As a brand manager, you're tasked with one of the toughest marketing challenges, and likely, even your boss agrees. One 2016 American Marketing Association study found that brand management keeps over 25% of marketing execs up at night.
Distributed marketing means there's a great deal of links in your brand's marketing chain, and you're responsible for avoiding communication breakdowns across the entire network. Under these circumstances, communication and relationship management are never easy. Another marketing study revealed that organizations spend an "astounding" amount of time and budget just trying to manage their internal relationships; with 21% of the respondents reporting, "15 hours or more every week doing traffic control around communications, technology, and various other marketing services vendors."
Often, brand managers complain about miscommunication, conflict with local marketing teams, and inconsistent campaigns. If your local outlets have a limited marketing background, the likelihood you'll face these problems is even higher.
In this blog, we'll discuss three of the most frustrating challenges faced by local brand managers, and share some secrets on how to kick these problems for good.
3 Major Frustrations Brand Managers Face and What to Do About Them
Frustration #1: Slow Marketing Execution
Distributed marketing managers need to get materials to local marketing teams quickly. The job requires you to relay templates, campaign guidelines, brand vision overviews, and other materials so your local partners can launch offers on time.
Brand management teams have to juggle a variety of requests from local outlets for both marketing and design. In addition, managing workflows and approvals can be incredibly time-consuming, and lead to poor consistency (more on that later!).
How to Speed Up Distributed Marketing
Ultimately, you need a set of processes for responding to your local partners' needs and requests. You must set clear expectations, and have a set of mechanisms in place for helping your local teams. Could you do this just by being super organized? Possibly. However, it's wise to employ the help of a SaaS local marketing automation tool to help keep you organized and save you time.
With tools like digital asset management (DAM), designed specifically for the needs of a distributed brand, local marketers can quickly and easily access the right marketing materials. Speed becomes possible with features like batch upload and metadata tagging. Distributed DAM systems make it possible for your local outlets to search, find, and launch the right campaigns on time.
Frustration #2: Spotty Brand Consistency
Marketing inconsistency doesn't just impact customer perceptions of your brand. It affects your ability to "attract new franchisees," by diluting your brand equity. Enforcing brand consistency, or compliance, is an enormous part of your role. If you've ever felt frustrated that your franchisees are not releasing compliant marketing materials, you're far from alone.
It's not easy to maintain consistency, especially if you're juggling multiple brands or very different customer segments. It's even harder if your local outlets have limited expertise in graphic design, marketing, or with implementing a brand vision.
How to Execute Consistent Distributed Marketing
What's the recipe for consistent distributed marketing? Local marketing aligned with the global brand vision, including cohesive:
Your local marketing needs to sound, feel, and look like the greater brand.
To enforce consistency, you can implement total lock-down and severely limit the degree to which your local marketers can modify materials. However, that's not necessarily effective or practical.
For many of the most effective brand managers, the solution to consistency is creating and enforcing brand standards, and executing them through the use of a digital and print content management tool. Such a tool allows you to lock down the right components of your messaging, positioning, and design, you can make it easy for local partners to edit without sacrificing consistency.
Frustration #3: Affiliates Don't Deploy Relevant Marketing
Achieving relevance for large, distributed brands is definitely not for newbies. Not only do your messaging, offers, and direct response initiatives need to be tied-in to your global vision, they need to resonate with actual customers on the ground.
Relevance is always a marketing objective, but it's particularly difficult to achieve in a distributed setting. Ideally, your local partners understand their customers: but do they know how to translate this knowledge into compliant messaging or offers? In many cases, there's a disconnect around this topic that leads to inconsistent marketing results - and many an ulcer for distributed brand managers.
How to Make Your Local Marketing Customer-Relevant
Your local outlets might not have the background to think like a marketer. Many brand managers find that their local contacts understand the customers, but don't know how to translate that knowledge into a campaign.
In many cases, the solution is training and knowledge. Ways to help your partners succeed can include:
- Marketing Training
- Providing Summary Documents of Campaigns
- Analytics and Reporting
However, your real challenge as a manager is figuring out how to provide customized training and assets to your local marketers at scale. With local marketing technology that enables you to see user activity and marketing results, you can understand strengths and weaknesses in each local team.
By understanding the actual, data-driven marketing results of your local teams, you can help them succeed. Reporting technology gives you the knowledge to point your local affiliates to the right assets, provide custom training, and work towards success together.
Say Goodbye to Local Marketing Frustrations
As a distributed brand manager, you're now responsible for overseeing more marketing platforms and campaigns than ever before.
By introducing a local marketing software like CampaignDrive by Pica9 into your partner relationships, you can make real progress towards solving the challenges of speed, consistency, and relevance. With an easily-integrated, comprehensive tool for distributed marketing, it's easier than ever for your local marketers to deliver successful, relevant, and on-brand campaigns.