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Distributed Marketing for Financial Services: A winning combination
Financial services marketing is fraught with regulations that marketers need to always keep in mind. This can cause content creation and iteration to slow to a crawl. If branded collateral is released out of compliance with regulations, it can cause chaos for marketing departments.
What is Distributed Marketing?
Distributed Marketing is a traditional marketing practice that you’ve probably seen before. Examples of this include Coca-Cola creating specialized signs for individual retail stores, or businesses creating templated business cards that individual owners can write in their name and address.
The biggest benefit of distributed marketing is self-service customization at scale. When an end user needs a specific flyer, sometimes they go off and make it themselves. Distributed Marketing eliminates that by allowing those users, whether they be additional locations, sales teams, customer service teams, franchisees and more, tailor make their collateral without going off brand or breaking compliance regulations.
Distributed marketing in the digital world means that marketing teams in the financial services industry can take their collateral to the next level, by allowing other departments to access and customize their marketing materials anytime.
How Distributed Marketing Helped Genworth Financial
We decided to put out what is essentially a Marketing Library, and that’s when we decided to go online with MarcomCentral. This takes care of the brand and compliance needs, but also takes care of aligning sales with Marketing.– Genworth Financial
For Genworth Financial, they found themselves in a similar situation to many financial organizations: adhere to normal marketing brand guidelines while balancing new regulations that get added. To combat this, they maintained a very strict approval process for each marketing item that they were releasing. The approval process worked to help keep everything in compliance. And then the one-off requests began to get out of control.
With every one-off request, that single collateral piece needed to be put through the approval process. This – in turn – caused delays in the normal production schedule and approval process thereby delaying production of collateral for other teams. With marketing so backed up, it caused other teams to create off-brand collateral when they had an urgent need – undermining the entire approval process.
They realized that they needed a library of readily available marketing materials that could be customized to the needs of each department. Using Marcom Portal, they were able to create marketing and compliance-approved templates that could be customized for each sales rep’s situation. They were also able to house all their un-editable assets in an easily searchable portal for 24/7 access. You can get their full story from our webinar.
Benefits of Distributed Marketing:
The main appeal of Distributed Marketing is its customizable nature along with additional key benefits:
- Create a portal that contains all approved marketing materials
- Allow teams to get marketing materials 24/7
- Give the power to individuals to customize collateral without worrying about brand consistency or regulatory requirements
- No more one-off or emergency requests; Keep your approval processes on track
- Know what’s working and what’s not with built-in Analytics that tell you which of the assets are being used the most
- Keep teams engaged in marketing by letting them have a say in how their final asset looks.
How to Get Started with Distributed Marketing
When thinking about a new distributed marketing system, first you need to organize your files and marketing assets. Wrangling your file sprawl will identify opportunities for collateral personalization and customization. Below you’ll find our recommended process. Alternatively, you can reach out and we can help create a personalized plan for you.
- Review your Branded Collateral – like a pre-rebrand process, you’ll list out all the collateral that are in use
- Separate these into different buckets: What is usable today, the ones that need minor changes and the collateral that will take a larger effort to redo
- Make sure you are going through each location where you store assets.
- Ensure the ‘ready to go’ collateral is organized in a way that is easy for your Marketing team to find.
- Many organizations use internal shared drives
- Some use a Digital Asset Management system
- Either way, you’ll want to create file-naming conventions (and document those) so that you and your team know the best way to find these new pieces of collateral
- Here’s what to do with the other two categories of collateral:
- Go for the quickest changes first and get those small wins (logo swaps, quick color changes etc.)
- Next prioritize changes based on your business need. For example, if your business runs on proposals, make sure you prioritize updating your proposal template.
- Then identify any collateral that needs to be overhauled, and make a to-do list, prioritizing by effort and need.
- Finally Look for Opportunities to Customize
- Even if you aren’t using a Distributed Marketing system, you can put guidelines in place to make small changes to assets (i.e. Adding in placeholder text where they might put their name on a proposal, or placeholder text for specific industries or numbers).
- With a solution like Marcom Portal, things get exciting, you’ll be able to give sales (or other teams) the power to really customize these assets with new images and text, all while locking the components that need to stay consistent.
- This gives power to sales to really customize those proposals or flyers and ensure that they are making the best use out of every customer touchpoint.
Distributed Marketing is a battle tested marketing strategy that can deliver meaningful results for marketing teams looking to scale their brand and offer customized collateral for their teams. If you are looking to do something similar – get in touch – and we’d be happy to show you how we can help.