A brand’s voice is its lifeblood.
How do large companies connect the voices of multiple locations to ensure they’re sharing the same message in the same way? Distributed marketing is the most effective means of organizing a cohesive strategy and making sure the message stays consistent from brand to local partner, or distributor to consumer.
But like most marketing strategies, there are no shortage of uphill battles and challenges.
Today’s consumers expect more from their brands, and it’s become the job of marketing leaders to strengthen their companies with stronger distributed marketing campaigns. Below, we’ll discuss the major challenges with distributed marketing, along with actionable advice for turning challenge into opportunity.
Challenge #1: Keeping It Consistent
Many distributed organizations struggle to find a balance between their corporate voice and the local jargon of the smaller communities where they’re doing business. The bigger the company, the more difficult it can be to maintain a consistent message that accurately reflects corporate ideals.
Couple that with the fact that savvy customers expect personalized messages and can easily see through a poorly-targeted campaign. For marketers, it’s a struggle to connect with the right audience by creating something that both resonates with the local market and stays consistent with the larger brand.
The solution: Maintaining consistency in brand voice and messaging starts with streamlining marketing strategies. Utilizing one central distributed marketing software platform for your whole organization takes the guesswork out of brand messaging and ensures that all partners are on the same page when it comes to corporate expectations and guidelines.
It also enables easier communication between corporate and local branches, allowing assets to be submitted, approved, and edited without the need for endless, confusing email chains.
Challenge #2: Tracking Value and Proving Effectiveness
It’s critical that all marketing campaigns be driven by data. After all, how else can you see what works and what doesn’t? With the mass of data that comes in through distributed marketing campaigns and the inherent diversity of information associated with managing various localities at once, some brands have difficulty tracking the data – and therefore, trouble analyzing just how productive their efforts are.
The solution: Marketing teams can help brands use the data they gather from their distributed campaigns to determine everything from ROI to consumer behavioral responses. Look for marketing partners that promise data delivery along with developmental support so that you’re not wasting time on campaigns that are ineffective in scope or revenue returns.
Challenge #3: Incorporating Distributed Marketing Software
Old-school marketers know what’s worked for them, and they are often reluctant to take on the task of learning entirely new systems. Aside from the learning curve of implementing a software solution and integrating it with current systems, marketers may not be willing to invest in software that hasn’t yet proven its value to them.
The solution: Don’t knock it until you try it. Solutions like the Personal Marketing Center from PFL serve as central repositories for all marketing assets, greatly simplifying the marketing process for those who work within a distributed environment. Salesforce and Podio are examples of software that can connect your distributed teams, and workflow management tools like Zapier can connect multiple third-party apps so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
While distributed marketing software can be a new undertaking for established marketing managers, it can be a massive time and money-saver. Automating your distributed marketing campaigns is less about reducing manual work and more about making sure you capitalize exactly where it counts. It’s often easy to learn, and usually comes with comprehensive customer support that can guide new users until they get the hang of it.
Challenge #4: Responding Quickly to Changes
If the data says something isn’t working, you change it. If something’s going well, you capitalize on it. But this can pose a challenge to distributed organizations, where something may work well in one locality but fizzle in another, and it’s up to marketing to assess and make changes – but how?
The solution: Automate decision-making with preapproved and fully customized templates that local partners can use online or print on demand. PFL’s Personal Marketing Center and other distributed marketing software makes it easy for managers to maintain control over the message and content while giving those on the ground the power to use what makes the most sense for them and their customers. Automation opens the door for creative execution, and a proof-and-approval process ensures that all marketing content continues to work toward greater brand objectives.
Challenge #5: Maximizing Content-Driven Marketing
Content marketing is a key part of most distributed marketing strategies, but according to Sirius Decisions, an amazing 60-70% of content created by B2B marketers is never used. In addition to being a waste of time and resources, this statistic illuminates a common problem that distributed marketers have: making sure to streamline content for field marketers and local salespeople so that content isn’t just created, but also deployed.
The solution: Keep custom content in one centralized location. This makes the process of selecting and utilizing preapproved materials significantly easier for those in local offices and in the field. The challenge isn’t so much in producing quality content, but in disseminating it among distributed branches. Here again, distributed marketing software simplifies an otherwise tricky situation and makes it easier for brands to get the most use possible out of the marketing materials they produce.
Ready to get help with your distributed marketing? PFL provides automated software and marketing solutions that allow distributed marketing leaders to execute more effective campaigns while reducing guesswork and cutting costs. Learn about some of our corporate solutions for distributed marketing organizations, and start simplifying your distributed marketing today.