This can go either one of two ways: (1) Sales has access to brand marketing collateral when they need it so there’s no need to submit a request to marketing and eagerly await its return- it’s at their fingertips or (2) Sales has limited access to updated brand collateral so they submit a request to Marketing and wait- for a couple of days at least- then they decide to do it themselves and create the event invitation they need in Word® or maybe PowerPoint®.
In both instances, Sales is no longer waiting on Marketing but as a marketer you want to be in position 1, not position 2. Position 2 creates a whole host of problems including poor quality collateral in sales channels, compliance issues, and a lack of brand control which all contribute to the degradation of your brand voice.
The key to getting yourself in position 1, is to have a plan in place and that plan includes marketing technology. With the amount of personalization expected by customers today, it’s no longer feasible for sales to submit requests to marketing and wait while an overburdened marketing team works through a massive list of projects from all the teams they support in order to get customized messaging for their local market. And limiting accessibility to collateral also leads to potential missed opportunities by Sales and the frustrations that come along with that.
Many companies today are automating the process of delivering Sales and other channels (partners, distributors, retail stores, regional offices, etc.) marketing collateral they can access and personalize as needed all within their own timeline.
One such example is from CoolSculpting® by Zeltiq®, a medical aesthetics company, whose Marketing department found that their sales channel of dermatologists, doctor’s offices, and reps were producing their own marketing assets to use in their local markets that did not match corporate brand standards nor were differentiated from the competition’s assets. CoolSculpting decided to do a couple of things: first, they overhauled the brand look and feel internally to stand out in their competitive industry and second, they put in place marketing technology software to manage all available branded content.
With new corporate marketing materials ready to launch, CoolSculpting used MarcomCentral’s asset management software to distribute the fresh content into their sales channels. 4300 end users in sales channels across the globe could find a marketing piece, personalize it, and download it without once contacting the marketing department.
This kind of self-service model removes Marketing as the barrier for Sales to do their job, while Marketing is ensured that the collateral Sales is using is supportive of the overall brand voice. Ahh, Marketing and Sales alignment, it feels good, no?