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March 16, 2017

Creating and Managing Marketing Collateral Templates Local Dealers Love

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For local dealers, marketing means more sales. It also means a boost to local reputation and customer relationships. For Woody Folsom, a dealership owner in Southern Georgia, using "old-fashioned" print marketing is "doing right" by his customers. However, what works for Folsom might not work for a dealer in California who is selling the same product.

As a brand manager, you know that your local dealerships' marketing ideas don't always match up with your campaign vision. Your local marketers could be resistant to adopting digital marketing methods, or they may have a habit of modifying your assets in ways that aren't compliant with your brand image. When it comes to creating marketing collateral for local dealerships, brand managers must consider dealer preference and brand vision, changing consumer habits, and local demographics.

For a single marketing campaign, your designers may need to create both print and digital assets; including flyers, brochures, rate cards, rack cards, digital banner ads, social media content, and landing pages. Even more challenging is the task of managing local dealer customization and asset deployment. By adopting marketing collateral templates, brand marketing teams can balance consistency with local customization at hundreds, or thousands, of locations worldwide.

How to Create Value for Dealers with Marketing Collateral

As a brand marketer, it's important to be sensitive to your dealers' priorities and biases about the types of marketing that work for their customers. It's also wise to consider your dealers' point of view about marketing. From their perspective, it may make perfect sense to add images of your competitor's product to a direct mail campaign. After all, they're displaying all the products they're selling and giving the customer choices, right?

Dealer networks are unique among distributed brands for many reasons - including the value of an average sale. A customer buying a brand new car, for instance, is prepared to spend upwards of $30,000. Your marketing collateral needs to drive quality customers over quantity. When making big purchase decisions, customers carefully evaluate their options based on emotional, stylistic, rational, and economic preferences.

Ultimately, some of the highest-value marketing assets you can provide to your dealers are assets that help their customers choose your product. Examples of choice-based marketing could include:

  • Product Comparisons
  • Cross-Sales Offers
  • A la carte Menus or Product Options

Remember, your dealers are heavily invested in the products in their showroom. For local dealers, marketing is a tool for direct response and referrals. If your marketing assets aren't built to be customized, your locals aren't able to promote their business with your products.

Your dealers may tell you that they want more blank mailer templates or fewer digital assets. However, what they really want is to gain happy customers. Brand managers provide value to dealers when they make it easy for them to launch successful campaigns. By creating templates that dealers can customize on their own, you can help your dealers create relevant, high-quality local marketing in record time.

Why You Should Convert Every Marketing Asset into a Template

Giving your dealers access to marketing templates allows you, the brand manager, to balance local customization with brand control. After converting assets into templates, and configuring the areas to be customized, you can grant dealers access. Templates protect your brand image, provide dealers with an easy way to customize local marketing, and allows them to create assets in the format they need when they need them.

In general, marketing templates are defined by features that allow administrative users to:

  1. Categorize "restricted" or locked template content, such as a logo or colors, that cannot be changed by local users.
  2. Define "variable" or unlocked template content, so local dealers can modify contact information, their dealership name or logo, and other local information.

Templates can be created and shared through a local marketing automation tool (LMA) like CampaignDrive by Pica9 and digital asset management (DAM) tools designed specifically for distributed brands. Local marketing success requires brand managers to maintain the right amount of control, while offering dealers flexibility and ease-of-use.

No two brands are the same when it comes to the balance of brand vision and local marketing execution. Your culture, guidelines, and dealer agreement determine how much customization your local dealers are allowed.

For some brands, adopting local marketing automation software helps with uploading and sharing photos and files quickly. For other brands, templates are a common way of providing marketing collateral. For the vast majority of brands, dealer support involves a wide range of templates, complete assets, and raw materials.

What Does Optimal Marketing Template Creation for Local Dealers Look Like?

Your dealers' local reputation is the source of their future success. Dealers want to put their "stamp" on marketing collateral to build local relationships and awareness. Brand managers want to protect the visual integrity and quality of their campaigns. Selecting which fields should be locked, and which should be left open, depends on the use case.

Most commonly-unlocked template fields

  • Partner logo
  • Location information
  • Alternate methods of contacting the sales team (phone, email, website)

In addition, marketing campaigns that are not backed by national advertising should almost always allow local dealers to customize the specifics of an offer. Your dealers may need to offer a discount on a product, or add additional incentives for sales.

Other examples of template fields that can be unlocked:

  • Multiple options for imagery, with imagery options provided
  • Blank offer fields for local dealers to create their own offer
  • The option to include competitor offers for product or price comparisons

Creating Marketing Collateral Templates Local Dealers Love (and Actually Use)

Ultimately, your dealer network is your brand marketing team's customer base. Each of your dealers is a unique buyer and business owner. They will make distinct choices in how they approach local marketing. With a satisfaction-driven approach to local marketing collateral management, you'll achieve better long-term relationships with your dealers.

Local dealer satisfaction should be a core value of your marketing collateral management programs, and it's also a key to driving DAM adoption. Your templates should always support local co-branding, but they may also need to allow your dealers some freedom in product pricing and featured images. When your dealers are turning templates into successful marketing offers that meet their needs, you've succeeded.

With the help of a tool for local marketing automation like CampaignDrive, you enable your local dealers to create up-to-date, visually-appealing marketing content, and deploy it fast. Dynamic template creation allows your brand management team to provide just the right amount of options for local asset customization - even if it's different every time.

For dealership-based distributed brands, getting locals to deploy a high velocity of quality marketing campaigns is critical. And great marketing collateral templates are usually the key.

To discover how dealer-based brands like Polaris succeed with distributed marketing, we recommend our free eBook Distributed Marketing on Steroids: The Brand Manager's Guide to Designing and Managing Local Marketing Assets without Breaking a Sweat. Distributed-Marketing-eBook_Pica9

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