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Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts: What Local Affiliates Need to Thrive

By: Leslie Pinkerton, Marketing Content Manager, 3/30/17

What Local Affiliates Need to Thrive

Aristotle said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

This famous quote about synergy and teamwork applies to musicians coming together to form works of art, or how individual athletes support each other to form a championship-winning team.

It also applies to how well large organizations perform under a common goal.

With distributed field teams, branch offices, local affiliates, or franchises, activity is often disconnected and uncoordinated between various locations. Managing it all from one centralized place comes with a host of challenges and frustrations, especially in regards to sales and marketing assets, collateral, and branded materials.

Organizations can learn a lot from how the Boys and Girls Club of America (BGCA) empowered its local affiliates to maintain a consistent brand, increase the usage of approved, multi-format assets, all while giving them the ability to meet the needs of their local communities. What they achieved is a tremendous example of teamwork, detailed in our case study or on-demand webinar.

Drawing on this achievement, here’s what your local affiliates need to thrive within a larger, unified brand:

On-demand access to a variety of asset types

Your teams need a variety of asset types, both digital and physical.

Make it easy for your brand stewards to find what they need, when they need it. For sales teams in the field, provide customizable PowerPoint presentations and on-brand leave-behinds they can print and bring to each customer meeting. Give franchisee owners access to email campaigns and social media posts to promote their locations. Give local nonprofit affiliates easy access to direct mail pieces, photos, videos, templates, and more to recruit members and volunteers.

When you make approved branded resources such as these easy-to-find, you allow your users to meet customers and members wherever they are, with whichever format they prefer to engage with your brand.

Ability to customize assets

Relevance is the common language between what your brand wants to say and what your audience is interested in. Each time a member of your team needs to speak to a specific individual or group, they need the ability to customize the asset they’re using to tell your brand story.

Prepare your users with templates that allow for the flexibility of custom fields, such as name, while locking down what matters, such as regulated industry information or brand standards.

Pull insights from a CRM to customize assets based on what’s known about your leads, such as their address or product interest, and give your team the power to create customized pieces they need on the fly.

Not only will they be more relevant, avoiding the one-size-fits-all marketing asset problem, but they’ll be empowered to get the job done without requesting one-off assets from your marketing team.

Localization and language

Markets differ in how they buy, what language they use, and how they interact with your brand. Marketing is all about being relevant to those who matter, regardless of their physical location. Local affiliates need the ability to not only customize assets, but also use the right language for its constituents.

91% of top-performing companies cite the need to “increase relevance and personalization in local markets” as the top driver for investing in marketing asset management.1

For example, BGCA empowers its 4,100 nationwide clubs with a logo creator tool to give each club an appropriate, local identity. Assets are also provided in multiple languages to account for regional variations and ensure local affiliates attract and engage in the most relevant ways possible.

Ability to take action

After the right asset is found – a lengthy ordeal in many organizations – taking action is often just as cumbersome. Whether a poster is needed for a local sales event, or a series of direct mail pieces are required to drum up business, your users need an easy way of ordering assets.

With a web-based portal like MarcomCentral, select users can order customized assets from corporate print vendors within pre-approved budgets. This prevents them from turning to the manual and risky task of using the nearest Kinkos, improves their speed-to-market, and ensuring your teams are only using the best, approved assets in the field, every time.

Training

To increase adoption and get your team excited about using a centralized tool, ensure first and foremost that a good number of critical resources are available.

What gave the BGCA a strong boost in user adoption was employee word of mouth. The consensus among the team was that their asset management portal was easy to use, and filled with rich resources available on-demand.

To continue the momentum around getting users onto their platform, BGCA also invested time and resources into training. They promoted their asset management tool at national conferences and regional conferences. A series of email communications to club staff promoted webinar trainings on how to use the site. Internal teams were also trained so critical departments were aware of the site and able to share the information with other club professionals as they executed departmental strategies.

With the entire staff aware of the portal and its benefits, this organization saw an increase in the overall adoption of their marketing resources, and earned hundreds of rave reviews from club professionals, who downloaded 43,000 assets in 2015 alone.

See how a self-serve marketing portal can help scale your business

1 The Marketer’s Guide to Content Management Technologies, Gleanster, August 2013