variety of file types to download for social media posts, direct mail, sales, and more.
Through distributed marketing, brands can create campaigns that reach their audience at a variety of levels. On one hand, businesses can ensure that their brand story resonates in the same light across all channels. On the other hand, channel partners can customize marketing assets to target their specific local audience. When implemented correctly, a distributed marketing strategy produces a consistent message, saves time, and pools resources by creating a co-operative between channel partners. Using a marketing asset management solution can help streamline marketing efforts at all levels while staying true to a brand’s message. And that’s the way this cookie crumbles!
For more information on how marketing asset management solutions can help simplify your distributed marketing campaign efforts, be sure to check out our MAM solutions.